Tim Riswick

HLCS Conference Is Europe inclusive? Politics, discourses and practices

On Thursday 14 and Friday 15 November the HLCS Conference took place. I had the pleasure to be the main organizer of this conference, which was a great success and addressed many important questions. Click here for the programme.

European identity is often closely associated with ideals of inclusion supposedly rooted in a long history of tolerance. In its concern with the well-being of all its citizens, Europe symbolises a beacon of enlightenment and a safe haven for minorities. This link is further reinforced by the fact that human rights principles and specifically social and gender inclusion are central to official EU policies. Yet identities are always predicated upon exclusion. Therefore, this conference wishes to challenge the idealized Eurocentric perspective that upholds the pre-eminence of Europe and seeks instead to bring together critical perspectives on European practices and discourses of inclusion and exclusion, both past and present.

The panels in this conference will address the following questions:

  • How and under what conditions do different kinds of practices and discourses of inclusion or exclusion develop in ‘Europe’ (broadly defined)?
  • How do European practices and discourses compare to and interact with developments in other parts of the world?
  • What is or has been the role of art in practices of inclusion or exclusion?
  • What is or has been the role of knowledge production with respect to practices of inclusion or exclusion in of Europe?

Through these questions, we invite all contributors to reflect on both historical and contemporary discourses and practices of inclusion and exclusion in Europe.