Wednesday, February 06, 2008

CFP: "Levinas and the Sacred," Third Annual Conference, North American Levinas Society, Seattle University, August 31-September 2, 2008.

The North American Levinas Society invites submissions of individual paper proposals and panel proposals for the third annual meeting and conference to be held August 31-September 2, 2008, at Seattle University in Seattle, Washington. While we will organize the conference around the broad theme of “Levinas and the Sacred,” we will accept proposals for paper and panels on any topic related to Levinas in an effort to draw the widest array of interests. Without doubt, the theme of “the sacred” will stir up vigorous, productive debates, and there are a number of entry points into such dialogues. For instance, what is the relation between the state and the sacred? What are we to make of the coincidence of the political and the spiritual from, say, Hegel’s Philosophy of Right to some of the more controversial passages in Levinas’ Difficult Freedom? What important insights concerning derivations of the sacred do we find in Levinas’ engagement with Heidegger on the question of truth, being, and the sacred? How do considerations of the sacred respond to critiques of onto-theology? How might the recent postsecular turn in Continental philosophy promote discussions of the sacred as it relates to the ethical and justice? How are we to understand Levinas’ claim that the horror of existence, of the there is (il y a)…, contributes to the destruction of sacred categories? How have notions of the sacred contributed either to colonial and geopolitical violences, and how have notions of the sacred worked to correct such violences? Certainly, these are only a few questions of the sacred broadly posed, but it is clear that such questions open Levinas’ work to a more difficult, and perhaps edifying, scrutiny. We are also interested in receiving panels that address the relation between the sacred, the ethical, community, justice, and pedagogy from a variety of multicultural perspectives. Submissions: ● Individual paper proposals: Individual abstracts should be 200-300 words for a 20-minute presentation. We will assess and organize individual papers into panels of two or three. ● Panel proposal: Panel proposals should be 500 words for a 75-minute session. Please include the session title, name of organizer, institutional affiliation, discipline or department, along with the chair’s name and participants’ names in addition to brief abstracts detailing the focus of each paper. Please send materials via email attachment (preferably Microsoft Word) to: If you have questions regarding the Society or the conference, please send inquiries to The deadline for submissions is March 2, 2008 For further information on the conference, please visit:

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