Call for Papers! The Political Rhetoric of Isms



The Political Rhetoric of Isms

University of Helsinki, June 14–15, 2016

Convenors: Helge Jordheim (Oslo), Jussi Kurunmäki (Stockholm),
and Jani Marjanen (Helsinki)

Organized by the project The Political Rhetoric of Isms at the University of Helsinki and Concepta: International Research School in Conceptual History and Political Thought


Isms form a great part of our political, cultural, and scholarly language. It would be quite difficult to conduct a serious conversation on literature, music, religion, or sciences without isms like “romanticism,” “classicism,” “neorealism,” “constructivism,” “Freudianism,” or “Platonism.” And it would be hard to imagine any news broadcasting on politics without words such as ‘liberalism’, ‘conservatism’, ‘communism’, ‘feminism,’ or ‘multiculturalism’. It is perhaps illustrative that the Oxford English Dictionary provides entries for 2,932 words that end in an ism. Furthermore, the ism suffix has spread to nearly all languages either as a direct adaptation, or as a sign that roughly corresponds to the idea of an ism. In short: the use of ism is an irreplaceable feature of political and social language globally.

Call for papers available as a PDF.

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