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CfP: Evidence and Imagination

Sonntag, 03.04.2016

Interdisciplinary and International PhD Conference | November 3-5, 2016. Graz

 Call for Papers

Evidence and Imagination

Interdisciplinary and International PhD Conference

University of Graz / Austria, November 3-5, 2016


Organizational Committee: Philipp Berghofer, Barbara Ratzenböck, Lukas Waltl, Markus Wurzer


Questions of evidence and imagination are central to the humanities and the social sciences. However, their respective conceptualizations and interrelations vary across disciplines. Philosophy, for instance, is known for relying extensively on intuition and thought experiments. In philosophical inquiry, intuition and arguably even imagination are thus treated as (sources of) evidence. In disciplines with an emphasis on empirical investigation, evidence can be gathered through surveys and interviews or gained through the analysis of ancient documents, photographs, and witness reports. Building on these kinds of evidence, empirically-oriented disciplines are often expected to make predictions and to imagine future realities. Additionally, questions of how evidence is created through empirical material and how the quality of data is assessed are crucial in empirical research. Thus, issues of evidence are closely connected to questions of hegemony. In this context, meanings and interpretations of evidence are negotiated in academia but also in law and politics, for example. Works of art and literature, however, can help to foreground these negotiations, challenge established regimes of evidence and explore the relations between fact and fiction as well as between inner experiences and the outside world.


Building on these thoughts, we are interested in papers addressing questions such as:

  • What is evidence, what is imagination, and what is their relationship? How do they relate to concepts such as truth or intuition? Can imagination be a source of evidence? What role does imagination play in various disciplines? Is there such a thing as objective evidence?
  • How is evidence created in various disciplines? What counts as evidence in philosophy, sociology, history, the natural sciences etc.? What counts as imagination? Who determines what evidence consists of? What role does (media) technology play in these contexts? What role can literature and art play in these contexts?
  • How do research methods differ across disciplines? Are certain research methods outdated and should be replaced? Are there promising new research methods that will likely shape future research?


By bringing together emerging scholars from various disciplines, this conference aims at shedding light on evidence and imagination from different perspectives and at highlighting the significance of interdisciplinary research. Accordingly, we are not only interested in contributions on meta-theoretical or philosophical topics such as the nature of evidence and imagination, but also in all contributions in which characteristic research methods are exemplified or applied. Moreover, we invite contributions that challenge traditional methods and/or propose new ones.


Keynote speakers are Julia Jansen (KU Leuven, Leuven) and Kim Sawchuk (Concordia University, Montreal).


Submissions should not exceed 250 words, must be in English (conference language) and should include a short CV. We welcome submissions for both talks and posters from PhD students from all fields of research. Please specify whether your contribution is a talk or a poster. Talks and posters can be independently submitted and will be independently reviewed.


Please use this link to submit your abstract or poster.

The submission deadline is April 3, 2016.


Notification until May 2, 2016. For further information and questions: evi-conference(at)uni-graz.at


Pdf Version of the CfP

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