Contradiction Studies: Mapping the Field

Inaugural Conference on Concepts of Contradiction in the Humanities

The Inaugural Conference on Concepts of Contradiction in the Humanities took place on February 9–11, 2017, at the University of Bremen (Germany).

This international and interdisciplinary conference sought to outline the new field of Contradiction Studies” in the Humanities, focusing on the interactions between seemingly contradictory socio-cultural phenomena and practices. This allows an understanding of distinct, yet related categories such as antagonism, paradox, antinomy, and their uses within and beyond disciplinary boundaries. Participants explored material instances and aspects of contradiction, as well as its theories and practice(s). The interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives of this conference centered on three key areas in the conference sessions:

  1. Fields of Contradiction, i.e. contradictory topics, semantic aspects, and social or cultural phenomena linked to contradictions.
  2. Structures of Contradiction, i.e. (semiotic) forms of marking and negotiating contradictions.
  3. Practices of Contradiction, i.e. contradictory agency and institutional strategies.

Discussion fathomed the potential of Contradiction Studies as a central paradigm in the Humanities, and to this end we invite scholars from a broad spectrum of disciplines, including art history, cultural and social anthropology, educational science and curriculum studies, geography, gender studies, history, linguistics, literary studies, performance studies, philosophy, political science, postcolonial studies, religious studies, and sociology.

The following distinguished scholars addressed the conference as keynote speakers:

Prof. Dr. Rémy Bazenguissa-Ganga (EHESS, Paris, France)
Prof. Dr. Jane Burbank (New York University, USA)
Dr. Stefan Müller (University of Giessen, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmenk (University of Waterloo, Canada)