Reassembling Democracy/Ritual as Resource — University of Oslo, Soria Moria Conference Center, Oslo

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Reassembling Democracy /Ritual as Resource

Conference 23-25 February 2017, University of Oslo / Soria Moria Conference Center, Oslo

Click here for Call for Papers poster

Keynote speakers: Ronald L. Grimes, Catherine Keller, Adrian Ivakhiv, Siobhan Garrigan

The research project “Reassembling Democracy: Ritual as Cultural Resource” (REDO) approaches increasingly widespread collective activities. These include memorial gatherings, festivals, protest marches, pilgrimages and other modes of public assembly and mobility. In these ritualized practices expanded meanings of democracy, renewed environmental concerns and responses to violence and uncertainty are given pride of place. Project members have undertaken various case studies to show how such meanings and concerns are expressed, circulated and contested. Some commonalities have emerged. Singular embodied experiences, distinctive emotional expressions and special relationships with others (including other- than-human beings) are recurrent features of these practices. Many of the ritual practices also entail an active exploration of alternative models of sociality in which gender issues and radical inclusiveness play an essential role. Finally, many practitioners are acutely sensitive to issues pertaining to the global impact of human activities on Earth’s ecosystem (the Anthropocene). In this final REDO conference, we wish to explore more fully the systematic linkages between these three dimensions: ritual, democracy and the other-than-human.

Some of the questions we will address include:
–  In what ways do novel modes of public assembly and mobility provide the grounds for a distinctive ethos in which
ritual, democracy aspirations and environmental awareness (or responses to environmental changes) converge?
–  What are the factors that encourage or hinder the translation of this ethos into daily practice and/or its
application in the political area?
–  What other effective forms of collective celebration and/or intervention might be envisaged, notably within the
context of rising political extremism?

This final REDO conference will explore the questions above by drawing on empirical material relating to the case studies included within the project and to other, as of yet unconsidered types of activities that involve linkages between ritual, democracy and the other-than-human. The goal of the conference is thus not only to substantiate the outcomes of the REDO project, but also to build a broader base of people, practices and ideas for future collaboration and research.

CALL FOR PAPERS & CONFERENCE INVITATION for REDO researchers and collaborators (REDO guests):
We invite papers with a clear relevance to the conference themes. Abstracts of max 300 words should be sent by 1 Nov 2016 to both Jone Salomonsen and Michael Houseman:, Notification by 20 Nov 2016. FULL PROGRAM and online REGISTRATION from 30 Nov 2016 on REDO’s webpage. Full board and travel is paid by REDO for all invited guests who attend with paper. The event begins Wednesday 22 Feb at 15:15 with an open keynote address by Ronald Grimes at the University of Oslo campus. Joint departure at 17:00 from campus to Soria Moria CCenter for dinner and gathering. Open conference at Soria Moria CC 23-25 Feb. Finished Sat 25 Feb at 16:00.

On behalf of the REDO project,
Jone Salomonsen (University of Oslo), Michael Houseman (École Pratique de Hautes Études, Paris), Sara Pike (California State University Chico), Graham Harvey (Open University, London)
REDO webpage,

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