International Conference: Communities of Fear


Call for Papers

Fear is an unpleasant and powerful emotion that has played a significant role in the development and transformation of societies, politics, religions, and cultures throughout history. As a social emotion, it shapes the relationship with other people and communities and may lead to forms of collective identity making and acts of collective discrimination or solidarity. It also plays an important role in evaluating the past, present, and future and is therefore closely linked to individual or collective forms of interpretation, expectation, and action. Moreover, politics and media often use fear as a powerful tool to manipulate communities or stimulate their commitment. Fear and its related emotions and affects are critical to understand how communities feel, think, and interact with each other in the past, present, and future.

Focusing on the Mediterranean and its connected areas, this interdisciplinary and diachronic conference explores fear at the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe. It sheds light on affective economies and emotional communities and discusses social practices and political performances of a highly ambivalent emotion. By bringing together a wide variety of disciplines, including but not limited to history, law, comparative literature, and political sciences, this conference aims to reveal the complexity and ubiquity of fear in societies, politics, religions, and cultures. Moreover, the diachronic perspective helps us understand emotional continuities and transformations throughout history. Drawing on emotion studies and the affective turn, this conference seeks to offer a fresh and critical look at social encounters around the Mediterranean.

The conference invites contributions from the fields of social sciences and the humanities on fear as a social emotion in the Mediterranean and its connected areas throughout history.

How to apply?

Please submit your abstract (200-350 words including references) and a short CV (100-150 words) no later than 15 May 2023 to: k.m.klein[at]

Suggested Topics

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • the role of fear in social movement and nation states;
  • fear and its relationship to socio-political discrimination and/or solidarity;
  • fear as an aspect of trauma, repression, and migration;
  • the use of fear as a tool of power in politics and religion;
  • the rhetoric of fear in media and the public sphere;
  • the affective economy and cultural capital of fear;
  • fear and the perception of law;
  • fear as a philosophical, theological or cultural concept;
  • fear as aesthetic experience in culture and art;
  • fear and its related emotions such as anger, shame, and empathy;
  • cross-cultural, transregional, and diachronic dimensions of fear;
  • theoretical and methodological approaches to fear in social sciences and the humanities;
  • ethical and epistemical challenges for empirical research on fear in hostile environments.

Find More Information Here

Call for Papers (PDF)

Important Dates

15 May 2023 Submission Deadline

29 September - 2 October 2023 Conference

at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Members in Charge