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8th BOMOCULT Conference: Frictions, Encounters and Cosmopolitan Conditions

  • Conference
  • Languages and cultures
  • Economy and society
Event start date:
Event end date:
Event location:
Joensuu campus, Metria Building, Room M101
Additional information:
Yliopistokatu 7, 80100 Joensuu
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This year’s conference, the 8th in an ongoing series organized by Borders, Mobilities and Cultural Encounters Research Community at the University of Eastern Finland builds on rich interdisciplinary dialogue linking borders, mobilities and cultural encounters. At the same time, this year’s agenda inevitably reflects the impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic. As the world craves for a return to ‘normal’ life, there is a general sense that the social, political and economic consequences of Covid-19 will be with us long after the pandemic has abated. Economic recovery may not benefit all countries in like manner and the social divisions exacerbated by the health crisis will be difficult to bridge in the short term. During the pandemic we have also experienced a resurgence of national egoisms and weak international responses despite the global nature of the crisis.  

The dual shocks of right-wing populism and pandemic highlight the necessity of promoting cultural and social sensitivities as well as cooperation practices upon which a sense of shared responsibility for the global future can be developed. What is also needed is a way of seeing the world and social reality from the vantage point of being at social, cultural and political borders, in which diversity, the co-existence of many different social worlds and the daily negotiation of border-crossing rituals, e.g. code-switching, is the norm. As a result, questions related to cultural encounter and dialogue as well as cosmopolitanism not only loom large but have increased in salience. Here we take inspiration from Anna Tsing’s (2005) concept of ‘friction’. With this concept, Tsing (2005: 4) provides evidence that situated cosmopolitanism is in fact a form of encounter – a way of life that exists as part of the continuous co-production of cultures through interaction and “the awkward, unequal, unstable, and creative qualities of interconnection across difference […].” Anna Tsing (2017) also reminds us that in our Anthropocene times global environmental crisis challenges the modernist figure of the resilient individual and demands us to recognize the entangled nature of our being. 

Keynote Speakers

Cathal McCall, Professor, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen’s University Belfast: Friction at the New Western European Union Frontier: Brexitland and Irish borders.

Cyril Hovorun, Professor, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles: Theological Epistemology and Pedagogy.

Special Plenary Lecture

Alistair Hunter, Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Policy, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow: Minorities in, minorities out: Cemeteries, religious diversity and the French body politic in contemporary and historical perspective.

Please see the programme here.

Participation in the conference is free of charge. However, we ask you to register by 1 October, 2021. 

For further information, please contact by email in the address

In addition to this BOMOCULT Conference, please note also this interesting East Meets West Conference: Ukraine and Russia – Always Together, Always in Separation on 4 October 2021 online. See further information in the address