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Bad Taste
An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

 

Saturday 21st August 2021 – Sunday 22nd August 2021
Online: ShockLogic Platform

People may have their own unique perspectives on what aspects of culture are good and what aspects are, to put it delicately: crap. There are plenty of culturally agreed-upon qualities that can make things like art, film, tv, music, architecture, fashion or entertainment aesthetically ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  Being able to correctly identify the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ remains one of the most important underlying skills in navigating the vast terrain of cultural products. Despite postmodernism’s valiant attempts to deconstruct historical notions of good taste, at best we have only seen different standards emerge about what constitutes good cultural products. In the 21st century, ‘ironic enjoyment’ opens space for people to consume ‘bad’ cultural products while keeping their self-concepts or reputation for good taste intact. There may be reversals compared to earlier notions of good taste – transgression or irony may be valued; slick production or emotional sincerity may be devalued – but as filmmaker John Waters put it, “To understand bad taste one must have very good taste.”

 

Badness is also not a neutral category separate from cultural prejudices. From third-tier pre-Raphaelite paintings to grainy grindhouse films, the “bad” label is often justified on the bases of incompetence or unoriginality, while “coincidentally” falling along lines of existing prejudices against femininity, queerness, Blackness or non-Western-ness. How, then, do notions of taste operate in upholding hegemonies? Is it even possible to designate a cultural product as bad without engaging in these cultural prejudices? Is it possible to maintain some kind of tools for determining quality? Are such determinations necessary or even valuable in contemporary society? 

 

This conference will explore the concept and expressions of bad taste. What is a bad cultural product? How and why do we construct and maintain our reputations for having good taste? We aim to investigate these and related questions in our upcoming event. Consistent with our interdisciplinary ethos, we wish to step outside the traditional conference format and offer opportunities for artists, performers, and writers, as well as theorists, independent scholars, and practitioners to present perspectives and engage with the concept of bad taste. The organizers welcome proposals for presentations, displays, round-tables, panels, interactive workshops, and other activities to stimulate discussion of bad art and bad taste. We are interested in creative outputs and future collaborations, of both high and low quality.

Key Topics

Key topics, themes and issues for discussion may include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • The concept of taste as a theoretical framework
  • The use of “low” culture in academia, e.g. in cultural studies frameworks
  • Historical definitions of badness/historical shifts in taste
  • Introductions to bad artists in various media (literature, film, music, visual art, poetry, etc)
  • Celebrations of bad media
  • Camp
  • Sentimentalism
  • Pulp fiction
  • Exploitation film
  • Pornography and sexploitation
  • High-gloss aesthetics on low-quality media
  • “So bad it’s good”/ironic enjoyment
  • Badness and aestheticism
  • Sincerity vs frivolity as badness
  • Taste as a class marker
  • Bad taste and gender; badness as feminine or queer
  • Bad taste and race or ethnicity; badness as Black or racialized
  • Historical definitions of badness and historical changes in what is considered bad
  • The shift in cultural tastes that make previously disregarded authors acceptable, e.g., Shakespeare’s move from popular playwright to revered author, or Jane Austen from a writer of ‘ladies’ novels’ to a creator of literary fiction
  • Forms of badness: boring, incompetent, un-self-conscious, subversive, offensive, etc

What To Send

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc.

At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainably inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research, workshops, publications, public interest days, associations, developing courses, etc which will help us make sense of the topics discussed during the conference and ensure that our efforts are continued in our own communities.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by 16th July 2021. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development 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 19th July 2021.

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: Bad Taste Submission.

Where To Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:
Lorraine Rumson (Organizing Chair): lorraine@progressiveconnexions.net
Len Capuli (Project Administrator): badtaste@progressiveconnexions.net

 

Details and Information

 

Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £151, and includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ online registration
~ online abstract and programme submissions
~ access to the conferencing platform
~ ~ a virtual registration areas where conference information and materials will be available
~~  virtual ePoster possibilities
~ ~ virtual break out rooms
~ ~ virtual one-to-one meeting capabilities
~ ~ virtual networking rooms

~ electronic book of Abstracts
~ access to downloads of all conference materials
~ physical copy book of abstracts (on request)

~ participation in project output discussion session
~ live session with the publications team as part of a development meeting
~ discounted rates for any outputs emerging from the event

16th July 2021
Abstract/Presentation submission

19th July 2021
Acceptance/Rejection notification
Booking Form Submissions Open
Invoices issued

21st July 2021
Circulation of Draft Programme

13th August 2021
Final date for payment

16th August 2021
Final Version of Programme
Full draft of presentation to be submitted

The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.

Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 23rd July 2021 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Friday 13th August 2021.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Cheque
Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Freeland
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We regret we cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Online
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Paypal
Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

IMPORTANT
We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation to any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

We appreciate that in 2021, a lot of folks are already Skype and Zoom fatigued! This is why we have been taking our time to partner with the British software developer ShockLogic, to create a customised Progressive Connexions oriented digital platform which will hopefully allow us to create a unique virtual environment which will let us stage as closely as possible the kinds of face-to-face 'in person' encounters and engagements which we successfully achieve in the seminar rooms.

The particular aspects of the platform means we have:

~ online registration

~ a secure platform available only to conference attendees

~ a networking area that can serve as a social hall akin to our typical registration and refreshment areas where folks can meet, see materials and information, chat etc

~ online abstract and programme submissions

~ ePoster capabilities

~ break out rooms where needed

~ one-to-one meeting capabilities

~ networking rooms

The video calls themselves are zoom-based, but embedded within the ShockLogic platform, they share the same sense of community and continuity that we are so committed to in in-person events.

What’s so Special?

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 suited to the history and culture of the event.

Ethos

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.

Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network inspiring inclusive interdisciplinary research, publishing and collaboration

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