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Politics and International Relations (PIR): Events


Call for Papers: Political Silence -- One Day Conference

Call for Papers: Political Silence -- One Day Conference: Political Silence miniconference
Speaker: Melani Schroter # University of Reading
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
7th Dec 2015 09:00 - 7th Dec 2015 17:00
Ground floor, Academy of Government, 21 George Square

Monday 7th December 2015

Keynote speaker: Melani Schroter, University of Reading, author of Silence and Concealment in  Political Discourse, 2013


This interdisciplinary mini-conference addresses the complexities of how silence functions in political practices and how social research can empirically grasp the role of silence. Inherently ambiguous, silence challenges researchers and is too mercurial to be accommodated in a neat set of explanatory categories, with the result that in social research we often leave it out of our analysis entirely.


While this “slipperiness” is a challenge to those confronted with silences in the course of their research it is also a chance to ask some more fundamental conceptual and methodological questions about how researchers and practitioners know and do politics. It is these questions this mini-conference aims to articulate and explore by bringing together a small number of researchers to participate in a series of workshops.


All participants are asked to prepare a short 1000 word article in advance of the event and to be an active participant on the day. Contributors from any academic background with conceptual and methodological interest in the politics of silence are welcome, including but not limited to; political and social studies; IR; law; education and community development; philosophy; cultural and literary studies; cultural and artistic practice. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

We welcome proposals for papers which explore the concept and meaning of silence in governance in the broadest senses of both those words. Our aim is to bring together a wide range of scholarly perspectives to critique the current "state of the art" in dealing with silence in society. Silence tends to be regarded as a failure of public discourse either through the exclusion of the powerless or the refusal to speak of the powerful. While this may certainly be important, many traditions of thinking about and practicing silence suggest the reality is more complex. Silence can be chosen, can be active, transgressive or a strategy of resistance or critique. We invite theoretical or empirical contributions drawing upon ongoing or completed research which interrogate both normative ideas about political silences and also its analysis and representation by scholars.


If you are interested in attending please email Rosie Anderson ( with a 300 word abstract of your proposed paper by Monday 19th October 2015. 


Queries about the event or practical arrangements may also be sent to Rosie or to Elisabeth Schweiger (

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