The Concept

Symposium concept

The lively interest in and diffusion of Assemblage Thinking (AT) and the non-reductionist assemblage ontology/analytic in various fields of the Design, Social, Political and Policy Sciences, the Humanities, and IT, among many others, is evidence of its appeal and promise to meaningfully represent and capture complex objects of socio-spatial and other scientific studies. Αn endless variety of assemblages of all sorts from all spatial levels have been studied concerning: archaeological artefacts, heritage, architectural objects and complexes, communities, cities, regions, informal settlements, landscapes, tourism places and forms of tourism, climate change, human responses to environmental degradation, health issues, social movements, events/protests, environmental and energy problems, the internet, borders, international relations, security, planning, management, policy making and policy implementation, governance, politics, etc.

It is common knowledge among scientists that the epistemology adopted and the ontology chosen to conceptualize/represent an object of study importantly influences the conceptual frameworks adopted, the theories built/applied, the methodologies developed, the analytical techniques used, and, consequently, the validity and usefulness of empirical findings and pertinent recommendations for action. It is, therefore, important to bring the discussion of ontology center stage and, more importantly, to make it accessible to a wider audience beyond the rather narrow confines of specialists as well as to practitioners.

Given the interest in and volume of academic research employing AT so far, the time seems ripe to reflect on the AT state-of-the-art, identify on-going developments and open issues and outline an agenda for future research. A key question might be: could AT serve as a suitable template or paradigm for the study of socio-spatial and other complex scientific issues?

The organization of this International Symposium on Assemblage Thinking brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines and countries with a rich research experience on Assemblage Thinking to discuss issues of:

  • Theory: conceptual/theoretical issues (Assemblage Thinking or Theory, ΑΤ concepts, relationship between AT/assemblage and ANT/actor-network ontologies, scale issues)
  • Analysis: methodological issues (assemblage-based methodology/-ies, techniques of analysis)
  • Practice: empirical applications – various subjects, geographic areas, scales
  • Governance: policy/governance implications of assemblage-based analysis and decision making as opposed to One-Size-Fits-All approaches

Organization and funding

The Symposium is organized by Prof. Helen Briassoulis, Department of Geography, University of the Aegean and hosted by the Department of Geography, University of the Aegean, Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece.

The organization of the symposium is funded by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Greece (Project coordinator: Prof. Helen Briassoulis).

The additional financial support of the University of the Aegean is kindly acknowledged.

Venue and time

The Symposium will take place at the premises of the Department of Geography, University of the Aegean in Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece between June 2 and 5, 2017.


The Symposium is open to everyone interested to attend.

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