Technical University of Cluj-Napoca
North University Centre of Baia Mare, Romania

Invite you to take part in

The 3rd International Conference of Cultural Studies
“Multiculturalism and the Need for Recognition”
Baia Mare/Vişeu de Sus, Maramureş, 1-4 November 2018

with the theme:

Multiculturalism in the Context of Contemporary Forms of Propaganda

Keynote Speakers:

Prof. dr. Ina Motoi, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), Canada

Prof. dr. P.B. Cliteur, Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Leiden, the Netherlands

Prof. dr. George Achim, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, North University Centre of Baia Mare, Romania

Nowadays, the subject of multiculturalism cannot be analysed without making reference to two opposing perspectives, one belonging to interculturalism and its support for dialogue between cultures, with constant challenges to any tendencies they (i.e. cultures) might have to isolate themselves, and one focusing on extreme, protectionist nationalism and its limiting, constraining, exclusive values.

Some voices consider that multiculturalism has demonstrated its limits, and that the reality of multicultural countries is much different from such ideals. Does propaganda influence the ideology of multiculturalism? Does multicultural policies benefit from a kind of ‘positive thinking’, or ‘velvet wrapping’ of reality in persuading different ethnic groups to accept and tolerate each other? Does advertising for good practices and behaviours actually work? Can the rhetoric of multiculturalism be labeled as propaganda in certain instances?

In this context, propaganda and its aspects: fake news, post-truth, advertising, mass manipulation, mass communication, mass consumption, the dark face of the internet, cyber intimidation, political correctness, wooden language etc. play an essential part. The New World Encyclopedia defines propaganda as “a specific type of message presentation directly aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of people rather than providing objective information”. Nowadays, the manipulation of information has become a major global industry. The abundant publication, consumption and circulation of information have lead to an obvious impossibility to distinguish between reality and fiction. The real questions, under such circumstances, are: Can we still think for ourselves? Are we constantly manipulated? Can we distinguish between reality and utopia/dystopia?

Is multiculturalism a victim or a beneficiary of propaganda? Should we bring the issue of propaganda in discussing multiculturalism in general, and if so, how is propaganda functioning in a contemporary multicultural environment differently from its historical forms? As a country that went through decades of extreme cases of propaganda, Romania might have a lot to contribute – alongside other East European countries – to a re-defining and re-dimensioning of the issue of propaganda in the contemporary world. Today’s immigration in Western Europe can also add to the issues of the clash of cultures and how propaganda influences such cases. Researchers from the American and Asian continents are experts in various forms of multiculturalism and how such an ideal can/cannot be considered as being a working project or a reality in their countries. We hope that such a conference could bring numerous valuable positions and examples, and, eventually, open a new chapter in assessing multiculturalism and its policies and practices.

In view of the already mentioned ideas, we invite scholars from all fields of research (philosophy, philology, social sciences, politics, linguistics, arts, law, business and education, science and technology) to explore issues related to the concept of propaganda and its various facets, overt or covert, good or bad, truthful or mendacious, serious or humorous, rational or emotional. The range of subjects is limitless, from fictional or docu-fictional ropagandistic writings to cyber bullying, all projected on the larger context of present day multicultural movements.

The venue

The official opening of the conference will be held in the main building of The Faculty of Letters, North University Centre of Baia Mare, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. The panels, however, will be held in Viseu de Sus. Transport to Viseu de Sus is covered by the organizers. All conference rooms are equipped with computers and projectors. The computers all run on Windows XP and use Microsoft Office 2007/2010. Most fonts and characters are supported. If you have a PowerPoint presentation, please make sure to save it in a format compatible with PowerPoint 2007/2010.

Vişeu de Sus is a tourism-oriented town, the second largest in the country in terms of area. Situated in the intra-mountainous depression of Maramureş county, the location has an important historical and cultural value, offering the best example of multicultural co-existence in the region, the ethnic diversity of the town (Romanians, Hungarians, Zipsers, Ukrainians, Jews) contributing to the cultural value of the organised event.

  • Official conference languages

    The languages of the presentations might be Romanian, English, French and German.

  • Timing

    The time allotted to the presentation of a paper is 15 minutes, followed by 10-minute sessions of questions and answers.