The European Conference on Arts & Humanities 2018

"Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth" Painting by J. M. W. Turner, 1842.

Conference Theme: "Fearful Futures"

We have reached a moment in international history that is one of potential paradigm shift. It is a moment when a problematic, but at least blandly progressivist, pro-multiculturalist movement toward “cosmopolitanism” (as Kwame Anthony Appiah might use the term) is being threatened by a far more destructive and potentially genocidal ethno-nationalism, the ferocity of which is fuelled by economic disparity, religious intolerance and retrograde ideologies regarding gender, race and sexuality. The possible global futures we face are fearful, indeed, and in an era of information and disinformation, fake news, and hysterical polemic, are sometimes made out to be inevitable.

In this context, the arts, humanities, media and cultural studies play an important role in tracing the genealogy of the present moment, documenting it, and charting different paths forward, inviting such questions as how does culture replicate itself (or critically engage itself) in the classroom, in literature, in social media, in film, in the visual and theatrical arts, in the family, and among peer groups? How do we rise to the challenge of articulating a notion of human rights that also respects cultural difference? How do cultural representations of the environment abet or challenge the forces driving climate change? What are the roles and responsibilities of the individual activist as teacher, writer, artist, social scientist and community member? What are the responsibilities of both traditional and non-traditional media? How do we make sense of the ideologies driving hatred and intolerance, and posit different models of social engagement and organisation? Looking to the past, what do we learn about the challenges of today? 

This international and interdisciplinary conference will bring together a range of academics, independent researchers, artists and activists to explore the challenges that we face in the twenty-first century. While we have every right to fear the future, we also have agency in creating that future. Can we commit to a cosmopolitanism that celebrates difference and that challenges social inequity? On our ability to answer to that question affirmatively likely hangs our very survival.

The organisers encourage submissions that approach the conference theme from a variety of perspectives. However, the submission of other topics for consideration is welcome and we also encourage sessions within and across a variety of interdisciplinary and theoretical perspectives.

The European Conference on Arts & Humanities 2018 (ECAH2018) will be held alongside The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film (EuroMedia2018). Registration for either conference will allow delegates to attend sessions in the other.

In conjunction with our Global Partners, including the University of Sussex and Birkbeck, University of London, we look forward to extending you a warm welcome in 2018.

The ECAH2018 Organising Committee

Professor Anne Boddington, Kingston University, UK
Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA
Professor Gary E. Swanson, University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr.)
Dr Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Dr James Rowlins, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore

Key Information
  • Venue & Location: The Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront, Brighton, UK
  • Dates: Monday, July 09, 2018 ​to Tuesday, July 10, 2018
  • Conference Theme: "Fearful Futures"
  • Early Bird Abstract Submission Deadline: February 20, 2018*
  • Final Abstract Submission Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Registration Deadline for Presenters: May 23, 2018

*Submit early to take advantage of the discounted registration rates. Learn more about our registration options.

The ECAH2018 Final Abstract Submission Deadline has now passed.


The European Conference on Arts & Humanities (ECAH) is an interdisciplinary conference held alongside The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film (EuroMedia). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either conference will allow participants to attend sessions in both.

  • Dr Thomas G. Endres
    Dr Thomas G. Endres
    University of Northern Colorado, USA
  • Professor Bruce Brown
    Professor Bruce Brown
    Royal College of Art, UK
  • Professor Anne Boddington
    Professor Anne Boddington
    Kingston University, UK
  • Professor Gary E. Swanson
    Professor Gary E. Swanson
    University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr.)

About Brighton

The International Academic Forum’s European Conference Series is based in the vibrant city of Brighton in the UK. From iconic tourist spots to beachfront cool, Brighton is crammed full of things to see and do. Boasting a cultural heritage that includes the Royal Pavilion, Regency architecture and Victorian aquariums plus the seaside attractions of Brighton Pier, the Brighton Wheel and the famous pebble beach, Brighton offers something to delight each and every visitor.

Why Join an IAFOR Conference?

The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) welcomes academics from all over the world to our interdisciplinary conferences held in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. Our events provide a unique international, intercultural and interdisciplinary environment in which to hear the latest world-class research and network with leading academics, professionals and practitioners.

Our conferences are meticulously planned under the direction of prominent academics to ensure that they offer programmes of the highest level, and are supported by some of the world’s leading academic institutions, including the University of London (UK), Virginia Tech (USA), Barcelona University (Spain), Waseda University (Japan), University of Sussex (UK), Medill School of Journalism (USA), Moscow State University (Russia) and The University of Tokyo, (Japan).

By facilitating dialogue between the world’s academics and thought leaders, IAFOR has become a pioneer in providing the research avenues and visionary development solutions that are necessary in our rapidly emerging globalised world. We welcome you to engage in this expanding global academic community of individuals and network of institutions, and look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

Dr Thomas G. Endres
University of Northern Colorado, USA


Thomas G. Endres (PhD, University of Minnesota) is head of the School of Communication at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, USA. Teaching and research interests include rhetoric and popular culture, storytelling within cultural communities, leadership and group dynamics, and pedagogical tools such as study abroad and online learning. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in communication theory, and his favorite course to teach is a short-term summer course in Barcelona, Spain. He is author/photographer of the book Sturgis Stories: Celebrating the People of the World’s Largest Motorcycle Rally, and has published dozens of book chapters and conference proceedings on topics such as father-daughter relationships, tattoos as family identifiers, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 2015 he published the definitive article on Ernest Bormann’s Symbolic Convergence Theory in Wiley-Blackwell’s International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy. He has delivered over 225 conference presentations worldwide, including an appearance for TEDtalk ArenaCircle and keynote speeches at conferences in Japan, China, and Thailand (in the latter he also served as conference chair for MEDCOM 2016). Awards received include Outstanding Professor from the National Speakers Association, Administrator of the Year from the National Communication Association’s National States Advisory Council, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Communication Association. He currently serves as Executive Director and editor-in-chief of the Society for the Academic Study of Social Imagery.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Classic Rock in the Year of Revolt: Using the Illusion of Life to Examine the Hits of 1968
Professor Bruce Brown
Royal College of Art, UK

Bruce Brown was educated at the Royal College of Art in London where he is currently Visiting Professor. Until, 2016, Bruce was Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Professor of Design at the University of Brighton. For twenty years previously he was Dean of the university’s Faculty of Arts & Architecture. In 2018 Bruce was appointed by the University Grants Committee of the Hong Kong Specialist Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China to Chair the assessment panels for Visual Arts, Design, Creative Media in the Hong Kong Research Assessment Exercise 2020. Prior to this he was appointed by the UK Funding Councils to Chair Main Panel D in the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework. Prior to this he chaired Main Panel O in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. Bruce served as a member of the Advisory Board of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and has advised international organisations including the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation and the Qatar National Research Fund. Bruce chaired the Portuguese Government’s Fundação para a Ciência ea Tecnologia Research Grants Panel [Arts] and was one of four people invited by the Portuguese Government to conduct an international review entitled Reforming Arts and Culture Higher Education in Portugal. He has served as Trustee and Governor of organisations such as the Art’s Council for England’s South East Arts Board, the Ditchling Museum and Shenkar College of Design and Engineering, Tel Aviv. Bruce is an Editor of Design Issues Research Journal (MIT), an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Design and Democracy
Professor Anne Boddington
Kingston University, UK


Anne Boddington is Professor of Design Innovation, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Business and Innovation at Kingston University in the UK and recently appointed as the Sub Panel Chair for Art & Design: History, Practice & Theory for the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. Professor Boddington has extensive experience of the leadership, management and evaluation of art and design education and art and design research in higher education across the UK and internationally. She is an experienced chair and has held trustee and governance roles across the creative and cultural sector including as trustee of the Design Council, an independent Governor, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), an affiliate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), a member of the executive of the Council for Higher Education in Art & Design (CHEAD) and a member of the advisory board of the Arts & Humanities Research Council. She has an international reputation in creative education and research and has been a partner, a collaborator, a reviewer and evaluator for a wide range of international projects and reviews across different nations in Europe, the Middle East, Southern and East Asia and North America.

Featured Presentation (2018) | Presentation information will be added here shortly


Past Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Research and Creative Activity in the Arts and Humanities Today
Professor Gary E. Swanson
University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr.)


Gary E. Swanson is currently the Mildred S. Hansen Endowed Chair and Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence at the University of Northern Colorado, USA. From 2005-2007 Professor Swanson was a Fulbright scholar to China and lectured at Tsinghua University and the Communication University of China. In summer 2008 he was Commentator for China Central Television International (CCTV-9) and their live coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games. Swanson repeated his assignment covering the London Olympics for CCTV-4 in the summer of 2012. Previously, he was professor and director of television for nine years at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University where he taught mostly graduate broadcast students. He has been an educator for 26 years; 20 years spent teaching at the university level. Swanson is an internationally recognized and highly acclaimed documentary producer, director, editor, photojournalist, consultant and educator. He has given keynote speeches, presented workshopsretd and lectured at embassies, conferences, festivals, and universities throughout China, South Africa, India, Papua New Guinea, Japan, The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Greece, Germany, Jordan, Spain, Portugal, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Swanson has compiled a distinguished professional broadcast career spanning 13 years: From 1978 to 1991, Swanson worked for the National Broadcasting Company where he was honored with national EMMY's for producing and editing: 'The Silent Shame,' a prime-time investigative documentary; 'Military Medicine,' a two-part investigative series on NBC News; and 'Hotel Crime,' an investigative news magazine piece. Swanson was an editor for 'breaking news' and features for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, the Today Show, Sunrise, Sunday Today, NBC Overnight, A Closer Look, Monitor, and other prime time news magazines. Swanson covered 'breaking news' in 26 states and Canada for the network including trips and campaigns of presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton. Swanson was the Fulbright distinguished lecturer and consultant in television news to the government of Portugal in 1989. In 1992, he covered the XXV Olympics in Barcelona, Spain for NBC News as field producer and cameraman. Swanson has earned more than 75 awards for broadcast excellence and photojournalism including three national EMMY's, the duPont Columbia Award, two CINE 'Golden Eagles,' 16 TELLY's, the Monte Carlo International Award, the Hamburg International Media Festival's Globe Award, the Videographer Award, The Communicator Award, the Ohio State Award, the CINDY Award, the 2011 Communitas Outstanding Professor and Educator award, the 2013 Professor of the Year award, and many others. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana with a Bachelor's degree in Education in 1974, and a Master's degree in Journalism in 1993.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Presentation information will be added here shortly