Australian Academy of the Humanities Symposium: Clash of Civilizations?

The Australian Academy of the Humanities 49th Symposium will be held 15-16 November 2018 at the State Library of NSW, Sydney. Annual Fellows’ events and meetings will occur 16-17 November 2018 in Sydney. The theme for the 49th Symposium is Clash of Civilisations? Where are we now?

This event is open to all, and will bring together a large cross-section of Academy Fellows, scholars, early career researchers and members of the broader community, especially those working in education, policy, and community development.

Twenty-five years ago, American political scientist Samuel P. Huntington posited the question ‘The Clash of Civilisations?’ suggesting religious and cultural identity would be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War era (Foreign Affairs, 1993). He predicted that, as the West began to develop a better understanding of the cultural fundamentals underlying other civilisations, Western civilization and its values would cease to be regarded as ‘universal’. This has certainly proved to be the case.

The Symposium will reassess Huntington’s question, in light of recent global developments and historical inquiries, and consider how the concept of ‘the clash of civilisations’ has been used as an enduring rhetorical device for explaining divisions between groups and across time and place. It will explore modern and ancient cross-cultural encounters and their contemporary implications in the spheres of history, politics, and religion, as well as their cultural expressions in literature, film, and the arts.