Birkbeck School of Arts Research Student Collective – 11 October 2017

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Call for Papers FORUM Issue 22: Ideological Conflict

FORUM is delighted to announce the publication of Issue 21: Private/Public,  which engages with the debate about the distinctions or indistinctions between the private and public spheres. The issue, which has guest articles by Mary Evans and Bruce Robbins, can be viewed here.


Call for Papers Issue 22: Ideological Conflict

Armed conflict has ravaged Syria for over four years. The initial protest against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has escalated to a civil war that has drawn intercession from major world powers, arguably exacerbating the situation, and maintaining the issue of ideological conflict at the forefront of popular culture and media.  After the recent attacks in Beirut, Paris, and Bagdad, discussion has centred particularly on Islamophobia and the increasingly perceived dichotomy between Islamic and Western political systems.  After Francis Fukuyama famously declared the end of the great ideological battles, Issue 22 of FORUM looks to explore instead Jasmine Gani’s suggestion that we should be “bringing back ideas” when analysing this new era of entrenched conflict.

We might define ideological conflict as the mental, verbal or physical manifestation of dissension between two cultures with different sets of beliefs.  Such cultural hostility might be characterised by xenophobia, ‘otherness’, or racial prejudice, all of which are saturated with the violent historical precedent which helped construct them. What light can be shed on today’s hostilities by the analysis of past example?

Conflicts can be between political systems, economic systems, religions, races, and even social philosophies, however, it doesn’t always occur on a grand scale – at a state or global level. The notion of private ideology also brings with it an internal conflict between personal belief and societal hegemony, raising questions about how an individual contends with this, imaginatively or pragmatically.

Chiefly, the violence that results from ideological conflict has been analysed using a rhetoric of ‘terror’ and ‘persecution’, yet the value of terms like these is clearly limited. How do we go about differentiating between nationalistic and religious components of ideological conflict? What purpose do we have for denotations such as ‘terrorist’, which are being used increasingly to justify state-sanctioned violence? And what of the notion that juxtaposed ideologies necessarily result in conflict?

Issue 22 of FORUM seeks contributions from a range of disciplines that engage with the topic of conflicting ideologies. How do questions of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, and political affiliation affect conceptions of ideology at both an individual and a wider cultural level?

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Hegemonic versus subaltern population groups
  • Utopian and dystopian visions
  • Wars of religion
  • Terror and state-sanctioned violence
  • Internal and external conflict
  • Nation-specific versus globally-minded ideological conflict
  • Private and public ideology
  • Violent and non-violent conflict
  • The breakdown of ideological pluralisms
  • The rhetoric of political discourse
  • Ideology in the digital age
  • Spaces and zones of conflict
  • Segregation, persecution, and migration
  • Forms of ideological warfare
  • Feminism and opposition


Papers must be between 3,000 – 5,000 words in length, formatted according to MLA guidelines. FORUM is also considering academic book reviews (1,000 words) and multimedia and alternative presentations for publication. Please e-mail your article, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled DOC(X). files to by 29th February 2016. All eligible articles will be peer reviewed prior to publication. Only one submission per author per issue is permitted.

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