1st Global Conference (2017)

Photo of a cemented corpse in the backyard of a palace belonging to a wealthy arms dealer.

1st Global Conference
The Changing Faces of Evil

including a guided tour of historic sites from the 1755 Earthquake and Tsunami and the ‘Easter Slaughter’ of 1506

Saturday 17th March 2018 – Sunday 18th March 2018
Lisbon, Portugal

As we head deeper into the 21st Century, what does it mean to call someone or something ‘evil’? Previously used to describe natural disasters such as the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 or even pandemics such as the Black Death, evil is now used as a popular term by the press and social media to refer to various acts of hatred, violence, terror, brutality and senseless killing.

Despite feeling antiquated and out of place, ‘evil’ continues to enjoy widespread use and retains significant personal resonance and social meaning. The Changing Faces of Evil is an inclusive interdisciplinary project through which we will seek to map the changing faces of evil across history and explore the question: what are the modern evils of the 21st century? Themes to be considered will include, but not be limited to –

~ Evil, nature and the world in which we live. Apocalyptic scenarios and nature’s destruction of human life. Are there natural evils? Can animals be evil or is it unique to human beings? Is it plausible to see hurricanes, floods or pandemics as being evil? As intentional? Blurring the boundaries – human actions, natural evils: is climate change a natural evil? What about species extinction and the decline of biological diversity? Oil spills and their consequences?

~ Evil, illness and disease. Is evil a disease which can be treated? Can our pathology be evil or explain the cause of the evils we do? Is it credible to see illness or even disability as a form of punishment, desert or revenge? When good people create bad policies – failures of public, social and political policies: the anti-vaccine movement, the perception of AIDS, Trump and ObamaCare. The pharmaceutical industry, medical research and access to medicines. The spread of (antibiotic) resistant diseases. The manufacture of diseases/biological weapons.

~ Social evils. Poverty. Slavery. Trafficking. The ‘deadly sins’- avarice, greed, lust, sloth. Fractured communities. Selfish, self-absorbed and entitled – the rise of the individual. Inequality and the great divide: the haves and the have nots. Crime and punishment. How society views its own evils: competing narratives of history, for example, the Confederate monuments in the US. The role of comedy, satire and social commentary. The role of religion or theatre (“Cabaret”, Burlesque) to reinforce or combat social movements.

~ Political and Economic evils – governments, regimes; the market economy; consumerism; alienation, divided communities; anger and resentment. Political movements and ideologies, for example, White Supremacy, Neo-Nazis. Curtailing free speech. Political and economic targets – the identification of ‘evils’, e.g., immigrants, the strangers in our midst; racism. Evil and the State: power, authority and censorship The denial of human rights. Authoritarianism. Totalitarianism. Mass incarceration. Violence; protest; rebellion.

~ Evil and the family; evil men, evil women. Gender and evil. Incest, abuse, sibling rivalry. Parental infanticide. Evil children: children who kill. ‘Innocence’. Childhood and the roots of evil. Evil and age: elder abuse; nursing homes, care and the betrayal of trust. Replacement families: ‘cults’, the “intentional family” as replacement for birth family and the exclusion or rejection of ‘unacceptable’ members. Adoption as politics. The ‘baby trade’. Generations of evil: education, selective education and deliberate ignorance.

~ Evil and the individual. The evils within and the evils that we do. Psychologies of evil. Serial killers; murderers; torturers; rapists. Mass shootings; terror attacks. Evil and insanity. The “cult of personality” in social, religious and political contexts.

~ Evil and the imagination (artists, performers, critics, editors). Evil on screen, page and in music (directors, writers, poets, singers).

~ Evils we consume. Addictions: drugs, alcohol, smoking. The evils we indulge: gambling, sex, food, shopping. The things which “do evil” to our body.

~ Monstrous evils. Monstrosity. Monsters. Civilisation, society and the “monster” through history. Children, childhood, stories and monsters. Monsters, mutants and freaks. The monster in us all; the monsters in our midst. Enemies (political/social/military) and monsters. Iconography of the monstrous. The popularity of modern monsters. The monster in literature, media and film.

~ Conflicts and Evils. Evil and war; evil and civil war; evil and security; evil and peace. Genocide; massacres; ethnic cleansing.

~ Evil, the media and cyber evils. Evil in a post-truth world. Evil and mass media. Evil and the impact of social media. The rise of Cosmetic Evil. The Evil Beauty – for example, plastic surgery, the ‘Barbie-doll’ complex, body image and eating disorders. Shallow evil. Casual evil. Evil in and of cyberspace: bloggers, vloggers, trolls, freedom of speech. The culture of surveillance. Encryption and the dark net.

~ Religion, spirituality and evil.

What’s so special about Progressive Connexions events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic, format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off powerpoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are history-laden and suited to the event. And to further tickle your appetite for exploration, learning and discovery, our Lisbon 2018 event package includes personalized tours of some of the most relevant historical and cultural sites in the city.

The Interdisciplinary Foundation
We are pleased to announce that thanks to the generosity of a private sponsorship donation, we are able to offer 2 places on the conference to early career researchers or proposals which the Board believes to exhibit exceptional interdisciplinary merit. The foundation will cover the registration costs associated with the event. Travel and accommodation will remain the responsibility of the attendee. If you would like to attend the conference in one of the two places available you will need to complete an application statement. Please contact the Organising Chair for further details. Submission of this statement does not guarantee you a free place. All applications will be considered by Evil Development Team and members of the Progressive Connexions Advisory Board and you will be informed if you have been successful.

What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring together academics, professionals, practitioners, NGO’s, voluntary sector workers, in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, panels, q&a’s, etc.

300 word reviews of your proposed contribution (paper abstracts, proposals for workshops, collaborative works or round tables, overviews of artistic projects or any other relevant forms of participation you are interested in) should be submitted by Friday 20th October 2017.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Advisory Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 3rd November 2017.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 16th February 2018.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled:  Faces of Evil Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Stephen Morris:

Project Administrator:

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Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees