What is CLE?
The CLE [Cultural Literacy Everywhere] forum was established in 2015 – after an initial development in 2007 – under the name Cultural Literacy in Europe, to unite researchers, academics, educators, artists, policy-makers and members of the cultural industries aiming to promote the interdisciplinary field of ‘literary and cultural studies’ [LCS] and its relationship to other research fields and cultural sectors, to develop and extend the contribution of LCS to Europe and its challenges. Currently, CLE continues its work with the same ambitions, with the goal of expanding its engagement to the entire world – hence the change of name in 2020.
What is ‘cultural literacy’?
Cultural literacy is an ability to view the social and cultural phenomena that shape our lives – bodies of knowledge, fields of social action, individuals or groups, and of course cultural artefacts – as being essentially readable. Cultural literacy engages with interdisciplinarity, multilingualism and collaboration. It is a way of looking at social and cultural issues through the lens of literary thinking, employing communication, comparison and critique on a scale beyond that of one language or one nation-state, and avoiding abstraction. Furthermore, it is as much about innovation and creative practice – whether scholarly, artistic or social – as it is about analysis, and it often brings these two methods together.
What does CLE do?
The main events hosted by CLE are the Biennial Conferences (London 2015, Warsaw 2017, ). Each conference has its own transdisciplinary topic and aims to offer different perspectives on it. Special focus is laid on the links to other sectors, such as education, cultural heritage and art practices. Special attention is paid to encouraging and enabling early-career researchers to participate.
In intervening years interim Workshops are held on a subject to be designated by the Core Group. Recently, because of problems of in-person meeting, Symposia have been held online: see CLE2020, CLE2021 and CLE2022. In CLE Symposia the stress is on short papers followed by long discussion.
A number of Special Interest Groups [SIGs] work on a permanent basis and hold their workshops at the conferences and between them. Within and among these groups, CLE members form networks to implement common initiatives and apply for funding.
How is CLE organised?
Following its initial establishment in 2015, the Core Group is elected, on a rolling basis, to act as CLE’s executive body. It consists of the Chair, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Membership Secretary, the Organiser of the next conference, the Web Manager, the Early-career representative, the SIG leaders and up to four other members.
The Steering Group meets between Core Group meetings to discuss urgent issues and to report to the Core Group; its members are the CLE Officers (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer), the Membership Secretary, the Organiser of the next conference and one other CG member.
The Advisory Board is made up of distinguished colleagues who are committed to the work of CLE and advise the Core Group from time to time.
Who can be a member?
Any academic, researcher and practitioner in LCS and related fields of knowledge (such as memory studies, migration studies, digital humanities, etc.) and cultural sectors (such as education, art, heritage, etc.) can become a member of CLE, as can any interested member of the public.
What are the benefits of membership?
Members of CLE join and support a vibrant international community dedicated to common goals and networking through the website and other channels. They are entitled to
- be entered on the CLE mailing-list and searchable Members’ Research Interests list;
- attend Biennial Conferences, interim workshops and other CLE activities;
- apply for bursaries at Biennial Conferences and other events;
- become involved with SIG groups;
- apply for annual competitions for research support;
- participate in earmarked Early-career events, if eligible;
- attend Annual General Meetings, with voting rights;
- elect and/or stand for election to the CLE Core Group.
How do I become a member?
You can become a member by signing up on this page.
To receive a membership number you must complete the membership form after you have paid by Paypal, by clicking Back to Merchant. Please email Ahalya Gandikota (firstname.lastname@example.org) quoting your PayPal reference number if possible, and she will send your membership receipt as a word document; it will contain your membership number, which you will need when you register for CLE events.
Membership will last for 12 months from receipt of your fee. If you have paid by Paypal your membership will renew automatically after the one year, unless you wish to opt out. If you have paid by another means, the Membership Secretary will approach you to renew your membership and update your membership number.
- ESF-COST Science Policy Briefing 48: Cultural Literacy in Europe Today (January 2013)
- The ‘London Statement’ issued following the First CLE Conference in April 2015
- CLE Constitution of June 2017
- CLE Standing Orders of June 2017
- Information on CLE activities
- Information on CLE events, with Calls