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By Dan Adkins

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"Over the past decade, social theory has re-energized contemporary social science and humanistic thought in a variety of areas."

-- Wolfgang Natter,
director of the
UK Committee
on Social Theory

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May 5, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – The first meeting of the International Consortium of Social Theory will be hosted by the UK Committee on Social Theory at the University of Kentucky Thursday through Sunday, May 11-14.

Presenters from England, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Canada and throughout the United States will gather in the Bluegrass to assess the present and plan the future of this new field of study.

“Over the past decade, social theory has re-energized contemporary social science and humanistic thought in a variety of areas. In response to a call for papers, the consortium conference has attracted internationally recognized social theory scholars from the full range of social sciences and humanities, including geography, political science, history, English, philosophy, sociology, economics and anthropology,” said Wolfgang Natter, director for the UK Committee on Social Theory.

The spring conference offers a forum for work in the field to be presented and discussed and to foster support for the international social theory community. Issues include present and future directions of social theoretic research, improvement of scholarly communications, the place of social theory in the university curriculum and others that bear on the present and future of social theory as a non-disciplinary-specific endeavor.

Presenters include some of the best-known names in the field, such as Teresa Brennan, Antonio Callari, Julie Graham, Hans Koegler, Richard Koenigsberg, Tim Luke, Bill Martin, Mark Poster, David Ruccio, Alan Sica, Neil Smith, Ed Soja, Giti Thadani and Steve Turner. Editors of social theory publications, including Critical Horizons, Cultural Dynamics, disClosure, Thesis Eleven, Rethinking Marxism and Anthropological Theory, will also participate.

Social theory explores questions about the composition, structure and development of social phenomena and the comprehension of social affairs. Today, it is one of the most significant and fastest growing arenas in the humanities and social sciences.

Among the topics addressed by social theory are nature and society; democracy and citizenship; technology and information; the political economy of community; concepts of childhood; the social constitution of individuals; the nature of the political; sex and sexuality, the space and time of social formations, and the structures of agency, said Natter.  The UK conference will include sessions on these and other topics.

The University of Kentucky's Committee on Social Theory was formed in 1989 to facilitate multidisciplinary teaching and research. Underlying the initiative was the realization that, because many social theoretical issues go beyond established disciplinary boundaries, they are best studied in a multidisciplinary framework.

“Since its founding, the committee has been especially involved in building bridges through theory between the humanities and social sciences,” said Natter.

UK’s Committee on Social Theory includes more than 40 faculty members representing 14 departments and five schools.

For more detailed information about the conference, including a complete list of presenters and their topics, click here or contact Wolfgang Natter at

Sponsors include the University of Kentucky Committee on Social Theory, UK College of Arts & Sciences, UK Vice Chancellor of Research and Graduate Studies and the International Consortium of Social Theory.  Subsidized conference registration for University of Kentucky faculty is $15, $10 for students and staff.

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