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The familiar becomes frightening - the notion of the uncanny
full name / name of organization:
Academy of Humanities and Economics
Academy of Humanities and Economics in Łódź, Poland
Invites all the interested scholars to participate in an international two-day conference:
The familiar becomes frightening – the notion of the uncanny in language and culture
26th-27th November 2009
The general topic of the conference is related to the idea of the uncanny and its various aspects, echoes, and repercussions. In particular, we are going to bear in mind the statement by Siegmund Freud, in his famous article The Uncanny (Das Unheimliche): “Thus heimlich (the familiar) is a word the meaning of which develops in the direction of ambivalence, until it finally coincides with its opposite unheimlich (the uncanny)”. Consequently, the locus of the uncanny may be found in the most surprising, or indeed apparently humdrum, places, being itself a place where the extremes meet, or, as Nicholas Royle puts it, where “the familiar and the unfamiliar commingle”. Hence, we should not be surprised that many contributions for our conference will touch upon the highly paradoxical nature of the uncanny, which is, naturally (or perhaps ‘unnaturally’?), a good metaphor of the world and the civilization in which we happen to live, a metaphor of our post-modern, or perhaps already strongly ‘un-post-modern’, or, even ‘post-post-modern’ reality, as some, rather uncannily, like to call it.
We welcome then all papers concerned with the condition of contemporary culture, language, and literature, as seen from the point of view of its most disquieting, unexpected, challenging, puzzling, that is uncanny, aspects. There will be, however, enough room also for those who delve in the past, and in old books, because, after all, there is hardly anything more uncanny than a haunted house, and the idea of haunting is of course based, just like the idea of the uncanny, on the eternal return of what is, only very superficially, dead and buried.
The suggested topics might include but are not limited to
Areas/themes to explore in literature and culture:
Areas/themes to explore in linguistics:
Conference fee 250PLZ (60 Euro)
The account number and further details will be sent to the conference participants in the next circular. The fee should be paid by 25th October.
Please direct any questions and abstracts to email@example.com