News

Exhibitions inspired by Norbert Elias's On the Process of Civilisation

at Gasworks, London

Gasworks, an arts centre in Vauxhall, London, announces a programme of exhibitions inspired by Norbert Elias's On the Process of Civilisation. Curated by Robert Leckie, The Civilising Process is a 14-month programme of exhibitions and events at Gasworks inspired by Elias’s most famous book. Running from September 2013 until November 2014, the programme comprises five exhibitions, a programme of interdisciplinary events, contributions to Gasworks’s online platform Pipeline and a printed publication.

For further details, see:

http://www.gasworks.org.uk/exhibitions/detail.php?id=895

Gasworks is in Vauxhall, south of the Thames - near The Oval, overlooked by the famous gasometers familiar to cricket-lovers. The address is: 155 Vauxhall Street London SE11 5RH. Nearest Underground stations are Vauxhall and Oval.

Wednesday July 31st 2013 17:08

Collected Works

Norbert Elias, Interviews and Autobiographical Reflections

Norbert Elias, Interviews and Autobiographical Reflections, edited by Edmund Jephcott, Stephen Mennell, Richard Kilminster and Katie Liston (Dublin: UCD Press, 2013 [Collected Works, vol. 17]). xx + 332 pp. ISBN 978-1-906359-11-9. €60, but 20 per cent discount if ordered directly from the publisher’s website, www.ucdpress.ie.

In the last decade of his life, Elias gave many interviews in which he discussed aspects of his work, rebutting many common misunderstandings of his thinking and further developing ideas sketched out in his writings. Besides a selection of these ‘academic’ interviews (many of them not previously published in English, or not published at all), the book contains his essay in intellectual autobiography and a long interview in which he talks about his own life. Vol. 17 of the Collected Works can serve as an excellent introduction to Elias’s thinking overall.

The contents are as follows:

Norbert Elias, 1897–1990
Note on the text
AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY
1 Notes on a lifetime
 
INTERVIEWS
2 Norbert Elias’s story of his life (1984) – nterview with Arend-Jan Heerma Van Voss and Bram Van Stolk
3 ‘Sociology … done in the right way’ (1984–5) – interview with Johan Heilbron 
4 An interview in Amsterdam (1969) – interview with Johan Goudsblom
5 ‘On the Process of Civilisation’ revisited (1974) – interview with Stanislas Fontaine
6 Sociology as the history of manners (1978) – interview with Heiko Ernst
7 ‘I use historical studies to clarify certain universal human problems’ (1981) – interview with Didier Eribon
8  Knowledge and power (1984) – interview with Peter Ludes
9 he Janus face of states (1982) – interview with Peter Ludes, Frank Adler and Paul Piccone
10 ‘We are the late barbarians’ (1988) – interview with Nikolaus von Festenberg and Marion Schreiber
11 We need more empathy for the human difficulties of the process of civilisation’ (1989) – interview with Ulfried Geuter
12 ‘Perhaps I have had something to say that will have a future’ (1989) – interview with Wolfgang Engler
13 A ‘Jewish Portrait’ (1989) – interview with Herlinde Koelbl

APPENDICES
I Selected poems
II On re-reading my doctoral dissertation
III Editorial note on Erich Kallius and the Gumbel Case
IV List of interviews and conversations with Norbert Elias

Bibliography
Index 

The interviews numbered 3 and 9 have not previously been published in any language. Numbers 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13 have not previously been published in English; number 7 has been translated from the French by Stephen Mennell, and the rest from German by Edmund Jephcott, as also were Appendices II and III.
 

Wednesday January 8th 2014 12:17

Newly released

Special edition of Human Figurations journal

Special journal edition of Human Figurations,' Everyday practices and long term-processes: Overcoming dichotomies with the work of Norbert Elias' is now online. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/h/humfig/11217607.0002.3*?rgn=full+text

Wednesday December 4th 2013 16:23

Radically revised edition of The Symbol Theory

20% discount if ordered direct from UCD Press

Norbert Elias, The Symbol Theory, edited by Richard Kilminster (Dublin: UCD Press, 2011 [Collected Works, vol. 13]). xxvi + 193 pp. ISBN: 978-1-906359-10-2. €60.00 [for 20 per cent discount, order online direct from the publisher: www.ucdpress.ie.]

This - the last book Elias completed before his death - is the thirteenth volume of the Collected Works to be published, and also volume 13 of the series. It contains much that is new. Elias wrote it when he was already effectively blind, and the dictated text was not easy to follow. Now Richard Kilminster has made the numbered sections into separate chapters and given each of them a thematic title - which, at a stroke, makes apparent the overall architecture of a remarkable book.

The Symbol Theory situates the human capacity for forming symbols in the long-term biological evolution of Homo sapiens, showing how it is linked through communication and orientation to group survival. Elias proceeds to recast the question of the ontological status of knowledge, moving beyond the old philosophical dualisms of idealism/materialism and subject/object. He readjusts the boundary between the 'social' and the 'natural' by interweaving evolutionary biology and the social sciences. The Symbol Theory provides nothing less than a new image of the human condition as an accidental outcome of the blind flux of an indifferent cosmos.

Elias was still dictating a new Introduction to the book over the weekend before he died (on Wednesday 1 August 1990). It was published in an incomplete version. Now, however, it has proved possible to retrieve from 'floppy disks' the last parts he wrote - indeed the last academic statements of his life - and incorporate them into a trenchant new version of the Introduction. Among other things, he makes passing remarks about his friend Pierre Bourdieu and, of special interest, launches a devastating critique of Jacques Derrida.

Finally, in the course of reconstructing the Introduction, Kilminster gleaned information from two of his last student assistants, Mieke van Stigt and Willem Kranendonk, about Elias's way of working in the last phase of his life. He dictated to an ever-changing team of assistants, who had to read back to him whatever the last passages were, whereupon Elias would begin dictating again. Sometimes the assistants were not always sure for which of several ongoing projects the new text was intended! This new evidence goes a long way to explaining why some of Elias's very last work can seem rambling and repetitive. But the new edition of The Symbol Theory makes clear that this is a misleading impression: Elias's intellect remained keen and sharply focused until the very end.

Tuesday September 13th 2011 11:00

Johan Heilbron delivers Uhlenbeck Lecture: But what about the European Union of Scholars?

Johan Heilbron was invited to give the 29th Uhlenbeck Lecture at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS), Wassennaar. The prestigious annual lecture was delivered before an audience of past and present NIAS Fellows on 9 June 2011.

Among the existing analyses of European integration, Heilbron noted, there is a noticeable dearth of research by scholars into their own modes of association. That is not because the subject is unworthy of attention. Aside from a single market and a political union, European institution building has unmistakably extended into the domain of scholarship and science as well. This emerging field of transnational research is often depicted as the continuation of a European tradition of higher learning, exemplified by medieval universities and early modern academies. But the time-honoured European heritage also includes the counter-force of rival nation states and distinctly national academic systems. How, asked Heilbron, against this ambiguous historical background, has the current process of European integration affected the world of scholars? What patterns of exchange and collaboration have emerged? And how do these relate to developments in other parts of the world?

Johan Heilbron holds posts as the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris and at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he formerly held the Norbert Elias Professorship.
 

Tuesday June 14th 2011 11:48

Norbert Elias and Figurational Sociology: Prospects for the Future

Copenhagen, 2–4 April 2012

Call for papers

Department of Political Science & Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2–4 April, 2012.

The focus of this two-day conference will be on the development of figurational sociology in relation to other disciplines. In ‘What is Sociology?’, Elias argues that sociology needs to develop new ways of ‘thinking’ about its relationship with other disciplines like biology and physics. But since that time, we have seen a rapid expansion of these academic disciplines, yet there has not been sufficient time to consider the theoretical implications of what this would mean for the future development of a figurational sociology.

This conference will bring together sociologists, together with other important and relevant cognate disciplines – such as history, political science and economics – to explore attempts that integrate different disciplinary perspectives. Keynote speakers include Richard Kilminster, University of Leeds (confirmed), Abram de Swaan, University of Amsterdam (tbc), Stephen Mennell, University College Dublin (confirmed), Andrew Linklater, Aberystwyth University (tbc), Nina Baur, TU Berlin, Institute of Sociology (tbc), Stefanie Ernst, Universität Hamburg (tbc), Steven Quilley, Keele University (tbc)

It will address these issues by focusing on the following themes:

The first day will explore the ‘boundaries’ and relationships between figurational sociology and the following disciplines:

1) Politics
2) Economics
3) History
4) Psychology
5) Biology
6) Anthropology

The second day will further discuss the major themes that emerge from this ‘boundary’ work across disciplines, considering some of their strengths and limitations in relation to the following:

1) Survival Units
2) Organisational Sociology and Economic Sociology
3) Civilizing Processes
4) Informalising Processes
5) The expanding Anthroposphere (Environmental issues)

The conference will consist of plenary sessions with keynote speakers, followed by themed parallel sessions. The deadline for submitting abstracts of papers is 16 December 2011. These should be no more than 150 words and submitted to the conference email address: mcs@ifs.ku.dk
 

We look forward to seeing you in Copenhagen!


Lars Bo Kaspersen, University of Copenhagen, LBK@ifs.ku.dk

Norman Gabriel, University of Plymouth, norman.r.gabriel@plymouth.ac.uk

 

Practicalities and formalities

Registration: Please, register by sending a mail to Mette Cruse Skou mcs@ifs.ku.dk with your name, affiliation, address, phone number and email address.

Conference  fee: 50 euro covering lunches, coffee/tea and fruit. Students: 15 euro. The conference fee needs to be paid at the conference venue /registration desk when the conference starts.

Venue: University of Copenhagen, CSS (Social Science campus), Øster Farimagsgade 5, Copenhagen K – see http://polsci.ku.dk/english/contact/How_to_find_us/

Accommodation: There are plenty of hotels in Copenhagen. However, we have reserved rooms at two hotels close to the venue and the city. You need to book your own hotel room by mail or phone.


Ibsens Hotel
Vendersgade 23
DK-1363 København K.
T: 33 13 19 13
F: 33 13 19 16 
E: hotel@ibsenshotel.dk
Reservation: +45 33 95 77 44

Prices:
Single Room: 985 DKK per room per night (includes breakfast).
Double Room: 1.240 DKK per room per night (includes breakfast).


Hotel Kong Arthur
Nørre Søgade 11
DK-1370 København K.
T: +45 33 11 12 12
F: +45 33 32 61 30
E: hotel@kongarthur.dk
Reservation: +45 33 95 77 22

Prices:
Single Room: 1.225 DKK per room per night (includes breakfast).
Double Room: 1.520 DKK per room per night (includes breakfast).

Don’t forget to mention that you are participating in conference organized by University of Copenhagen (Department of Political Science/ Sociology)


Organizers:
The Norbert Elias Foundation, Amsterdam
The Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen
The Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen
 

Tuesday July 5th 2011 11:34

Copenhagen conference deadline extended to 25 January

A large number of abstracts has already been submitted for the Copenhagen conference, but the organisers – Lars-Bo Kaspersen and Norman Gabriel – have nevertheless extended the deadline until 25 January to enable intending participants to gather their thoughts after Christmas. Revised details of the conference are pasted below.

Norbert Elias and Figurational Sociology: Prospects for the Future Copenhagen, 2–4 April 2012

Call for papers

Department of Political Science & Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2–4 April, 2012.

The focus of this three-day conference will be on the development of figurational sociology in relation to other disciplines.  In ‘What is Sociology?’, Elias argues that sociology needs to develop new ways of ‘thinking’ about its relationship with other disciplines like biology and physics. But since that time, we have seen a rapid expansion of these academic disciplines, yet there has not been sufficient time to consider the theoretical implications of what this would mean for the future development of a figurational sociology. This conference will bring together sociologists, together with other important and relevant cognate disciplines – such as history, political science and economics – to explore attempts that integrate different disciplinary perspectives.

Keynote speakers include: Richard Kilminster, University of Leeds; Abram de Swaan, University of Amsterdam; Stephen Mennell, University College Dublin; Johan Goudsblom, University of Amsterdam; Søren Nagbøl, Aarhus University; Nina Baur, TU Berlin; Stefanie Ernst, Universität Magdeburg; Stephen Quilley, Keele University.

It will address these issues by focusing on the following themes: The first day will explore the ‘boundaries’ and relationships between figurational sociology and the following disciplines: 1) Politics 2) Economics 3) History 4) Psychology 5) Biology 6) Anthropology.

The second day will further discuss the major themes that emerge from this ‘boundary’ work across disciplines, considering some of their strengths and limitations in relation to the following 1) Survival Units 2) Organisational Sociology and Economic Sociology 3) Civilizing Processes 4) Informalising Processes 5) The expanding Anthroposphere (Environmental issues)

The conference will consist of plenary sessions with keynote speakers, followed by themed parallel sessions.

The new deadline for submitting abstracts of papers is 25 January 2012. These should be no more than 150 words and submitted to the conference email address: mcs@ifs.ku.dk We look forward to seeing you in Copenhagen!

Lars Bo Kaspersen, University of Copenhagen, LBK@ifs.ku.dk

Norman Gabriel, University of Plymouth, norman.r.gabriel@plymouth.ac.uk

 

Practicalities and formalities

Registration: Please register by sending a mail to Mette Cruse Skou mcs@ifs.ku.dk with your name, affiliation, address, phone number and email address.

Conference  fee: 50 euro covering lunches, coffee/tea and fruit. Students: 15 euro. The conference fee needs to be paid at the conference venue /registration desk when the conference starts.

Venue: University of Copenhagen, CSS (Social Science campus), Øster Farimagsgade 5, Copenhagen K – see http://polsci.ku.dk/english/contact/How_to_find_us/

Accommodation: There are plenty of hotels in Copenhagen. However, we have reserved rooms at two hotels close to the venue and the city. You need to book your own hotel room by mail or phone.

Ibsens Hotel Vendersgade 23 DK-1363 København K. T: 33 13 19 13 F: 33 13 19 16 E: hotel@ibsenshotel.dk Reservation: +45 33 95 77 44   Prices: Single Room: 985 DKK per room per night (includes breakfast). Double Room: 1.240 DKK per room per night (includes breakfast).

Hotel Kong Arthur Nørre Søgade 11 DK-1370 København K. T: +45 33 11 12 12 F: +45 33 32 61 30 E: hotel@kongarthur.dk Reservation: +45 33 95 77 22   Prices: Single Room: 1.225 DKK per room per night (includes breakfast). Double Room: 1.520 DKK per room per night (includes breakfast).

Don’t forget to mention that you are participating in conference organized by University of Copenhagen (Department of Political Science/ Sociology)

Sponsors: The Norbert Elias Foundation, Amsterdam The Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen The Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen

Tuesday January 10th 2012 15:04

LSE conference, 6 - 8th April 2011

British Sociological Association allocates a second session to Elias and figurational sociology

From Katie Liston and Jonathan Fletcher (Convenors) 

We are pleased at last to be able to notify participants, and especially those who have offered papers, that the British Sociological Association has now allocated a second session to Elias and figurational sociology at the conference at the LSE on 6–8 April 2011 marking the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the BSA.

Details of the two sessions are given below. The first, as originally planned, will focus principally on Elias’s position as an outsider in British sociology. The second, additional, session includes papers on a wider set of concerns.

Those who are planning on attending this conference might also be interested in the sociology of sport stream, information on which is available on the conference website.

The presenters identified here below should now contact the BSA office directly to register for the conference, ideally by the end of January. The BSA office has already received has over 700 bookings and the maximum capacity (per day) is 960 delegates.

You can book online at www.britsoc.co.uk/events/conference. In the meantime, abstracts should also be forwarded directly to Liz Jackson (liz.jackson@britsoc.org.uk) to complete the stream programme.

Open Stream 2: ELIAS

Session 1: Wednesday 6th April 2011 at 09:30–11:30


John Goodwin and Jason Hughes: Ilya Neustadt, Norbert Elias and the development of sociology in britain: formal and informal sources of historical data

Eric Dunning: Long-term patterns of sports-related violence: some figurational observations and related concepts

Marc Joly: Norbert Elias’s networks in the field of British Sociology before his appointment in Leicester

Norman Gabriel: Collar the lot! Norbert Elias on the Isle of Man

Hermann Korte: Norbert Elias at the University of Leicester

 
Session 2: Wednesday 6th April 2011 at 12:00–13:30


Marjorie Fitzpatrick: The hidden agenda for ‘absolutist’ monarchical power in the eighteenth century court society in England: the libretto of Handel’s Messiah

Matt Clement: Trade Unions: A Significant Social Figuration?

Abram de Swaan: On genocidal perpetrators

Miguel Fernadez Llanos: Norbert Elias meets Karl Marx at the British Museum: towards the civilizing process model of models

Michael Dunning: Figurational Sociology and the Study of British ‘Islamist Terrorism’

 

 

Tuesday February 1st 2011 12:52

2012: ISA and IIS both announce major conferences

Delhi and Buenos Aires

As you may be aware both the International Institute of Sociology (IIS) World Congress (Delhi between 16–19 February) and International Sociological Association (ISA) Forum (Buenos Aires between 1–4 August) are being held in 2012.  Obviously this is not ideal – especially for people resident in Europe, but also for anyone whose funds will not run to two such gatherings in a year – and we are wondering if it is feasible to organise sessions in India and Argentina.

The IIS has just issued their call for proposals for regular sessions and we have to establish if there would be sufficient interest to request one or more sessions. 

Consequently can you contact Robert van Krieken (robert.van-krieken@sydney.edu.au) and Stephen Vertigans (s.vertigans@rgu.ac.uk) before 28 February 2011 if you would be likely to submit a paper?  It would also help us when deciding on potential themes if you could give us an indication about the possible topic.  Further details of the conference can be found at http://www.iisoc.org/iis2012.

The details of the ISA programme in Buenos Aires have yet to be issued.  To assist us in responding when the call for papers is issued, can you again let us know whether you are thinking about attending this conference?

Tuesday February 1st 2011 12:52

Just published: Norbert Elias, Mozart and Other Essays on Courtly Art

Norbert Elias, Mozart and Other Essays on Courtly Art, edited by Eric R. Baker and Stephen Mennell, translated by Edmund Jephcott (Dublin: UCD Press, 2010). 200 pp. ISBN: 9781906359096

Like his father Leopold, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was dependent on a court aristocracy in whose eyes he was little more than a domestic servant. Unlike his father, however, his personal makeup was already that of the freelance artist who sought to follow the flow of his own artistic conscience and imagination rather than the courtly conventions and standards of the day. In Mozart: the Sociology of a Genius, Elias paints a portrait of this extraordinarily gifted artist born into a society that did not yet possess either the concept of ‘genius’ or (at least in music) that of freelance artist. The apparent contradictions of his character – the refined elegance of his compositions and the coarseness of his lavatorial humour – reflect his uncomfortable and eventually tragic straddling of two social worlds.

The volume also includes two long essays on related topics, previously unpublished in English.

‘The fate of German Baroque poetry: between the traditions of court and middle class’ asks why even such notable poets of the Baroque period in Germany as Martin Opitz and Christian Hofman von Hoffmanswaldau later fell into neglect, in contrast to their contemporaries in England and France – such as Milton, Marvell, Racine and Corneille. The reason, says Elias, was that in Germany courtly conventions and feelings were rejected much more radically by the middle-class writers of the age of Goethe and Schiller.

Elias’s essay ‘Watteau’s Pilgrimage to the Island of Love’ was only published posthumously, and is not included in the German Gesammelte Schriften. It concerns Watteau’s painting also known under the title of The Embarkation for Cythera, seen as the quintessence of the courtly style and fête galante genre. Watteau’s work too fell into disfavour at the time of the Revolution, but then became the centre of attention once more among the French Romantics.

This volume includes a full colour reproduction of the Louvre version of The Embarkation for Cythera, and, like other volumes in the series, has been thoroughly re-edited and annotated.

List Price: €60.00
Discount Price if ordered directly from the publisher (www.ucdpress.ie): €48.00

 


 

Tuesday August 3rd 2010 15:26

Locations for BSA conference

Locations for BSA conference

On Wednesday 6 April, conference registration starts at 8:30 at the Peacock Theatre, LSE, which is on the right-hand side of Kingsway (facing north from Aldwych), on the corner with Portugal Street.

The two Elias sessions, at 9:30-11:30 and 12:00-13:30, are in Room 214 in the New Academic Building, which is just a short distance further up Kingsway, on the corner with Sardinia Street (the street that leads into Lincoln's Inn Fields).

A map of the LSE campus can be downloaded at http://www.britsoc.co.uk/events/conference/useful.htm
 

Wellington Street, where we are having lunch afterwards in the Café Rouge, is in the Covent Garden area just a short walk over the other (west) side of Kingsway. It can be reached via various minor streets, but if you prefer not to take the risk of getting lost, just walk down Kingsway to the Aldwych, turn right (west) to where it meets the Strand, and then turn sharp right up Wellington Stret until you spot the Café Rouge. Neither route is a great distance.

Thursday March 24th 2011 16:40

Elias Facebook page

There is now an official Facebook page dedicated to Norbert Elias. You can ’like’ here:

https://www.facebook.com/norberteliaspage

Thursday June 20th 2013 16:48

Thursday February 6th 2014 21:10

Thursday February 6th 2014 21:10

CONFERENCE - FROM THE PAST TO THE PRESENT AND TOWARDS POSSIBLE FUTURES: THE COLLECTED WORKS OF NORBERT ELIAS

Call for Papers

College Court, University of Leicester, 20–22 June 2014

‘One cannot ignore the fact that every present society has grown out of earlier societies and points beyond itself to a diversity of possible futures.’

‘Today we have basically lost the ability to think of a future. Most people do not want to go beyond their present – they do not like to see themselves as a link in the chain of generations.’ – Norbert Elias, 1987

 

In 2014 the eighteenth and final volume of the Collected Works of Norbert Elias in English will be published by University College Dublin Press.

 

The mammoth undertaking, in association with the Norbert Elias Foundation, Amsterdam, and under the stewardship of Professor Stephen Mennell, has taken a decade to bring to fruition. It brings together the entire corpus of Elias’s works, featuring many writings previously unpublished or not hitherto translated into English, faithfully representing his core ideas and his overall sociological position.

 

The conference marking the completion of the whole project will appropriately be held at the University of Leicester, where Elias lived and taught from 1954 to 1977. It both honours Elias’s association with the University of Leicester, and recognises the widespread, international and interdisciplinary interest in his work, and its resurgence within the University and more generally within the human sciences.

 

Craig Calhoun, Director of the London School of Economics, has agreed to give the opening address.

 

The conference is organised around some of Elias’s key works: On the Process of Civilisation; What is Sociology?; The Established and the Outsiders; Quest for Excitement; and Essays I: On the Sociology of Knowledge and the Sciences. 

 

Despite its focus on the Collected Works of Elias, the spirit of this event is one of openness to, and dialogue with, competing sociological positions. It will pose questions including: 

 

* How might Elias’s work be employed to address some of the challenges of the human sciences in the twenty-first century? 

* Elias was not a sociologist in the narrow sense: he aimed at a grand sociological, historical, psychological synthesis. Did he succeed?

* To what extent does Elias’s work provide a means of redressing the fragmentation of the human sciences and, especially, reintegrating sociologists who have intellectually migrated to different, increasingly diverse, specialisms and sub-disciplines? 

* Is Elias’s critique of sociologists’ ‘retreat into the present’ still valid today? What role might Elias’s work have in the more general ‘relational turn’ that has become a major topic of discussion in recent years? 

* Is it possible to reconcile Elias’s ‘figurational’ sociological practice – marked by its emphasis on long-term processes and its caution regarding the intrusion of ‘heteronomous values’ – with the institutional demands for short-term ‘impact’, ‘accountability’, and the increasing emphasis on the short-term practical and monetary value of social scientific research for specific ‘user groups’? 

* Can Elias’s approach be squared with recent calls for a more ‘public’ sociology, and indeed, more explicitly politically-involved and directed ‘partisan’ scholarship’?

 

In addition to a series of postgraduate workshops and keynote presentations on these and related central concerns, the conference will feature five parallel streams organised according to Elias’s key works as follows:

 

On the Process of Civilisation

Civilising processes, decivilising processes, ‘dyscivilising’ processes and debates about processual ‘directions’

Violence, war, terror and international relations in long-term developmental perspective

Sociogenetic and psychogenetic relationships

Critiques, revisions and extensions to Elias’s magnum opus

(Contributors may also wish to refer to related works, such as The Court Society, Humana Conditio and Essays II: On Civilising Processes, State Formation and National Identity)

 

What is Sociology?

Power, figurations, interdependence, and theoretical debates about them

Sociogenesis of sociology and the concept of ‘society’

Game models and relational thinking

Structure/agency and the society of individuals

(Contributors may also wish to refer to related works, such as The Society of Individuals and Essays III: On Sociology and the Humanities)

 

Essays I: The Sociology of Knowledge and the Sciences

Knowledge and scientific establishments

The politics of figurational sociology

Problems of method and methodology

Unplanned long-term processes versus planning and policy

Prospects for a grand synthesis of history, psychology and the social sciences

Elias’s sociological practice

(Contributors may also wish to refer to related works, such as Involvement and Detachment and The Symbol Theory)

 

Quest for Excitement

Sport, social bonding and violence

Mimetic and leisure activities

Work, leisure and consumption

Gender, power and identities in the spare time spectrum

 

The Established and the Outsiders

Community studies and community relations

Blame and praise gossip in the formation of communities

Developments in established–outsider relations theory

Ethnicity, migration and locality

 

Abstracts of no more than 500 words for the conference should be submitted to the conference organisers, John Goodwin (jdg3@leicester.ac.uk) and Jason Hughes (jason.hughes@le.ac.uk) not later than 31 December, 2013

 

Abstracts must:

* Specifically address one or more of the conference themes (and specify preferred stream)

* Include details of institutional affiliation

* Be written in English, since all presentations will be in English

 

Abstracts received after the closing date will not be considered. Registration for the conference will open 3 February 2014.

 

 

 

 

2

Thursday August 15th 2013 14:05

XIII Simpósio Internacional Processo Civilizador

Universidade Nacional da Colômbia (UNAL) 9 - 12 November 2010

XIII Simpósio Internacional Processo Civilizador

9-12 November 2010

Universidade Nacional da Colômbia (UNAL)

Bogotá, Colombia

The deadline for abstracts is 19 May 2010. Abstracts should refer to one of the following themes: Sport and leisure; Education and Culture; Latin America; Theoretical debates

Contact address: simposioelias2010@gmail.com

Thursday April 29th 2010 17:37

Eliasian Perspectives on Early Childhood

One day Symposium, University of Leicester. 26th - 27th November 2013

Name of organizers: 

Dr. Norman Gabriel, University of Plymouth

Dr. John Goodwin, University of Leicester


Programme


26th November


18.30  -  Social evening in Leicester


27th November

9.45 – 10.00 Registration

10.00 – 10.15 Welcome and Aims

10.15 – 11.30 Introductions and interests

11.30 – 12.00 Tea and Coffee

12.00 – 13.00 Norbert Elias and Early Childhood – Norman Gabriel

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch 

14.00 – 15.30 Joint Projects and Plans for Collaboration – (Horizon 2020 etc. )

15.30 – 16.30 Tea and Coffee

16.30 Summary, reflections and closing remarks. 




The meeting will take place in Suite 1, Council Chamber at the University of Leicester. 

Sunday September 8th 2013 13:14

Conference – Reinventing Norbert Elias: for an open sociology

Amsterdam, 22–23 June 2012

Programme

Contact and registration information

 

 

 

 

Sunday May 27th 2012 13:59

Latest Volume of Collected Works Published

The Loneliness of the Dying and Humana Conditio

Norbert Elias, The Loneliness of the Dying and Humana Conditio, edited by Alan and Brigitte Scott, translated by Edmund Jephcott (Dublin: UCD Press, 1 April 2010 [Collected Works, vol. 6). 192 pp. ISBN 9781906359065 (hardback)

The latest volume of the Collected Works of Norbert Elias in English, edited by Alan and Brigitte Scott of the University of Innsbruck, contains two of Elias’s shorter books.

The Loneliness of the Dying is one of his Elias’s admired works. Drawing on a range of literary and historical sources, it is sensitive and even moving in its discussion of the changing social context of death and dying over the centuries. Today, when death is less familiar to most people in everyday life, the dying frequently experience the loneliness of social isolation.

Humana Conditio, written in 1985 to mark the fortieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, has never before been published in English. ‘Human beings’, writes Elias, ‘have made the reciprocal murdering of people a permanent institution. Wars are part of a fixed tradition of humanity. They are anchored in its social institutions and in the social habitus of people, even the most peace-loving’. Although Elias, like most people at the time, failed to foresee the end of the Cold War, his discussion of ‘hegemonic fevers’ remains highly relvant to understanding present-day international relations. Elias’s meditation on the human lot ranges over the whole of human history to the future of humanity.

The volume is published at the list price of €60.00, but can be purchased at the discount price of €48.00 if it is ordered online direct from the publishers at www.ucdpress.ie.

Sunday July 25th 2010 17:50

Beyond Dichotomous Thinking: The Society of Individuals. The Legacy and Continuing Relevance of Norbert Elias’s Sociology.

7–8 October 2010, Polo delle Scienze Sociali, Università degli studi di Firenze,

Call for papers. Cambio is pleased to announce the first Italian conference on Norbert Elias to be held at the Polo delle scienze Sociali, Facoltà di Scienze Politiche ‘C. Alfieri’ in Florence on 7–8 October 2010.

The conference will mark the twentieth anniversary of Norbert Elias’s death on 1 August 1990. 

 

The central focus of the conference will not be on the most widely known aspect of Elias’s work, the theory of civilizing and decivilizing processes, but rather on his characteristic rejection of polar dichotomies.

 

Workshops titles include: Individual and Society, Nature and Culture, Global and Local, Order and Change.

 

Abstracts due before 30 March 2010. See PDF for full details of conference, including workshops and details of how to submit abstracts.

Sunday April 25th 2010 21:33

Globalisation and Civilisation in International Relations: Towards New Models of Human Interdependence

9–10 April 2010, UCD School of Sociology, Dublin, Ireland

This conference will bring together specialists in International Relations and sociologists, together with some representatives of cognate disciplines – such as history, political science and criminology – to explore central issues concerning the possible emergence of a single global society.
 
Further details are available in this PDF.
 
Conference Programme

Sunday April 25th 2010 21:31

The British Sociological Association launches new Study Group - Sociology, Psychoanalysis and the Psychosocial

Inaugural meeting; 28 October, London.

The British Sociological Association is launching a new Study Group on  Sociology, Psychoanalysis and the Psychosocial. The inaugural meeting will  be held on 28 October 2011 at Birkbeck College, University of London, 30  Russell Square, at 11.00 to 18.00. Speakers will include Stephen Mennell (on "Sociology needs an historical  social psychology: Norbert Elias's final critique of Sigmund Freud"). For further details, download the conference flyer from the BSA website http://www.britsoc.co.uk/events/ForthcomingEvents.htm

Saturday August 6th 2011 20:50

Podcasts from International Conference, Dublin, April 2010

now available

The podcasts of the Dublin conference (Globalisation & Civilisation in International Relations: Towards New Models of Human Interdependence' International Conference, 9-10 April) are now available on the UCD SSRC website.

Listen here

Monday September 20th 2010 15:25

Call for Papers: Norbert Elias and British Sociology

A special session on “Norbert Elias and British Sociology” will be held at the 60th anniversary conference of the British Sociological Association, on 6-8 April 201 at the London School of Economics.

The session will focus on the reception and continuing influence of Norbert Elias in British sociology, from his arrival in London in 1935 to the present day. Themes to be covered include: (1) the early years at the LSE to his eventual appointment at the University of Leicester; (2) Elias’s relationship to the British sociological establishment; (3) the development of the sociology of sport and the “Leicester School”; and (4) the current status of his legacy in British sociology in the broader context of globalization.

The session is being organised by Katie Liston and Jon Fletcher. If you would like to contribute a paper, please send an abstract to Katie and Jon by 1 October 2010, at the following addresses:

Katie Liston: k.liston@ulster.ac.uk

Jon Fletcher: jonathan.fletcher@me.com

Monday September 20th 2010 00:21

XVII World Congress of Sociology 2010

11–17 July 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden

The Figurational Sociology Working Group will have five sessions at next year’s ISA World Congress in Göteborg. They will be convened by Robert van Krieken (University College Dublin) and Stephen Vertigans (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen).

For details of sessions, please download PDF.

For the first time, we shall be organising a business meeting for the group, to be followed by the more customary dinner together. The agenda for the meeting will include a discussion on the possible establishment of an online journal for the group.

We hope that there will be a very large gathering in Göteborg of people with a figurational bent from all parts of the world.

Monday June 14th 2010 20:35

Human Figurations journal

Latest issue online

The latest issue of the Human Figurations has now been published online. You can view the papers here:

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/h/humfig/11217607.0003.1*?rgn=full+text

Monday February 24th 2014 13:24

Journal: Human Figurations

Third issue live online

Human Figurations: Long-term Perspectives on the Human Condition is a new journal supported and sponsored by the Norbert Elias Foundation. The unifying theme of the journal Human Figurations is a broad concern with long-term processes of the development of human society and the human condition.

The third issue is live online and contains contributions from Bruce Malizsh, José Esteban Castro, Charles A. Jones, Helmut Kuzmics, Matt Clement and Jason Hughes.

More information about the journal is below. If you'd like to submit a paper for consideration please email humanfigurations@me.com.

While Elias is best known for his theory of civilizing processes, he wrote on an astonishing range of topics, including violence, war, sport, ageing and dying, time, work, art, music, poetry, utopias and the relations between the sexes. Fundamentally, he advanced what have been called both a 'post-philosophical' theory of knowledge and the sciences, and an 'historical social psychology'. His conception of the discipline of sociology was far broader than that which has now become institutionalized in the rather narrow departments of sociology in contemporary universities. In consequence, he inspires researchers from many disciplines, especially people working in the interstices between conventional disciplines: history (especially world historians and social historians), criminology, international relations, anthropology and political science. Human Figurations will attract contributions from across these fields, the unifying theme being a broad concern with long-term processes of the development of human society and the human condition.

Monday February 11th 2013 12:02

AT LAST!

ELIAS’S MASTERPIECE OUT IN THE COLLECTED WORKS

Norbert Elias, On the Process of Civilisation: Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations, translated by Edmund Jephcott, edited by Stephen Mennell, Eric Dunning, Johan Goudsblom and Richard Kilminster (Dublin: UCD Press, 2012 [Collected Works, vol. 3]). xxii + 654 pp. ISBN: 978 1 906359 04 1. €60.00

In this sumptuous new volume, which has been several years in preparation, earlier editions have been completely revised, with many corrections and clarifications. We predict that even readers who know The Civilising Process well will find the new edition a revelation.

But first, why the change of title? Why not the familiar The Civilising Process? As the editors explain:

‘One should think twice before publishing a new edition of an already famous book under an unfamiliar title. Dreadful examples are Johan Huizinga’s The Waning of the Middle Ages, which became The Autumn of the Middle Ages, and Proust’s The Remembrance of Things Past, which became In Search of Lost Time – in both cases the new title was more literal but also infinitely more pedestrian in English than the old. The board of the Norbert Elias Foundation nevertheless decided that this volume of the Collected Works should be issued not as the familiar The Civilising Process but under the new title On the Process of Civilisation. This is a more literal translation of Über den Prozess der Zivilisation but not, we hope, more pedestrian. … There are two good reasons for amending [the title], both of them related to widespread misunderstandings to which the original English title has apparently given rise ... First, the emphasis in the original German title is – and should also be in English – on the word ‘process’, not on the word ‘civilisation’ or ‘civilising’. Second, by extension, some readers have inferred from the definite article in The Civilising Process that Elias believed that a singular civilising process had occurred uniquely in the course of the last half-millennium or so of European history. … But Elias made many asides both here and in his later writings to stress that civilising processes were found in other parts of the world and in other periods of human social development. He repeatedly asserted that other instances of civilising processes could be observed in other continents and other periods throughout the development of human society.’

One of the most immediately striking features of the new edition is that, probably for the first time in any language, it includes full-colour plates of all of the 14 pictures from the Mittelalterliches Hausbuch to which Elias refers in his celebrated discussion of ‘Scenes from the life of a knight’. The rather astonishing fact that Elias did refer to as many as 14 of the pictures we owe to Patrick Murphy, who meticulously worked through the text alongside reproductions of the Hausbuch. Patrick has also contributed an appendix, written with Stephen Mennell, about the drawings. In retrospect, it seems obvious that no one could fully understand Elias’s discussion without being familiar with the drawings themselves.

Besides carefully checking and correcting the text, the editors have inserted numerous explanatory notes and cross-references to other parts of Elias’s writings. The explanatory notes are especially important in the long discussion of state-formation processes, where Elias seems to have written on the assumption that every reader would come equipped with a comprehensive detailed knowledge of European medieval and early modern history, especially of France and Germany. That assumption was probably never realistic, and has long since to be safe for later generations of English speaking readers. The notes will help to navigate the reader through the maze of the distant past and among unfamiliar monarchs (many with very similar names!).

One other new feature, among many, needs to be mentioned. Elias often hid away important discussions in extended notes which, tucked away at the end of the book in tiny print, were probably rarely studied by the exhausted reader. In line with modern practice, these have now been transformed into appendices (and sometimes themselves annotated). There are as many as 27 of these new appendices, for which the editors have created titles. They include, for example: ‘On feudalism in Europe and Asia’; ‘On law and political development’; ‘On the Chinese form of centralisation’; ‘On British national character’; ‘On the strength of tensions, population pressure and international economics in hegemonic states’; ‘Some American authors on habits and fears’; ‘On ideology, Realpolitik, and American sociology’. Even included is a long note that Elias dictated for the Dutch translation of the book.

The next volume to be published, in July 2012, will be:

Norbert Elias, What is Sociology?, translated by Grace Morrissey, Stephen Mennell and Edmund Jephcott, edited by Artur Bogner, Katie Liston and Stephen Mennell (Dublin: UCD Press, 2012 [Collected Works, vol. 5]). xviii + 236 pp. ISBN: 978-1-906359-05-8. €60.00

The new edition will include a ‘missing chapter’ on Marx and another shorter text on ‘The sociogenesis of the concept of “society” as the subject matter of sociology’ never previously published in English, both translated for this edition by Edmund Jephcott. The translation of the original book made by Grace Morrissey and Stephen Mennell in the early 1970s (the first translation into English of Elias’s major works) has been substantially revised in the light of later translations – especially by Edmund Jephcott – of other works.

Buy online: Copies of any of the volumes of the Collected Works may be purchased online at a 20 per cent discount, post free, directly from the publishers, at www.ucdpress.ie.


 

Friday October 19th 2012 17:30

Wo Denken Wir Hin Symposium

30 Nov - 1 Dec

Symposium information

Friday November 8th 2013 20:28

Twentieth Anniversary of Elias's Death

Podcast

Norbert Elias died on 1 August 1990. To mark the twentieth anniversary, the German radio station WDR3 (Westdeutscher Rundfunk 3. Programm) broadcast a fifteen-minute programme in its daily ZeitZeichen series.

Friday August 6th 2010 22:28