Programme

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.

This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


  • Resisting the Cynical Turn: Projections of a Desirably Queer Future
    Resisting the Cynical Turn: Projections of a Desirably Queer Future
    Keynote Presentation: Donald E. Hall
  • The Demise of Homo sapiens: Thought and Perception in the Kingdom of Technology
    The Demise of Homo sapiens: Thought and Perception in the Kingdom of Technology
    Featured Presentation: Alfonso J. García-Osuna

Previous Programming

View details of programming for past ECAH conferences via the links below.

Resisting the Cynical Turn: Projections of a Desirably Queer Future
Keynote Presentation: Donald E. Hall

While the current political moment certainly invites a sense of defeatism among those of us in arts, humanities, and cultural studies—and makes a retreat into cynicism and political apathy an attractive option—the times call for a renewed sense of commitment and a much more assertive response. We on the cultural left—especially in higher education—have a base level responsibility to lead the way out of our climate of reactionary nationalism and anti-intellectualism. We are the ones best able to imagine a different future and articulate its desirability. Practitioners in the arts, humanities, and cultural studies are best positioned to provide the utopic thinking that has the power to motivate. In returning to some of the core tenets of activist-based queer theory, and melding those with the tentative and probing dialogics offered by the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, we have tools to rally those who feel oppressed and defeated by current political rhetoric. A calculated, cautious, but deliberately vocal optimism serves the interests of our students, our profession, and our fellow citizens. The cultural right asks us to withdraw, to be silent, to give up hope—our best response is to do the opposite. By imagining and articulating a more egalitarian, cosmopolitan, and desirably queer future, we can direct attention to the true cynics—those who believe that top-down power will be accepted without question and that sexism/racism/homophobia can be normalized in order to divide, scare, and manipulate the masses. We—artists, writers, philosophers, and theorists—have the creativity and mental nimbleness to challenge and change the world, if we accept our responsibility as educators and re-commit ourselves to doing so.

Read presenter biographies.

The Demise of Homo sapiens: Thought and Perception in the Kingdom of Technology
Featured Presentation: Alfonso J. García-Osuna

The currency of the public discussion converging on issues such as fake news, sham testimonials, manipulation of images and political swindles signals the need for a vigorous, comprehensive debate regarding the state of our culture. Much is being said regarding this issue, with arguments aligning behind the general assumption that there is something amiss in the way in which we interact, create social capital and fashion political associations. This unease has animated this paper's attempt to isolate what circumstances might be historically specific to the current cultural malaise. Social critics, in their desire to find evidence of the fraud, duplicity and general immorality that is at the heart of our ailments, never tire of pointing to the political establishment as the foremost cause and offender. While not defending politicians under any circumstances, I will argue that the muddle and disarray that characterise current politics are incidental to a much more pernicious threat. What is commonly overlooked, especially by media analysts and observers, is the distinctive contribution of technology to the degradation of culture.

Read presenter biographies.