Title: Call for Papers - International worskhop 'Intellectuals and public spheres', 24- 25 March 2011, Antwerp. Description: Please find below the call for papers for the upcoming international workshop on intellectuals and public spheres that UCSIA (http://www.ucsia.org/) organises on March 24th -25th 2011 at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. This academic workshop wants to investigate how public intellectuals have constructed ... Contact: sara.mels@ua.ac.be. URL: www.ucsia.org/main.aspx?c=*UCSIAENG2&n=91192.

"The public sphere presents a domain of social life in which public opinion is expressed by means of rational discourse and debate. Habermas refers for its historical development to the coffeehouses and journals in England, the Parisian salons and the reading clubs in Germany. He calls it a bourgeois public sphere, a sphere where private people com together as a public to turn a politically disempowered bourgeoisie into an effective political agent by granting it a monopoly on legitimate authority. It is within this development of a new domain of social life that the figure of the modern intellectuals will find its place. But Habermas was criticized as he restricted the concept to one social class and historians reformulated the concept as ‘competing public spheres’ that could be thought of in terms of multiplicity and diversity, a constant conflict of interests and a struggle for power. A consequence of this critique is that a universal public sphere seems to be a fiction which could nevertheless, because it appears to be real, exert real political force. One of the questions that should be addressed then is why and how certain groups can claim universality and authority".

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