CFP: Levinas and Community (1/15/07; NALS, 6/10/07-6/12/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Sol Neely
contact email: 

Second Annual Conference and Meeting on "Levinas and Community"
June 10-12, 2007 | Purdue University

Call for papers

"Does a face abide in representation and community; is it community and
difference? What meaning can community take on in difference without reducing
difference?" -Emmanuel Levinas, Otherwise than Being

Building on the excitement and enthusiasm stoked by last year's inaugural
conference, the North America Levinas Society invites submissions of
individual paper proposals and panel proposals for the second annual meeting
and conference to be held June 10-12, 2007, at Purdue University in West
Lafayette, Indiana. We are organizing the conference around the broad theme
of "Levinas and Community"; however, in an effort to draw together wide
interests for this second annual conference, we are accepting proposals for
papers and panels on any topic related to Levinas.

As interest in Levinas' work continues to develop, scholars, activists, and
religious persons around the world are discovering new possibilities for
theorizing and applying Levinas' theories of ethics and responsibility toward
concrete considerations of social justice. One of the more pressing, and
perhaps difficult, questions remains the question of community. From specific
instantiations of community to the very broadest articulations of sociality in
terms of hope, responsibility, and resistance, the question of applying the
ethical often comes down to a question of community.

Beginning with Levinas' own question, we might ask, "What meaning can
community take on in difference without reducing difference?" How are
difference and community to be experienced according to Levinas' commentaries
on humanism, responsibility, and sociality? In light of the ethical, what
tensions emerge between individualism and communitarianism? How is community
articulated differently in Levinas' Talmudic readings from his more properly
philosophical work? How do the different traditions from which Levinas works—
that is, from Jerusalem or Athens—affect our conceptions of community,
politics, and filial obligation? In what provocative ways is Levinas' work
being appropriated or addressed by new critical theory, philosophies of
liberation, critical social theory, and radical philosophy? How can
considerations of community influence debates on public communication and mass
media? How is Levinas' work developed by feminist concerns and critique? How
do ethics, sociality, and community bear on questions of Judaism, Israel, and
Zionism? What is Levinas' attitude toward utopian traditions and
literatures? In what ways can we effect a reconciliation between Levinas'
ethical singularity and Marx's critique of political economy? Why do some
political philosophers find in Levinas an apology for liberalism while others
discover a radical call to anarchy? How can we understand the differences,
through Levinas' texts, between communities of the desert versus citizens of
the polis? In what ways can we engage Levinas' considerations of community
with the philosophical work of Jean-Luc Nancy (The Inoperative Community),
Maurice Blanchot (The Unavowable Community), or Giorgio Agamben (The Coming

Certainly, these are only a few questions of community broadly posed, but it
is clear that such questions open Levinas' work to a more difficult, and
perhaps edifying, scrutiny.

We are especially excited to announce the attendance of some members of
Levinas' family at the 2007 conference. David Hansel, George Hansel, Joelle
Hansel, and Simone (Levinas) Hansel will all deliver plenary presentations.
We are additionally very pleased to announce that George Kunz, fitting with
the theme of Levinas and community, will give a plenary on Levinas's
inspiration for understanding psychopathology and psychotherapy; Professor
Kunz's work is proving integral to developing new ways of concretely applying
Levinas' work toward issues of ethics and social justice.


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 three or four.

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 January 15, 2007

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Received on Sun Nov 19 2006 - 18:51:45 EST