ECAH2013

Conference Theme: “Connectedness, Identity and Alienation”

July 18–21, 2013 | Thistle Brighton, Brighton, UK

Conference Report

The last of IAFOR’s European Conference series saw the Inaugural European Conference on Arts and Humanities (ECAH) paired with the Inaugural European Conference on Language Learning (ECLL). The ECAH event was chaired by IAFOR IAB Chair, Professor Stuart Picken with the ECLL event chaired by Professor Steve Cornwell of Osaka Jogakuin University.

This event saw 250 people from more than 50 countries in an incredibly diverse celebration of interdisciplinary and intercultural study. The theme for the Arts and Humanities conference was “Connectedness, Identity and Alienation” and our selection of featured speakers came at this topic from a number of different angles: Aaron Sachs, Professor of History at Cornell University (USA) took delegates back a century to the end of the First World War and Modernist theories which tried to make sense of this low point in European civilization in a paper entitled, “From Trauma to Rediscovery: Lewis Mumford and the Modern Search for Connection through Time and Space”. Professor Roberto Bertoni of Trinity College Dublin took us to the present to look at questions of identity and alienation in the highly mediatized society of modern day Korea with a presentation on “The Innocent Man (착한 남자): Alienation of Characters and Audience, Acquisition of New Identity, Catharsis”. Daniela Nadj, currently a lecturer in law at the University of Westminster delivered a powerful and wide-ranging address on “The Juridicalisation of Gender-Based Violence against Women in the Current Political and Legal Moment – A Critical Feminist Observation of International Wartime Sexual Violence Jurisprudence”. The paper provided a critical feminist analysis of international wartime sexual violence jurisprudence, as it is constructed in current feminist scholarship and the surrounding debate, and elicited much debate among the international delegates.

The European Conference on Language Learning saw featured speakers from a number of different countries look at concepts of “Connectedness, Identity and Alienation” as they relate to different aspects of language, including Professors Kiyomi Chinen, Masako Douglas, and Hiroko Kataoka from California State University, Long Beach, USA, who looked at issues surrounding heritage-language education with particular relation to Japanese in California. Professor Olesya Orlova, of Kemerovo State University (Russia) looked at language in the Russian context in a paper entitled “National Stereotypes as Means of Connectedness, Identity and Alienation”. Finally, Dr Miho Inaba of Lund University (Sweden) looked at autonomous learning in the acquisition of languages, asking: “What is the Role of “language classes” in Autonomous Learning?: The Implications from Japanese Language Learners’ L2 Activities Outside the Classroom”

We would again like to extend our gratitude to the conference chairs, the featured speakers, and student volunteers from Blatchington Mill Sixth Form College for helping to staff the event, and look forward to welcoming delegates back to Brighton in 2014.