We proudly present the programme of our international conference ‘Current Issues in European Cultural Studies’! The conference is arranged by the Advanced Cultural Studies Institute of Sweden (ACSIS) which is a national centre for interdisciplinary and international networking in the !eld of cultural studies (www.acsis.liu.se). ACSIS has a wide range of activities, including the large biannual conference on cultural research that we have arranged since 2005. The great response to our !rst international conference ‘INTER’, in 2007 convinced us of the need for continuing to bring di#erent regions and thematic areas together on an international scale.
This is why we have given the 2011 conference a broad European scope. Each of its plenary sessions focuses on a particular set of current issues, dimensions and perspectives for interdisciplinary, critical and cultural research in Europe. Our intention is to point at tensions and contradictions that together serve to map key contemporary directions in this complex !eld.
What does Europe mean to cultural researchers today? How is cultural studies de!ned and how does it thrive or su#er in di#erent countries? What threats, challenges and opportunities are pivotal for us in the 2010s? The last plenary sums up a series of !ve ‘spotlight sessions’ that each gathers scholars into a panel to discuss the current state of cultural research in different regions of Europe : central, east, north, south and west. The latter is actually limited to British cultural studies, indicating that these regions are far from innocent concepts, and we expect critical debates around the very idea of dividing Europe in this manner! The European branch of the international Association for Cultural Studies ACS has kindly supported our efforts by letting their board members chair and take part in these spotlight sessions.
Parallel to the spotlights a total number of 50 group sessions, including double sessions, involving more than 200 participants will take place. Conferences are not only work, they are also a great opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones. In addition to the discussions at the sessions, there will be plenty of time to socialise at the reception hosted by the city of Norrköping on Wednesday evening and the big conference dinner on Thursday night.
Since the start these ACSIS conferences have provided a rich overview of the contemporary trends in cultural research, which our conference publications prove. We will continue this work and publish the conference proceedings, which are open to all conference participants, of this year in open access at Linköping University Electronic Press. More information about the proceedings will be distributed after the conference. Participants are also invited to submit articles to our refereed academic journal Culture Unbound : Journal of Current Cultural Research, published open access since 2009 by Linköping University Electronic Press. Culture Unbound is partly owned by ACSIS and as the journal’s publication history shows, it is a wonderful resource for publishing this kind of texts (www.cultureunbound.ep.liu.se).
The national board of ACSIS has served as a programme committee for the conference, and a great number of local supporters have assisted in preparing and organising the event. The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond), the Wenner-Gren Foundations (Wenner-Gren Stiftelserna), Linköping University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the city of Norrköping have contributed with the funding needed to make this all possible. Last but certainly not least, we are enormously grateful for and impressed by the nonsalaried e#orts from all invited speakers, Panelists, moderators, session organisers and paper presenters who have !lled these frameworks with such fascinating intellectual contents.
This programme book includes the full programme, abstracts, maps and various other kinds of information, ending with a list of participants and emails in alphabetic order.
Welcome to Norrköping, to ACSIS and to the borderlands of European cultural studies!
Johan Fornäs, Director of ACSIS, Södertörn University
Johanna Dahlin, ACSIS conference organizer, Linköping University
Martin Fredriksson, ACSIS research coordinator, Linköping University
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. , 214 p.