CFP: Conference on Scandalogy

The 1st International Conference in Scandalogy is calling for papers on the current state of research on the social phenomenon of scandals.

The aim of this conference is to foster exchange between scandalogists from different academic disciplines in order to gather and present recent findings from a wide range of theoretical approaches.

[spoiler title=’Papers may address a diverse range of topics including the following:’]

Communication and media studies

Under what conditions are violations of social norms publicly condemned, creating a “media scandal” (Burkhardt, 2006)? How do social agents, e.g. journalists, contribute to such dynamics of scandalization? What accounts for the great interest of media users in scandalized topics? Do media and communication history contribute to a better understanding of the omnipresence of mass-mediated scandals today?


Do“cultures of scandal” (Hondrich, 2002) which determine specific patterns of action and topical selections of scandalization exist?

Ethnology and cultural studies

Do typical conflict-patterns of scandalization constitute an anthropological constant which allows us to derive trans-historically and -culturally valid observations about social coexistence?


What effect does scandalized discourse have on media agents and media users? Do scandals have a specific function for individuals, for instance as regards moral attitudes?

Political science

What functions do scandals have in democratic societies and to what purpose are scandals communicated in illiberal regimes? Do scandals exist in dictatorships in the same sense as in democratic societies?

Literary studies

When are scandals used as a marketing strategy? Is it possible to calculate the risks and opportunities of literary scandals? Is the literary scandal a phenomenon where the artist is merely doing her job by using competencies and resources of her public image to an economical end? Are there also specific milieus and target-groups where the literary scandal is a possibility to channel a latent hostility towards art?


Abstracts should not exceed 300 words. Please include an additional short biographical note of no more than 150 words.

Email abstracts to [email protected] or [email protected] by 30 September 2015. Notifications will be sent out in early December.

The conference will be held in Bamberg, Germany on 7 and 8 April 2016.

More information is available here.

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