Conference

Today more than ever before, we realize that we live in the world which is interconnected and in constant motion. Within the frame of current global transformations, the end of the Cold War, intensified transborder communication, but also the rise of new security anxieties and redirection of economic flows, new need of strategic importance arises to reexamine the map of the world as for its political, cultural, economic and other constituent parts. At the same time, there is a growing interest in historical dimension to the processes of the real and symbolic reconfigurations of space.

The aim of this conference is to gather and confront different approaches to research on broadly understood concept of  a “region” and demonstrate its potential for our understanding of contemporary world in its historical, cultural and geopolitical terms. An important part of the discussion will also comprise different approaches to terminology and methodology outside the boundary of “regional” and “area” studies as they have been commonly practiced until now, and considerations of efficient transdisciplinary collaboration between social sciences and humanities.

We think about “regions” not as subunits of nation states, but rather as areas crossing borders both on the geographical and conceptual levels. We aim to focus on units with certain level of coherence – geographical and environmental, cultural, religious and ideological, political, and economic, but also cultural, and even imagined, with different aspects possibly overlapping. During the conference, we aim to discuss the varied understandings of regions, their historicity, the (in)evitability of geographical determinations, of the (in)flexibility of natural, historical and cultural borders etc.

We are also interested in the rise of a “region” and in its dynamism in long-term global processes, or – phrased otherwise – their “strategic” role in the world history. An indispensable aspect in various conceptualizations of a region are different perspectives from which it is perceived, taking into account different views from within and from the outside.

Apart from the obvious relevance of certain regions generally understood as “strategic” for international relations and global balance, the perception of the strategic relevance of certain regions at any given moment varies. We are also interested in the perspectives of less obvious players whose relevance might be increasing due to the recent changes within the EU, namely Central Europe (and specifically the Czech Republic).

Conference committee:
MgA. Ayse Ebru Akcasu, Ph.D. (Faculty of Arts, Charles University)
PhDr. Jan Koura, Ph.D. (Faculty of Arts, Charles University)
PhDr. Kateřina Králová, Ph.D. (Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University)
Doc. Markéta Křížová, Ph.D. (Faculty of Arts, Charles University)
Prof. PhDr. Olga Lomová, CSc. (Faculty of Arts, Charles University)
PhDr. Pavel Sitek, Ph.D. (Faculty of Arts, Charles University)
Doc. PhDr. Pavel Sládek, Ph.D. (Faculty of Arts, Charles University)
PhDr. Stanislav Tumis, M.A., Ph.D. (Faculty of Arts, Charles University)