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Americanization, Globalism, and the Nation State in Europe
Notre Dame, IN, December 2000

Americanization, Globalism, the Nation State
and Cultural Diversity in Europe

Location: Indiana, United States

Call for Papers Deadline: 31 March 2000

From the threat of Americanization/Europeanization to that of the
transnational corporation fears exist that a homogenization will wipe out
national distinctiveness, threaten democracy and , ultimately, endanger
the national state. To counter this threat, some small groups on the right
have responded by a narrow turning inward, a xenophobia. The more
democratically inclined have suggested voluntary, local associations,
self-sustaining communities and other areas where true citizenship exists.
On the other hand, many have welcomed the changes that Americanization/
Europeanization and the transnational corporations have brought. Youth,
for example, throughout Europe consume and play in a similar way. Europe
itself is now viewed throughout much of the world as a homogenizing force.
Areas of the world, such as east-central Europe, see the global
corporation and Americanization/Europeanization as the way to dissolve the
economic and social barriers between nations and are not so upset by
"cultural homogenization." European regional groupings have also taken a
stance often at odds with the national states when confronted by
transnational forces. However, regional diversity is perhaps more an
obstacle to national than to European cultural unity since regional groups
often cooperate with the European Union rather than their own national

This conference will examine the state of European cultural unity/
diversity at the millennium. By bringing together scholars, performers and
students of European literature, the cinema, mass media, music and the
performing arts, the conference will probe the extent to which Europe is
overcoming or wishes to overcome cultural boundaries. The conference will
take place from December 1-3, 2000 at the University of Notre Dame under
the auspices of the Institute for European Studies. Those interested in
delivering papers should respond by March 31 with paper proposals
addressing the areas listed. Some well-known scholars have already agreed
to participate or are under consideration by the committee for
participation in the conference.

Friday: (Some of the scholars listed below have already committed to
participating in the conference, others are considering participating.)

* Session 1 (9 -10:30) Political/economic changes and culture
  (Globalization -- the market -- enrichment or homogenization? --
  commodification of culture)

* Rob Kroes: on European citizenship/diversity/homogeneity
  Benjamin Barber: Globalism and citizenship

* Tyler Cowen:  on Western Market economy & cultural production
  Wolfgang Fritz Haug: on commodity aesthetics and the commodification of

Session 2 (10:45 -12:15):  Cultural Studies

* Simon Mundy: cultural diversity: obstacle to European unity
  Richard Kuisel: Chair
  Francisco Fernandez Buey (Barcelona): on multi-culturalism in the
  European academy/is cultural difference divisive/ how to recognize
  difference without endangering project of creating European unity? 
  /question of regionalism

Session 3 (1:30 - 3pm): Literary Constructions of the European Imaginary

* (Wlad Godzich and possibly J. Talens)

Session 4: ( 3:15 - 4:45pm) Cinema

* (Is the global reach of Hollywood a threat to European cinema? / Is there
  a distinctive "European" cinema?/ Does a "European" cinema dilute
  "national" cinemas)
* Has a hybridization of the cinema occurred that submerges national
* Possible participants Paul Smith, Geoffrey Nowell Smith, Jo Labanyi,
  Francesco Masselli

* Evening: Film screening


Session 1 (9:00-10:30):  Mass media (TV, Newspapers, etc)

Session 2 (10:45 -12:15): Cultural Spaces (High culture/mass culture)
(Privatization of cultural space.  Effects on urban spaces/architecture?
 Creating Europe through mass spectacles: sports, song contests, etc)

Martin Irvine: on cyber-culture?
Edward Soja

Session 3 (1:30 - 3:00):  Performing Arts

Session 4 (3:15--4:45):  Music (Possible participants Laurent Dreano, Iain

                Movie "Recital" by group Kafig

Contact information:
Professor James Wegs
Nanovic Institute for European Studies
419 Flanner Hall
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5611
tel.   +1-(219) 631-5253
fax    +1-(219) 631-3569

Call for Papers website: