Call for Papers

Creative Bodies—Creative Minds

The second international, interdisciplinary conference

27th – 29th May 2021


Organized by: Sociology of Gender section, Department of Sociology, University of Graz, Austria; Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz; FH JOANNEUM– University of Applied Sciences Graz.

Theoretical discussions around creativity in the last two decades have turned around addressing existing dichotomies in its conceptualisation, such as professional/everyday and public/private. Cultural studies have been critical of creativity being approached in terms of the individual talent and elite („creative class“[1]), in economic terms („creative industries“[2]) or in terms of exclusive locations („creative city“[3]). Gender scholars, in the meantime, have levelled criticism at the gendered definition of creativity, too often conceived as a property of a lone male genius, and at the gender bias of research on creativity that had tended to overlook activities in which women typically engaged [4].

Raymond Williams‘ „common culture“ [5] and Michel de Certeau’s „practice of everyday life“ [6] show scholarly interest in creative practices beyond the economic or artistic context and emphasise community-based aspects of creativity, its cultural specificity and quotidian locations („vernacular creativity“[7]). The interest in the communicative and social dimensions of creativity has been fuelled also by technological advances and the blurring of the boundaries between producers and consumers of the new media („convergence culture“[8]). The abruptness of biopolitical state policies, such as lockdown or physical distancing, during the current Corona pandemic fostered improvisations to overcome the disruptions to professional, community, family and leisure activities. New media enabled sharing of creative responses to the constraints, including expressions of solidarity with others or maintaining relationships of care and connection with family members, frie nds and communities.

The second Creative Bodies—Creative Minds conference aims to bring diverse strands of inquiry on creativity together with a special emphasis on the interrogation of gender and to enrich the map of creative practice with new areas and reconfigurations of meaning-making.

The areas of interest for conference presentations include, but are certainly not limited to:

·       Gender in everyday, artisan, artistic and professional creative activities;

·       Embodied creativity; the intersections of the sensory, the affective and the verbal;

·       Material, processual and relational aspects of creative practices;

·       Gendering of non-traditional sites of creativity;

·       DIY, Maker Movement: from knitting, through home-making to Open Source;

·       Gender in the new media and the creative industries;

·       Creative embodiment of gender and challenging gender boundaries;

·       Art and creativity in protests, social mobilizations and everyday activism;

·       Gendering the economy and politics of creativity;

·       The place of creative methodologies in teaching and scholarly research, art-based research;

·       The gender of creativity in social and cultural theory;

·       The professional/amateur and also the economic/non-economic gain divides;

·       The concepts of connecting either with the self or with a community;

·       Improvisation forced by circumstances (e.g. related to the Corona lockdown);

·       The crafting of identity as a creative practice.

We are inviting proposals for presentations from scholars, practitioners and postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to: sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, art, performance, history, literary studies, social studies of science and technology and environmental studies.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a 150-word bio note before 31st January 2021 to

Registration fee for presenters: 30 EUR

There is no registration fee for conference attendance without a presentation, but these places are limited and priority will be given to students.

Information on registration and updates on the programme will be available on the conference website:

Graz, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and Cultural Capital of Europe for 2003, is the capital of the Austrian province of Styria and the home of Austria’s second largest university.

The conference organizers took inspiration from the Talking Bodies conference held every two years since 2013 at the University of Chester and are proud to make the Creative Bodies—Creative Minds its sister conference.

Conference organizers:

Libora Oates-Indruchová, Professor of Sociology of Gender, University of Graz
Florian Bieber, Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz

Wolfgang Kühnelt, Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Public Relations, FH JOANNEUM

Gudrun Reimerth, Lecturer in Journalism and Public Relations, FH JOANNEUM

Valentin Meneau, University Assistant in the Sociology of Gender, University of Graz

Jana Mikats, Lecturer in the Sociology of Gender, University of Graz

Zorica Siročić, Post-doctoral Fellow, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Important dates:

Submission of abstracts: 31st January 2021

Informing about abstract acceptance: 14th February 2021

Conference registration opens: 15th February 2021

Conference registration for presenters ends: 15th March 2021

Conference registration for attendance without a presentation: 15th May 2021



[1] Richard Florida. 2002. The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life. New York: Basic Books.

[2] For a critical re-assessment see Nicholas Garnham. 2005. „From Cultural to Creative Industries: An Analysis of the Implications of the ‚Creative Industries‘ Approach to Arts and Media Policy Making in the United Kingdom,“ International Journal of Cultural Policy, 11 (1), 15–29; Tim Edensor, Deborah Leslie, Steve Millington and Norma M. Rantisi. 2009. „Introduction: Rethinking Creativity: Critiquing the Creative Class Thesis,“ in: T. Edensor et al., eds. Spaces of Vernacular Creativity: Rethinking the Cultural Economy. London and New York: Routledge, 1–17.

[3] For a critical view see, e.g. Rolien Hoyng. 2014. „Place Brands, Nonbrands, Tags and Queries: The Networks of Urban Activism in the Creative City Istanbul,“ Cultural Studies, 28 (3), 494–517.

[4] Riane Eisler and Alfonso Montuori. 2007. „Creativity, Society, and the Hidden Subtext of Gender: Toward a New Contextualized Approach,“ World Futures (63): 479-99.

[5] Raymond Williams. 1961. The Long Revolution. London: Chatto and Windus.

[6] Michel de Certeau. 1984. The Practice of Everyday Life., Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

[7] Jean Burgess. 2006. „Hearing Ordinary Voices: Cultural Studies, Vernacular Creativity and Digital Storytelling,“ Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 20 (2), 201–14.

[8] Henry Jenkins. 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press.