Religious Totalitarianism, Utopic and Dystopic Inclusive/Exclusive Communities, Rome
Sapienza Symposium, Department of European, American and Intercultural Studies,Rome, Italy, 16-17 June 2022
Deadline for proposals 15 March 2022
Social integration is a process through which societies can promote their values, institutions, and relations. It helps people to engage in social, economic, cultural, and political life which are grounded on dignity, equality, and equity. Through social integration, governments foster societies that are safe, just, and stable. In these types of societies, there is no space for discrimination or violence, but everything is based on solidarity, security, and participation of all people, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Social inclusion is a process through which equal rights for all are ensured. Each individual has his/her own right to achieve his/her own full potential despite his/her background. Social inclusion helps people to actively participate in all aspects of life; i.e., economic, social, civic, or political activities. “An inclusive society is a society that over-rides differences of race, gender, class, generation, and geography, and ensures inclusion, equality of opportunity as well as capability of all members of the society to determine an agreed set of social institutions that govern social interaction” (Expert Group Meeting on Promoting Social Integration, Helsinki, July 2008). The World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen 1995) defines an inclusive society as a “society for all in which every individual, each with rights and responsibilities, has an active role to play”. To have an inclusive society, religious diversity, social justice, freedom of thoughts, and care for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups must be respected. By embracing religious diversity, racial diversity, and various groups of people, tolerance will be increased in the society and inequality will be reduced. People have the right to education, to political participation, and above all to take part in a political process. In an inclusive society, each individual can engage in the process by which society is managed, ordered, and represented.
Moreover, each individual has the right to basic education, public space, facilities, and information. An inclusive society respects diversity and cultural pluralism. By respecting diversity, an inclusive society avoids labeling, categorizing, and classifying people.
While an inclusive society respects diversity and multiculturalism, exclusive society values specific groups, cultures, races, or languages. In an exclusive society, people do not have the right to actively participate in social activities or to have the right to speak. People might even lose their access to education, decent work, land, or any other kind of opportunities. Dreams of inclusive communities have proven attractive to many people from politicians to sociologists to psychologists to writers and religious visionaries. While inclusive societies embrace all religions, some regimes consider one religion as the only truth and the whole community faces territorialization of faith and each individual cannot practice what he believes in. Religion plays a myriad of roles in shaping a community; utopian communities in which a religion unifies all people and sets peace among them or a dystopian community where the regime sets its oppressive rules by claiming to follow Holy books.
Some novels, deal with religion and its dystopic misuse which leads to exclusive societies; one can mention Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (1953), John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids (1955), and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985). Besides dystopic novels, there are some utopic novels which focus on religion and building an inclusive society, among those novels one can mention Robin Jenkin’s The Missionaries (1957), Iain Banks’ Culture series, Tobias Jones’ Utopian Dreams (2007), and David Bramwell’s The No9 Bus to Utopia (2014). In our upcoming conference, we intend to focus on these dystopic and utopic novels which mainly focus on the effect of religion in creating inclusive/exclusive communities. We are largely affected by politics, religion, and ideologies. While feminism, linguistics, psychoanalysis, and sociology studies, on these and similar novels, are flourishing, the examination of religion and its importance to creating inclusive/exclusive communities is being neglected. In our conference, we intend to focus on the role of literature, language, and media in portraying dystopic and utopic inclusive/exclusive communities with an eye on the role of religion. The conference aims at populating this specific area of studies by attracting contributions that analyze, from the point of view of religion, the texts and media which deal with creating inclusive/exclusive communities.
We invite graduate & postgraduate students interested in these issues to join us in the reconsideration of any of the following:
- Religion and comparative literature
- Dystopic and utopic literature and religion
- Inclusive/exclusive communities in movies, and tv series
- Literature as a means of creating inclusive communities
- Social media and inclusive/exclusive communities
- Language, religion, and inclusive/exclusive communities
- World Literature
- Cultural Studies
- Translation studies
- Religious studies
- Political studies
- Media studies
- Comparative studies
Proposals for each individual paper should be approx. 300 words long. Please send also a 200- word bio for each participant. Please send your proposal by 15th March 2022 to: email@example.com
Each presentation should not exceed 15 minutes followed by 5 minutes of Q and A.
The registration fee for each participant would be 60 Euros.
The keynote speakers of the event are:
- Elena Lamberti: Associate Professor in Anglo-American literature, Università di Bologna
- Daniel A. Finch-Race FHEA: Assistant Professor in Geography (RTDa ‘Green’), Università di Bologna