CFP: The many faces of Shame – A Global Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference, Prague, 6.-7.5.22

The many faces of Shame –
A Global Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

Friday 6th May 2022 – Saturday 7th May 2022
Prague, Czech Republic

Across cultures and historical eras, shame has been used in the service of advancing ideologies, beliefs and customs. We may like to think we have progressed beyond the days of sentencing wrongdoers to be placed in stocks in the public square for ritualised humiliation at the hands of the public. Nevertheless there are those who have rediscovered the ‘use’ of shame in modern societies. Retributive punishment is being revisited, whilst online shaming, slut-shaming, fat-shaming are but a few examples of how the use of shame to compel, or discourage, particular behaviour continues to thrive in contemporary society. For shame to be effective, it is necessary for individuals to fear public scrutiny and negative judgement. There must also be sufficient consensus around the beliefs and practices that are deemed ‘good’ and those that are deemed to be ‘bad’ to provide a framework in which shame operates as a regulatory mechanism.

The proliferation of information technology and social media has democratised and decentralised the way humans communicate and learn about the world around them. On one hand, this has afforded another platform for shame to be used against individuals and groups. On the other hand, this has facilitated the undermining – or destabilisation – of facts, truths, norms and customs that have traditionally informed the uses of shame. This raises questions about how shame can function in a world where the adherence of individuals to their own personal truths may immunise them against feelings of humiliation arising from the judgement of others. While refusal to be shamed can have positive outcomes, particularly in relation to rejecting stigma around body size, sexual orientation, or disability, has this come at the cost of being able to call out individuals and actions that promote racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, injustice and other social ills?

This inaugural conference offers a space for people from diverse disciplines, practices and professions to engage in inclusive interdisciplinary dialogues about the many facets of shame. From the conversations and dialogues which take place, our intention is to form a selective innovative interdisciplinary publication(s) and other outputs to engender further research and collaboration.

Key Topics
This event provides a forum for fully inclusive interdisciplinary explorations of the meaning, use and abuse of shame. Submissions are invited on any aspect of shame in any time period, but the organisers particularly welcome proposals on:

~ Historical perspectives on shame and their lessons for a modern context
~ Collective shame vs personal shame
~ Clinical perspectives on the psychological and physiological reasons for shame
~ Shame in religious/spiritual/philosophical traditions and its applicability to lived experiences
~ Coping with/overcoming/surviving shame, including atonement and rehabilitation
~ Sociological/anthropological perspectives on how shame operated and operates in communities in the past and the present (both virtual on actual communities)
~ Shame as a factor in domestic and international political engagement
~ Shame and vulnerable/marginalised people
~ The role of technology in mobilising/silencing shame
~ Economic implications of shame (poverty shaming, shame and advertising, etc.)
~ Legal and policy frameworks for regulating the use of shame (human rights, codes of conduct, etc.)
~ The impact of shame on the operation and effectiveness of forms of activism, grass roots movements, NGOs etc.
~ Fashion and shame
~ Explorations of shame in literature, theatre, art, television, film, videogames, music, and other creative practices
~ Shame in educational contexts: bullying, punishment, how shame is treated in the curriculum, etc.
~ Strategies for coping with/overcoming shame

What To Send
The aim of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, problem-solving sessions, case studies, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc. Creative responses to the subject, such as poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations and alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster debate are particularly encouraged. Please feel free to put forward proposals that you think will get the message across, in whatever form.

At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainable inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research, workshops, publications, public interest days, associations, developing courses etc which will help us make sense of the topics discussed during the meeting. There is an intention, subject to the discussions which emerge during the course of the meeting, to form a selective innovative interdisciplinary publication to engender further research and collaboration.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 26th November 2021. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chairs.

All submissions will be at least double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team, the Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 10th December 2021.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 8th April 2022.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) type of proposal e.g. paper presentation, workshop, panel, film, performance, etc, f) body of proposal, g) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Shame Submission

Where To Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

David Nash (Organising Chair):
Lorraine Rumson (Project Administrator):

What’s so Special About a Progressive Connexions Event?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.

Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

Please send all enquiries to the project email address:

For further details and information please visit the conference web page:

Sponsored by: Progressive Connexions