Welcome to ECHIC 2022

After being postponed from its original 2020 dates due to the pandemic, we are happy to announce that the ECHIC conference “The Many Faces of the Humanities” will now be held in Lund on the 21st and 22nd of April 2022. Our keynote speakers as well as many of our original presenters have confirmed their participation and we also welcome new contributors adding perspectives on the role of the humanities amid such crises as pandemics, migration, and climate change.


About the conference

Since 2011, the European Consortium for Humanities Institutes and Centres (ECHIC) has organised an annual conference, hosted by one of the member institutions. Following a series of successful conferences in major European cities (Dublin, Utrecht, Nottingham, Oporto, Pamplona, Macerata, Edinburgh, Leuven and Athens) the 10th annual ECHIC conference will be hosted by Lund University in April 2022. The purpose of the annual ECHIC conference is to analyse the issues facing the humanities today.
In 2022, the conference will tackle the issue of the many divergent and sometimes contradictory roles existing in the humanities. It is clear that the humanities perform a number of important functions in society, some prominent and time-honoured, others invisible or novel. But how do these roles relate to each other and to larger developments in academia and society? Can they all co-exist or are they in conflict with each other?

The conference is open to all those who engage with the humanities as academic practices, directly or indirectly, at whatever stage of their career. The conference is kindly sponsored by Crafoordska stiftelsen www.crafoord.se.


Conference fee

Registration fee including reception for 21-22 April: 500 SEK (ca. €50)

Keynote speakers

Helen Small

Merton Professor of English Language and Literature
University of Oxford

Sverker Sörlin

Professor of Environmental History
KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Jennifer Edmond

Associate Professor of Digital Humanities
Trinity College Dublin


The plurality of endeavours within the humanities raises a number of important questions. Is there a singular trajectory for the  humanities vis-a-vis other academic fields? Should the humanities be viewed primarily as a scientific enterprise, playing by the same rules as STEM or the social sciences, or are there specific tasks for the humanities to perform? Does an education in the humanities offer individual progression or does it prepare for the job market? Is the outreaching scholar a public intellectual or a policy expert? Is there a special democratic and societal responsibility for the humanities? Answers to these questions will depend on the preferences of individual scholars, policies of universities and national and cultural contexts.

In order to fully understand how different roles interact and challenge each other a temporal perspective might prove particularly illuminating. How have roles transformed over time? What contemporary roles can be seen as vestiges from the past and what new roles are emerging? Must  the roles change in the future? What kind of external pressures are currently being felt by departments and individuals and how can demands be met going forward? It might be argued that the humanities as an academic field is particularly dependent on its own history. Yet, there are also strong expectations for an expanded societal role for the future. How then can the past and present inform our understanding of these roles for the future of the humanities and its societal impact?

Papers and panels will focus on these and similar questions revolving around the place of the humanities in different arenas of society; academic, educational, political and public. In particular, the conference will present an opportunity to discuss these issues from different temporalities: historical, contemporary and future scenarios. The conference will be of particular interest to all those who work with the humanities, both outside of academia and within, including researchers, policymakers, administrators and representatives of funding agencies.


Conference organisers 

Dr Isak Hammar, Publications Coordinator, Lund University
Professor Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, Dean of Research, Lund University

Questions about the conference? Contact isak.hammar@kansliht.lu.se
For more information, visit www.echic.org/