Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Fall Symposium

Theme: Civility and Incivility

Abstract Deadline: April 28, 2017

Please click here for the schedule


"The word civility summons images of manners and polite discourse but in both public and private spaces, the concept of "civility' is challenged through incidents of name calling, shadowy dealings, sexual harassment, or physical confrontations. Where is the line drawn between heated disagreement and slander? Between calling attention to an injustice and inciting violence? Even as notions of civility are enshrined in Western liberal democracies, critical theorists and indigenous activists (among others) point out that such notions often serve to privilege elite constitutents, and further marginalize or disenfranchise subaltern actors. Accordingly, we have seen how a number of contemporary social movements focused on diversity, social justice, and inclusion harness what is seemingly "incivility" to advocate for social change (e.g., Black Lives Matter, WTO protests, Occupy Wall Street). Research on civility is thus incredibly nuanced, reaches many disciplines, and inspires some intriguing pairings such as civility and democracy, civility in the workplace, civility and gender/sex, civility and social movements, civility and violence and civility and design."

Proposals exploring these intersections and borders between civility and incivility are invited for the Humanities Center Fall Symposium 2017.