CISRUL is proud to host the conference and summer school Conceptualizing Difference. The idea of ‘difference’ governs today’s political thinking. Struggles for equality and justice are generally concerned with recognizing and protecting differences, not least because varieties of difference, including gender, sexuality, race, class, religion and language are used to justify political oppression, discrimination and exclusion. In short, difference has become axiomatic to political debate.

This interdisciplinary conference and summer school hopes to critically interrogate ‘difference’ as a political category, reflect on its repercussions for thinking and acting, and explore whether it is possible to go beyond ‘difference’. You can find the Call for Papers here.

Confirmed speakers include Lewis R. Gordon, Jane Anna Gordon, Sabine Hark, Gurpreet Mahajan and Anya Topolski. Initially scheduled for June 2020, this event has been postponed due to COVID-19. It will hopefully take place in person in April 2021.

Click here for more information on the keynote speakers

The conference will be held at the beautiful Old Aberdeen campus of the University of Aberdeen. After the conference, most of the speakers will decamp with a select group of PhD students to The Burn, a country house and estate near Aberdeen, where we will hold the PhD summer school. We will begin by reflecting together on the conference discussions and by participating in small-group discussions on a number of related readings, before responding to presentations on the topic by the PhDs. There will also be time to walk around the estate, and to enjoy the company in the house.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 754326.

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