ECREA 2018 - Communication as an antidote to simplistic narratives
Institutional Communication Service
Ilija Tomanić Trivundža, ECREA President
The theme of the 7th biennial conference organised by ECREA, “Centres and Peripheries: Communication, Research, Translation”, seems particularly befitting the present social milieu of intellectual and political questioning of comforting narratives of globalised multiculturalism, politics of inevitability, redemptive commodification and divination of economy. It can – through critical assessment of the convoluted relationships between centres and peripheries – enable us to go beyond the equally comforting narratives (or fantasies) of “rude awakening” into a volatile political, social and communicative ecology.
For if we are to meaningfully tackle the present social condition, it is not enough to consider the multiplicity of centres but to acknowledge a vast array of peripheries – not only geographical or economic, but also social and intellectual – and the underlying structures and regimes of power, which work to fixate them as peripheries. This is not to propose that peripheries are merely sites of exploitation and inequality – I would like to argue that they are also privileged vantage points, from which the excesses of the centre, and ideologies which fuel them, are not only more harshly felt, but also more clearly seen as such. Hence the invitation to (re)think our fast-changing communicative ecology through the prism of multiplicity of centres and peripheries, and multi-dimensional power relations which shape them, to flesh the simultaneous interplay of specificities and commonalities, which characterise our present social condition.
Our biennial conferences underscore our collective intellectual enterprise, which is to explain society through its most essential communal act – communication. Furthermore, the choice of Lugano for ECREA 2018 is an acknowledgement of the excellence of the research conducted at the USI Faculty of Communication Sciences and of the long-term contribution made by researchers at Università della Svizzera Italiana, both to our field of study and to our association.