Call for Papers: Arts, Peace and Conflict

27 November 2013

Annual Conference 2014
2 - 4 July 2014
Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies
Liverpool Hope University

The conference aims to examine the role of the arts in relation to conflict and peace from theoretical and practical perspectives. Authors are invited to submit papers by Tuesday 7 January 2014.

Arts play a crucial but under-explored role in contexts of peace and conflict. They often provide unusual and complex perspectives on situations prone to oversimplification. But they also play a key role in helping people to come to terms with a legacy of violence and contributing to peacebuilding.

This conference aims to examine the role of the arts in relation to conflict and peace from theoretical and practical perspectives. It aims to draw together participants from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. This involves experts from a range of artistic fields, and we welcome contributions from theatre, performance, literature, visual art, music, poetry, film, photography, digital art, dance or any other related field. But equally, we would like to include experts whose primary fields might be in other disciplines. The conference is open to those from disciplines such as Geography, Sociology, Politics, Peace and Conflict Studies, Economics, Cultural Studies, History, Media Studies, and Philosophy.

A key theme will be the examination of the role of the arts as a forum for public participation in conflict and post-conflict societies. The keynote event will feature Irish playwright Frank McGuinness discussing the theme of ‘War and the Artist’.

From conference participants, we would hope that among the themes considered are:

  • theoretical perspectives on understanding the interactions of the arts with conflict and with post-conflict rehabilitation
  • case study evaluations of historical or contemporary instances of relationships between the arts and conflict/ conflict resolution
  • organisational studies looking at the role of agencies such as NGOs, political institutions, economic actors and educational bodies in relation to the arts
  • examples of the arts as a tool for cultural intervention in situations of conflict
  • comparative assessments of the interplay between the arts, peace and conflict in different circumstances and contexts
  • analytical studies looking at the key themes and issues of relevance in using the arts as an interventionist tool for peace-building
  • analyses of examples of the use of the arts in education in situations of conflict or conflict resolution
  • philosophical and ethical evaluations of the roles of the arts, both in engendering conflict and in promoting its resolution
  • assessments of methodological approaches to the analysis of the role of the arts in conflict and conflict resolution.


Frank McGuinness, playwright, poet and Professor of Creative Writing at University College Dublin; in conversation with Lindsay Rodden, from the Everyman and Playhouse Theatre Liverpool.

The venue will be the Capstone Theatre, Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus, Shaw Street, Liverpool, L6 1HP.

Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words or full panel abstracts (4 papers max) to [email protected] by 7 January 2014. Successful applicants will be notified by 18 February 2014. Contributions may also include performative ‘provocations’, demonstrations; or any other suitable format.

The organising team:

Dr Stefanie Kappler, [email protected]

Dr Brian Desmond, [email protected]

Dr Michael Holmes, [email protected]

Dr Terry Phillips, [email protected]

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