Transnational Popular Culture as a Catalyst for Social Change Workshops

Sheffield, UK (22.-23.6.2020), 29. March 2020.

Sheffield Hallam University, 22-23 June 2020

Call for Contributions

Changing minds changes lives. Popular culture has enormous discursive power which creates meaning through storytelling and performance, and can thus be used as a political tool for social change. Arts and Humanities put the human at the centre of analysis and provide a methodological framework for cultural, social and economic critique.**These workshops aim to forge interdisciplinary links between those working in disparate disciplines such as Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Law, Health and Wellbeing. We will consider popular culture as a key mediator in the transnational understanding of power and a significant interlocutor in social change. If we consider popular culture one of the most influential agents of value construction, then cultural artefacts can be considered a powerful tool to guide viewers through the moral climate of their time, attesting to a collective process of working through social issues. Social and economic benefits of this research are instrumental as well as intrinsic. Raising awareness, creating knowledge and changing attitudes towards transnational cultures improves social and intellectual capital of individuals, social groups and organisations. Brexit and its aftermath make this knowledge creation a strategic imperative for the country.

The Creativity and Culture Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University is renowned for its world-leading research and thus provides the ideal context. The workshops are run by the following colleagues:

Esther Johnson,

Anja Louis,

Ana-Maria Sanchez,

Amy Wigelsworth,

The workshops will cover all forms of Popular Culture (e.g. comics, fiction, film, performing arts, and television) and/or cultural practice. Themes may include but should not be limited to:

  • Climate
  • Globalisation
  • Health
  • Identity politics
  • Interculturality
  • News Media
  • Migration
  • Multiculturalism
  • Neoliberalism
  • Otherness and Othering (BAME, disability, gender, LGBTQ+)
  • Place-making
  • Postcolonialism
  • ·Security


Dr Anja Louis, Reader in Cultural and Intercultural Studies, Languages and Cultures, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB,

Workshop Formats

*Audio-visual presentations* (e.g. short film or film clips with Q&A). Please indicate the screening length. We aim to programme a couple of 1-hour slots dedicated to audiovisual presentations. We suggest a screening limit of 30 minutes.

*Individual presentations*

A 20-minute presentation by an individual author, with 10-min for Q&A

*Panel presentation*

Three thematically connected papers. All contributions consist of a 20-minutes presentation by the authors, with an extra 30-minute slot allocated for discussion at the end.

*Round tables* (innovative formats are welcomed).

The usual format is 3 speakers with 10 minutes each, and 30 minutes Q&A.

*Posters* A0-size academic posters, which will be displayed during a dedicated poster session. Please note that posters should be printed by individual contributors.

Proposals should include an abstract under 350 words and a bio of no more than 100 words. Panel proposals (three papers) should combine the abstracts and bios of speakers in one document, and should also include a short rationale and panel title. Poster proposals should include an abstract of no more than 250 words and a 100-words speaker bio.

All proposals should be submitted to the organiser:

Deadline: 29 March 2020