Transcultural Encounters 4: Discourses and Regimes of In(ter)dependence

Conference at the University of Oulu
Monday, August 19 – Tuesday, August 20, 2024
Abstracts by e-mail to by April 30, 2024.

Please check updates on conference program and other information at
Transcultural Encounters Research Center webpage:

The fourth Transcultural Encounters Conference will take place at the University of Oulu from 19 to 20 August 2024. The theme of the conference is Discourses and Regimes of In(ter)dependence. The conference is organised by the TCERC, the Transcultural Encounters Research Center.

The notion of interdependence has challenged the more traditional legacy of independence in international political economy and political theory in recent decades. Since the 1970s, research on interdependence has underlined a new understanding of nation-states’ interrelations in the age of globalisation. While the focus was initially on the world economy (Keohane & Nye 1973), ecological interdependence has more recently broadened the perspective of discussion towards a sense of the multiple ways and dimensions in which humans are dependent on each other in societies and ecosystems (e.g. MacNeill et al. 1991).

The lesson of interrelated humanity is apparently best learned the hard way – from the effects of its negligence. This should be especially so in cases of the natural world’s potential species endangering catastrophes. The more imminent and evident such a threat is – as in a hypothetical meteorite impact, for example – the more compelling and urgent a rational international response to it becomes. Incidentally, the longer the temporal perspective of international coercion in the prevention of an unwanted outcome of chosen natural processes and especially human actions is, the more arduous and tortuous the road to their internationally coordinated solution appears – as is seen in the recent decades of discussion and debate on climate change.

From this perspective, the understanding of human interdependence is regulated by the complex interlacing of culture and nature. Natural catastrophes readily create interrelated human responses. Alternatively, culture-bound problems, or aspects interpreted as such, tend to induce more diverse reactions, discourses, and regimes of opinion and knowledge from communities of denialism and isolation to coercion-seeking policies of interrelated response. While nature solidifies human communities as their traditional antagonist, the sensibilities of sociocultural interdependence are inherently more vulnerable for a variety of interhuman relations issues.

The attitude to the war in Ukraine is a revealing example of the latter. Numerous researchers and politicians in Europe and North America interpret Russia’s aggression against Ukraine as a serious threat to the entire post-World War II treaty-based international order. However, an effective response and cooperation have proved very difficult, as many European states are not convinced that the global threat is real, and there is even less interest in the matter in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The questions of political and ecological interdependence resonate widely across cultural life, from the arts and sciences to sport and so on in this respect.

The Transcultural Encounters Research Center of the University of Oulu in Finland is organising its fourth international conference on the topic of ‘Discourses and Regimes of in(ter)dependence’ between 19 and 20 August 2024. We invite proposals for presentations that discuss and critically reflect on both/either the more recent and emerging concepts and sensibilities of interdependence on the one hand and/or those of independence, sovereignty, self-sufficiency, and other cultural, political and social traditions that remain and surface as their perennial alternative and challenge on the other.

We invite all who are interested to submit titles and abstracts (maximum 300 words) by 30 April 2024. The accepted proposals will be announced in early May 2024, and the conference’s preliminary schedule and practical instructions will be sent to the participants by the end of May 2024. Please address presentation proposals as an attached pdf to the conference secretary Moussa Pourya Asl at .

Practical information
The conference will be conducted on a hybrid platform, both onsite at the University of Oulu and by video connection. Please indicate your preferred mode of participation (onsite or video) when submitting or confirming your proposal. The conference participation fee is €60 (€30 for PhD students). The working languages are English and Finnish. An academic compilation based on the conference presentations is being planned.

The participation fee includes entrance to the conference as a speaker, a conference folder and associated materials, refreshments on both days of the conference, and a copy of the conference publication. A self-financed dinner will be served on Monday evening.

Please direct abstract submissions, confirmations, and any inquiries to Dr. Pourya Asl at