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Call for Papers: Who Chooses Who We Are? Tensions in Identity

Friday, 26 October 2018 - 1:30pm

Call for Papers: Who Chooses Who We Are? Tensions in Identity

Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities, 23rd January 2019, University of Oxford

Deadline for Abstracts: 3/12/2018


Who chooses who we are? 

Our identity is both that which is closest to us and the furthest from us: we not only vie for control of it with the world around us, but are also caught in the tension between self-authorship and self-revelation—are we what we choose to be, or is there a “fact of the matter” as to the meaning of “I” from which we cannot escape?

In this day conference we invite scholars and researchers from across the humanities, faculty and advanced graduates, to discuss theoretical and/or practical issues about ownership of, authority over, and normative demands upon, our own and others’ identities. 


Topics might include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • How have dominant narratives in the humanities affected our assumptions about identity?
  • Has modern technology—and in particular social media— created new problems for identity, or expressed old ones in new ways?
  • Is there a singular “fact” as to who one is, and if not, how might we characterise the alternatives, e.g., that one’s identity is always “under negotiation”?
  • If I choose myself, how do I reveal who I am to others; and, if who I am is not entirely my own choice, how is it revealed to me?
  • Are we in competition for our own identity, not just with others, but with a history of our own self-expression?
  • Is it possible for, and if so how in practice might, theorists and scholars better facilitate the general public in their lived navigation of these tensions?

Papers should be 20 minutes in length. We look forward to receiving abstracts of up to 750 words by December 3rd 2018.

Abstracts should be sent to Enquiries to the same address.


For a pdf copy of this announcement, see here.

Dr Dafydd Mills Daniel and Alexander Dowding