interfaceing 2023

Changing Paradigms: Humanities in the Age of Crisis 


Every historic period has its problems, which from a current perspective are certainly seen as urgent and requiring solutions. However, from a historical point of view, it is evident that the course of history has its quieter and more turbulent periods. Evidently, we can already state that the time s we are witnessing belong to the latter category. The optimistic vision of the “end of history" that was possible a few decades ago has been replaced by an awareness of a crisis that is manifold and has a global dimension. To old chronic problems, such as economic inequality and sporadic conflicts between countries, new ones have been added: a worldwide pandemic which has caused restrictions unprecedented in modern history, a great war in Europe which seemed no longer possible, waves of migration, and an ever growing problem of global warming, to name just a few. 

It is obvious that a significant part of these problems is rooted in the spheres of ideology, political philosophy, ethics, etc., which belong to the field of humanitarian knowledge. These problems are reflected in the media, represented in works of literature and art, and thereby influence public consciousness. In this way, the humanities are one of the important forces that allow us to formulate, realize, and outline ways of solving the urgent problems facing humanity.

The aim of our conference is to reflect on and re-evaluate the role of the humanities in the face of these global challenges. Papers may address general theoretical themes of the humanities, or they may deal with specific cases and works of art. In addition to papers dealing with the contemporary situation, we are also interested in presentations considering different historical periods.

interface, as a multi-disciplinary and multi-lingual journal, encourages scholars working in fields such as literature, philosophy, ethics, history, anthropology, art, geography, education sociology, and cultural studies to submit proposals for either panels or individual papers. Topics for consideration might center (but are not limited to) around the following key questions

  • lliterature and art in critical periods of history
  • problems of migration and their problems and their reflection in literature, art, and media
  • humanities and ecological thinking
  • media manipulation and  post-truth
  • the role of education in dealing with global problems
  • political ideologies in literature, art, and media
  • changing relationship between man and nature in the Anthhropocene
  • cross-cultural relations and the trend toward globalization vs. regionalization
  • multilingualism and the problem of minor languages

Proposals for panels (instructions here) or individual papers (instructions here) should be submitted by e-mail to by April  1, 2023.

Papers can be presented in any of the following languages: English, French, German,  Spanish, Russian, Italian.

The conference will take place at Kobe University, Japan, from September 25 to September 27, 2023. It is organized by the Graduate School of Humanities at Kobe University as an in-person conference (online participation is also possible). 

Papers presented at the conference may be submitted for publication in the Special Topic issue(s)  of interface to be published in 2024 (subject to double--blind peer review).

The Kobe Organizing Committee of INTERFACEing 2023 would like to thank National Taiwan University (Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures), Trier University (Institute of Sinology), University of Bristol (Department of Classics and Seoul National University (Institute of Classical Studies) for their kind support and cooperation in organizing this conference.