The first CLE Conference took place in London, at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, on 16-18 April 2015. A major outcome of the conference is a shared understanding of Cultural Literacy as a key societal challenge for the future of Europe and its relationship with the rest of the world. This recognition must lead to common objectives among academics, professionals, and representatives of cultural associations and funding bodies.

The Conference demonstrated that excellent research and initiatives are already taking place in this area across Europe and beyond its borders. Whether working with methods and tools of Literary and Cultural Studies [LCS] or spanning other interdisciplinary areas, researchers and teachers in the Humanities and Social Sciences can make a key contribution to both understanding and answering the challenge of Cultural Literacy.

One of the recommendations of the ESF-COST Science Policy Briefing, published in January 2013, was to create a biennial Cultural Literacy conference series.

A5_web_def6On 16-18 April 2015, the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities in London hosted Cultural Literacy in Europe, the first in a biennial Conference series. One of the outcomes of the conference was a clear mandate to continue with the CLE initiative. Many expressed the desire to participate in future initiatives and pointed to the need for a clear outline of our objectives. The ‘London Statement’ was a response to that request. It was written with the help of comments from participants and it aimed to capture the energy and enthusiasm which animated the conference, while helping us to take the CLE initiative to the next stage.

CLE Second Biennial Conference will be hosted by Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The conference will take place in Warsaw, 10-12 MAY 2017.

In May 2016 CLE and the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences organised a workshop  “Cultural Literacy of Migration: Affects, Memory, Concepts”, the aim of which was to map research areas and research directions which would constitute a core of 2017 conference thematic strands.