2nd Symposium on Public Festivity

Ritualising in the Times of the Corona

Charles University, Prague (19–20 June 2021)

Call for Presentations

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many festivities and public events were cancelled in 2020 – often at the last moment, without offering any time to the organisers to rethink the events frameworks. As the pandemic lingers on, we have entered yet another year of restrictions limiting public gatherings and social contact. This brings to the fore important questions about the character of transformative and ritualising dynamics of public festivities, including possible adverse cultural, political and economic impacts resulting from their absence.
The 2nd Symposium on Public Festivity, jointly organised by the Ritual in Motion Research Network and the Re-enchantment of Central-Eastern Europe research group, brings together organisers and participants of public festivities, NGOs, artists, and academics. The symposium is a vehicle of sharing practical insights into the creative processes, while also providing space for interested academics to present and share their research.

We invite contributions related (but not limited to) the following questions:
Do various festivities try to adapt to these conditions? How? What does the loss or curtailment of public festivity mean for socio-cultural life? What other kinds of ritualizing emerges when collective, public forms are lost? What type of creative improvisational solutions do organisers offer? What are the biggest problems organisers face when trying to change an established framework? Are these changes only temporary adjustments, or can we expect a lasting impact? Who are the stakeholders entering into the adjustment processes? Are there examples of ritualising outside official organisational structures by the participants themselves (possibly even examples of revolt against official organisational structures)? As an academic, how did the pandemic affect your research? What methods prove most useful?

The symposium is open to various presentation formats: conference papers (20 mins); games, workshops, performances, panel discussions, film presentations (20–90 mins). Bear in mind, however, that the limitations for travel related to the Covid-19 situation might require the conference to be held completely online even in June. Contributions should have the form of max. 1500-character abstracts, supplemented by a brief biography (600 characters), and should indicate the chosen presentation format. Presentation contributions must be received through this online form (link)  by  15th February 2021. Proposals will be answered by 15 March 2021.

Travel grants: limited funds are available for attendees without institutional support or in financial need. Please, indicate any such situation in the form.
Organizers: Olga Cieslarová (olga.cieslarova@ff.cuni.cz), Martin Pehal, Alessandro Testa (Charles University, Prague)

Scientific Committee: Olga Cieslarová (Charles University Prague), Laurent-Sébastien Fournier (Aix-Marseille University), Aurélie Godet (Université de Paris), Martin Pehal (Charles University Prague), Sarah M. Pike (California State University), Barry Stephenson (Memorial University New Foundland), Alessandro Testa (Charles University Prague).

Symposium website: For updates, visit the Ritual in Motion Research Network (RMRN) website.
Symposium is held under the auspices of the Creativity and Adaptability as Conditions for the Success of Europe in an Interrelated World (KREAS) project.