Stranger, Other… Enemy? Strangeness and Otherness in the Humanities (online)

December 6, 2022 - December 7, 2022
Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (UMCS), Lublin, Poland



Marie Curie-Sklodowska University In Lublin

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International academic conference (online, Zoom)


  1. Acceptance of applications : by November 25, 2022 (abstract required, more detailed information below)
  2. Information on the qualification of applications: by November 30, 2022 (message sent to the e-mail address provided)
  3. Conference date: December 6-7, 2022

Conference organizers

Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (UMCS), Lublin, Poland

Mariola Kuszyk-Bytniewska, MA, PhD, Dr. Habil.

Tomasz Stefaniuk, MA, PhD, Dr. Habil. (e-mail: [email protected])

Conference languages

English and Polish (separate sections for presentations in English, separate sections for presentations in Polish).

Post-conference publication

Post-conference articles (only in English) may be submitted to in the journal "Dialogue and Universalism". It is peer reviewed academic journal of the International Society for Universal Dialogue (ISUD), published by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and by the Philosophy for Dialogue Foundation. "Dialogue and Universalism" is indexed or abstracted in many databases and research indexes .

Post-conference papers (in Polish) may be submitted to the journal "Kultura i Wartości” (“Culture and Values").

Research areas

We invite academics related to philosophy, history, sociology, psychology, political science, cultural studies, literary studies, pedagogy, media sciences, art sciences, philology, religious studies and other humanities to participate in the conference

Description and research goals of the conference

‘Barbarian’ (Greek bárbaros, Latin barbarus) was a term used to describe not only a foreigner, but also any person - unlike the ancient Greeks and Romans - "uncivilized", of "devoid of (real) culture". The term, initially devoid of pejorative overtones ("foreigner"), with time began to be used to emphasize the differences between "us", i.e. civilized people, and "them". We deal with a similar function - not only describing, but also, and perhaps most of all evaluating - in the case of the term "savages", which in the times of European colonialism allowed for a quick and simple drawing of the boundaries between "civilized us" and "uncivilized them".

Often dramatic meetings with a stranger - for example in connection with the refugee crisis that also affected the EU, or in general with the great migrations that will probably intensify - may be the appropriate ground for drawing new boundaries between “our (civilized) world” and areas inhabited by “savages” and “barbarians”. Do we not encounter similar divisions in our times, in public discourse, in our description and explanation of reality? May a stranger also be someone close to us; if so, how? Is "strangeness" just a matter of a certain consciousness and identity, or are there also some non-subjective reasons for recognizing someone as a stranger? Does strangeness necessarily show up at first glance? Perhaps a stranger does not necessarily have to be a person of a different skin color or clothing, speaking a different language? Can meeting a stranger also take place within the same culture, the same language, the same or at least similar social experiences? Is the Stranger always recognized, or on the contrary, we may deal with a strangeness that is effectively hidden and in a sense "non-imposing"?

Among the issues to be discussed during the conference there are, among others, the following:

  • Otherness and strangeness in a philosophical perspective (European and non-European philosophy)
  • Others and strangers in religious terms, also in relation to human spirituality
  • Otherness and strangeness of cultures and societies - both in the past and today
  • Political strageness, also in relation to members of the same society
  • Strangeness and otherness in literature and art (also in popular culture)
  • Is Other always a Stranger? Under what circumstances and why do we consider Other a Stranger?
  • Strangeness and otherness in the media (ways of showing it in the mass media and on the Internet)
  • Other[-ness] and stranger[-ness] as a subjects of scientific research - in philosophy, social sciences, religious sciences, cultural sciences, history, psychology, literary studies and linguistics
  • Traditional images of strangers - in folklore, religion, speech (language) etc.
  • Subjectivity and the objectification of Stranger and Other

We invite speakers representing various academic centers and various cultural experiences, who wish to take part in discussions about otherness and strangeness, from the perspective of the humanities, to participate in the conference. We encourage the use of the trans-disciplinary methodology, believing that the discussion and the resulting publications, crossing thematic boundaries, will broaden the research perspective, including different approaches in dialogue with each other, and sometimes also in opposition to each other.


By Novebmer 30, 2022, return e-mails will be sent with information about the acceptance or rejection of the application. If you do not receive a message on that day, please check your spam box and contact the organizers, because everyone who sent the application shall receive a response from the organizers.

Application form 

Avaiable on conference website (link above)


The organizers do not charge any fees related to the conference.


If you have any questions or concerns, please send an e-mail to our contact addresses:

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November 30, 2022, 9:00am CET

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