Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Cfp: "A Past That Has Never Been Present? Art / Philosophy / History," University of King's College, June 8-11

Keynote Speakers:

  • Cathy Caruth (Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Comparative Literature and English, Emory University)
  • Leonard Lawlor (Sparks Professor of Philosophy, Penn State University)
This interdisciplinary conference, supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, will bring together scholars from various disciplines to explore the ways in which Maurice Merleau-Ponty's reference to "a past that has never been present" in The Phenomenology of Perception might be said to challenge our conventional notion of memory as a past perception, and so also to complicate our understanding of what is at stake in represen, ting the past as an object of experience.

Given Merleau-Ponty's claim that this "original past" is not to be interpreted on the basis of consciousness, perception or bodily engagement with the world, might the notion of a "past that has never been present" provide a new angle of inquiry in our explorations of temporality and its rupturing, memory disorders and obsessions with the past, in short, a thinking of representation that moves beyond a subject-object dichotomy?

Papers are welcome from scholars in philosophy, arts and art history, film studies, architecture, literary studies, history, trauma studies and/or psychoanalysis. Conference organizers will select a number of papers for subsequent publication. Paper proposals should provide a) name/institutional affiliation; b) 250-word abstract of proposed paper.

We invite proposals on such topics as:

The primal scene (psychoanalytic interventions)
Questions of messianism
Augustine (confession, time, memory)
Politics of Foundation / Revolution
Merleau-Ponty / Levinas / Bergson/ Deleuze
Proust (In Search of Lost Time)
Difference and Repetition
Revisiting Trauma
Mourning and Melancholy
Film and New Technologies (Digital Reproducibility)
Traces and Materiality

Deadline for proposals is December 15, 2010.

Please send submissions electronically to

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