UPDATE: [General] DEADLINE EXTENDED: Altered States UC Berkeley Comparative Literature Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Jessie Hock
contact email: 


Altered States: Metamorphosis, Epiphany, Revolution
An Interdisciplinary Conference Hosted by the U.C. Berkeley Comparative
Literature Department

Date: October 24 - 25, 2008
Deadline for Abstract Submission: April 7, 2008
KEYNOTE: AMY HOLLYWOOD, Elizabeth H. Monrad Professor of Christian Studies,
Harvard Divinity

For more information, or to submit an abstract, please contact:

Nothing of him that doth fade/
But doth suffer a sea-change
/Into something
rich and strange.
                                --- Tempest, I, ii

In these three lines, we encounter a sketch of change and its theoretical
ramifications,reformulating the anxiety of loss into a valuation of the
altered state and its potential. This conference will investigate
transformation and metamorphoses in their physical, psychic, social,
political, and formal dimensions. How does physical transformation demolish
and reconstruct subjectivity? In what ways does spiritual and affective
experience influence conceptions of psychic normalcy? By what means does a
culture inscribe, both temporally and spatially, the social development of
its individuals? What are the consequences of profound political rupture
for the collective imagination and to the legitimacy of the State itself?
And how do choices of medium and form frame, dictate, or alter the way we
engage with these discourses?

Possible paper topics include, but are by no means limited to:

(1) Physical Transformation

Incarnation and Transubstantiation
Drugs and Drunkenness
Cyborgs and Prostheses
Gestation, Birth, Maturation

(2) Psychic Transformation

Emotion and Affect
Madness and Possession
Spiritual Ecstasy

(3) Social and Cultural Transformation

Rites of Passage
Intercultural Confrontation
Death, Dying, Mourning

(4) Political Transformation

Geographical Change
Nationalisms and Nationhood
Language Revival
Redrawn Borders and "Regime Change"
Utopias and Dystopias

(5) Formal Transformation

Adaptation and Revision
Mixing Media
Generic Transformation
Scribal Culture, Orthography, Calligraphy

Please submit abstracts to alteredstate08_at_gmail.com, along with your
full name, departmental affiliation, and home institution. Abstracts should
be no more than 500 words, and must be received by Monday, April 28, 2008.
We look forward to reading your submissions!

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