13-15 April 2021
Remaking the Future
70th Anniversary Virtual Conference 2021
CALL FOR PAPERS
2021 marks the 70th Anniversary of the British Sociological Association’s Annual conference. The theme is Remaking the Future and little did we know how relevant the choice of words would turn out to be. The BSA is having to remake its own future in the context of the pandemic and one major consequence is that our 2021 Annual Conference will now be virtual.
2021 will also be a year where societies continue to try to create futures which will either be framed by recovering from, or living with, Covid-19. What to do now?
Alongside macro and micro experiences of tragedy, which require acknowledgement and accountability, how might we learn from what has happened and create different futures to where we are now? What might those different futures look like for different groups, communities and global locations? Such questions are sociological, interdisciplinary and international in scope. They require different voices who have often been silenced; a greater space for different forms of listening and exchange is more crucial than ever. At the same time, it is important not to frame our understanding of the present and the future through a Covid-19 lens exclusively. There is a risk that other societal, political and economic harms are excused if we solely engage with Covid-19 as the catalyst for thinking about the future differently. The environment remains under threat; economic precarity and austerity are very much at the core of many people’s lives; racial injustice is prevalent across societies; hostile national boundaries to migrants and refugees are being cemented; higher education and the role of critical social science within it remain under threat.
For all of these reasons there is an urgency for sociological insights into what has happened, what is happening and what will happen. It is impossible to understand Covid-19 without thinking about the societal dynamics which have shaped and have been influenced by the turmoil encountered. This is as much a social, political and economic crisis as it is a health crisis, made worse by macro-level failures of governmental response.
Papers do not need to be framed by, or address Covid-19; instead we encourage people to use their research to explore re-making, re-thinking, re-imagining varied futures. This can draw from existing sociological ideas, but also from new modes of thinking from different places and draw from different critical social science registers. We also hope that the virtual spaces and dialogues we will create will be inclusive, safe, expansive, social, creative and innovative. Ideas for interaction and presentation can be different.
Please submit your abstracts of no more than 250 words by Friday, 30 October 2020. Submit now>
This is a key moment for sociology as it looks forward, this includes thinking about what role we can play in rethinking what lies ahead. The conference will be a space to participate in thinking about and planning for different futures, and we hope that by coming together, we can ensure the path forward an enlightened one.
BSA Events Team