Call: Alone Together Again (ATA): A Second International Pandisciplinary Symposium on Solitude in Community

Call for Abstracts

ALONE TOGETHER AGAIN (ATA): A Second International Pandisciplinary Symposium on Solitude in Community
Szczecin, Poland
Thursday 16 April – Saturday 18 April 2020

Abstracts deadline January 15, 2020

“We must meet; we must communicate with one another; we must, it would seem, be alone together” (John Macmurray)

We welcome contributions to the second international pandisciplinary symposium on solitude in community: Alone Together Again. (To see the photographs of the first conference click here). This is organised by the University of Szczecin and York St John University, under the auspices of the Rector of the University of Szczecin. All papers and discussions will be held in English.

We welcome papers on any issues related to solitude, silence and loneliness, from any discipline. At the end of the first symposium, several topics were suggested as in particular need for further research and discussion. These are presented as useful guides, but they are not restrictive:

  • Research methods appropriate to the aloneness studies.
  • Taboo words and issues related to the problem of loneliness or solitude.
  • The relationship between aloneness and sexuality/gender.
  • Culture as context of aloneness inquiry.
  • Technology and social media – links to the problematic.
  • The relationship between aloneness and capitalism/neoliberalism.
  • Pathways into and out of solitude.
  • Human rights and the law, including the right to be alone and in solitude.
  • Preparing for aging: overcoming loneliness, enhancing solitude.
  • Better uses of silence.
  • Healthy signs of loneliness and positive uses of solitude.
  • Introducing solitude in education: can solitude be taught?
  • Practical ways of combating loneliness.

The structure of the symposium will try to bring out three dimensions of aloneness (that is, solitude, silence and loneliness), and the different experiences of aloneness at different life stages from childhood to old age.


  • Abstracts of 300 words (including references) should be submitted by 15.01.2020 to
  • Abstract reviews will be returned within three weeks of receipt (and therefore at the latest by 5.02.2020).
  • The conference fee should be paid by 29.02.2020


For more information about this conference please contact Dr. Aleksander Cywinski and the Organizing Committee:

University of Szczecin, Department of Social Sciences
Krakowska 71-79
71-017 Szczecin, Poland


Chairs: Prof. Julian Stern (York St. John University) and Dr. Malgorzata Wałejko (University of Szczecin)

Prof. Anna Murawska (University of Szczecin)
Dr Barbara Chojnacka (University of Szczecin)
Dr Aleksander Cywiński (University of Szczecin)
Dr Rafał Iwański (University of Szczecin)
Dr Paula Wiażewicz-Wójtowicz (University of Szczecin)

The idea of the Alone Together symposium emerged from the meeting of Prof Julian Stern (UK) and Dr Malgorzata Walejko (Poland), both fascinated by the phenomenon of solitude.  Dr Walejko visited York St John University in 2018 thanks to the Erasmus+ programme, to meet and work with Prof Stern.  Their common research resulted in publications (e.g. Solitude and Self-Realisation in Education in the Journal of Philosophy of Education, 2019), and also in the idea of meeting with other researchers from around the world interested in solitude, silence and loneliness.  There are further publishing plans resulting from the first symposium (including a book and a journal special edition), and we hope for further publishing out of the second symposium.

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