Monday, May 11, 2009

Cfp: "Knowledge and Pain," Hebrew University of Jerusalem, May 24-26, 2010.

Pain, physical or emotional, as a field of knowledge about suffering, is a subject of scholarly attention in the humanities and social sciences, in parallel with the scientific study of pain mechanisms and controls. The conference "Knowledge and Pain" will be devoted to the voices of the sufferers (rather than to those of inflictors, healers, or managers of pain). Bypassing, as much as possible, the messages of professional mediators, it will focus on the light that sufferers themselves shed upon their condition through verbal or visual expression. The organizers of the conference welcome proposals that deal with the following questions: * How does discourse function as an intermediary between sufferer and listeners? Is pain destructive of language or does it merely challenge it? * How and in what contexts does body language communicate suffering in different cultures and inter-culturally? * What social capital (if any) do sufferers gain from communicating their pain? * Is pain exclusively destructive of the subject's world or can it yield cognitive or spiritual gain? * Is it ethically problematic to ascribe meaning to pain beyond its function as a symptom? * What are the relationships between physical and emotional pain? * How are the media used to represent pain, and with what side effects? * Do artistic representations of suffering improve our understanding of the pain of another? * How does the voice of pain implicate the hearer? A selection of papers based on the work of the conference will be published by an academic press. Paper proposals of 300 to 500 words should be sent to by September 8, 2009.

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