Friday, September 25, 2009

Cfp: "Knowledge: (Trans)Formation," Tunisia, March 3-4, 2010.

This is the 2nd Joint Conference held by the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the English Department, Institut Supérieur des Etudes Littéraires et Humaines of Tunisia. One of the defining features of our modern life is the unremitting accumulation of knowledge. Indeed, we live in an era governed by a race for knowledge and described by such catchphrases as "the age of knowledge" or "the knowledge society." In earlier phases of the modern project of Enlightenment, the positive aspects of knowledge were emphasised. Rational knowledge was deemed essential to human liberation and accomplishment. Knowledge, however, has darker sides and may have dire consequences. Francis Bacon’s aphorism, "knowledge is power," stated some four centuries earlier, operates at its best now. For knowledge, like any other type of power, can be transformed into a tool of coercion. In our age of impressive development of cognition, it is significant to interrogate the role of knowledge and its effects on individuals, societies and humanity in its entirety. This conference, therefore, will focus on knowledge as a cultural form, liable to produce meanings and construct new socio-political practices as well as modes of resistance. It will attempt to engage a debate on the formation and transformation, uses and abuses, origins and consequences of different types of knowledge. Participants are invited to bring their contribution to the following thematic areas: - Knowledge and artistic production: how can art (literature, painting etc.) construct, manipulate and reorient our knowledge of the world? - Knowledge and postmodernism: does the world provide us with a foundational reality? Is it possible to authenticate any form of knowledge as ‘truth’? - Knowledge and Feminist thought: how can a feminist informed critique destabilize the hierarchal organization of knowledge and the oppressive structures within which it is assembled and propagated? - Knowledge and language: does language mediate knowledge? What is the role of discourse in the production, deployment and development of knowledge? Cross-cultural knowledge and interlanguage. - Knowledge, education and digital technology: how is knowledge produced, disseminated and legitimized in the Academia? How does the electronic revolution affect prospects of human knowledge? How can e-learning and the Virtual Divide reshuffle traditional concepts of education? Can we speak now about efficient education with the chasm separating Digital Natives from Digital Immigrants? - Knowledge and multimedia: what is the role of media, cinema and cyberspace in creating culturally-determined knowledge constructs? - Knowledge and Globalization: what are the consequences of the growing worldwide economic, political and cultural interdependence? How to cope with the uneven distribution of knowledge? - Knowledge, history and representation: how do issues of identity, community, time and ideology infiltrate knowledge systems? - Indigenous or "subaltern" knowledge (memory, heritage, folklore, myths, proverbs, dances etc): how can the revival of indigenous knowledge be a form of resistance? Submission Instructions: Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. Abstracts should have about 250 words. The following information should be sent: 1- Title of paper 2- Section (thematic area) 3- Name 4- Affiliation 5- E-mail address 6- Abstract Schedule: Deadline for submitting abstracts: December 12th, 2009. Acceptance of proposals will be notified no later than January 9th, 2010.   Contact: Hager Ben Driss (

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