Joint ENAS & NANAS Conference / 9th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology

Joint ENAS & NANAS Conference / 9th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology



Call for Papers

3rd ENAS Conference

1st Joint ENAS & NANAS Conference

9th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology

University of Graz / Austria, April 27-30, 2017



Cultural Narratives, Processes and Strategies in

Representations of Age and Aging


Conference website:


Organizational Committee: Josephine Dolan, Ricca Edmondson, Abigail Gardner, Ros Jennings, Ulla Kriebernegg, Roberta Maierhofer, Kate de Medeiros, Barbara Ratzenböck, Aagje Swinnen

This conference will focus on the interconnectedness of aging and cultural heritage in terms of cultural narratives and representations. How can processes and strategies of identity construction over the life course be identified in regard to narratives, rituals, popular media forms and other forms of cultural expression, and how do they influence both collective and individual cultural heritage narratives? Which methodologies can be developed for interdisciplinary and intersectional research in this context?

Contributions are invited to especially engage with narratives and representations of the life course, and how biographical reflections are positioned within a matrix of time, space and experience; and to consider the uses and production of ‘heritage’ in this matrix. Papers are encouraged to focus on continuities and discontinuities of both individual and collective identities as reflected in cultural narratives, processes and strategies of representations of age and aging. One important aim of the conference will be to link different research approaches and theories in order to strengthen an interdisciplinary approach to the emerging fields known as Age/Aging Studies and Cultural Gerontology. The goal will be to re-conceptualize traditional discipline specific approaches and develop new tools and methodologies addressing the issues of later life.

Cultural gerontology reveals and dissects culturally-determined perceptions, attitudes and effects of human aging that are not accentuated within other disciplinary approaches. The term ‘culture’ does not entail ignoring economic, social, political and other impacts on aging, rather it invites explorations of the dynamics that exist among them so that the study of culture – with its multiplicity of forms – enhances our interrogation of both individual and social choices and constraints connected with aging. It also explores, for example, the cultural means that can help people and groups to respond to the pressures and opportunities they encounter as they age. It analyzes a heritage of expectations and practices that can help aging adults to exercise power and resist it, to confront obstacles or sometimes to create them, and to make their lives meaningful both to themselves and to others. The arts, humanities and social sciences thus have a fundamental role to play in the study of human aging and form an invaluable complement to other areas of gerontological research.

The conference will thus welcome research into the process of age and aging in its diverse cultural and social manifestations. It will promote discussion of the human aging process from both interdisciplinary and disciplinary perspectives, including those of anthropology, economics, heritage, history, language and literature, the study of the (mass) media, philosophy, politics, psychology, religion, and sociology. In particular, it will welcome research that investigates the different concepts and methods used in multiple disciplines as they attempt to respond to the challenges of aging.


Plenary sessions, paper panels and poster presentations

The conference will consist of plenary sessions, symposia, oral presentations of papers, and poster presentations. Contributors of papers should plan to present their papers orally for 15 minutes, allowing for 5-10 minutes of discussion.


Proposals for symposia of up to 4 papers each should include the title of the symposium, an abstract of 800 words referring to each of the papers including the paper titles, a 5-line biography of the symposium’s chair(s) and of each of the other contributors, and contact details of the chair(s) and contributors.


Proposals for papers should include the title of the paper, an abstract of 250 words, a 5-line biography of the presenter, and contact details.


Proposals for posters should include the title of the poster, an abstract of 250 words, a 5-line biography of the presenter, and contact details.



Please note that researchers early in their careers should feel welcome to submit proposals.


The deadline for submitting abstracts is September 10, 2016.



Conference Contact: *** ENAS: *** NANAS: