The Human Condition Series: 3rd Biennial International, Multidisciplinary Conference: "EROS 2010"

full name / name of organization: 
Toivo Koivukoski

THE HUMAN CONDITION SERIES: 3rd Biennial International,
Multidisciplinary Conference: "EROS 2010"
May 21-22, 2010
Nipissing University Muskoka Campus, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada


Featured Speaker: Luce Irigaray

We are delighted to have Luce Irigaray deliver an original presentation for the EROS Conference via satellite from Paris. In Thinking the Difference, she writes "Poor Eros!…What has become of us, that we are so poor in love?" inviting reconsideration of the Freudian position that relationships must be broken for civilization to exist. In her view, relations must be restored if we are to save ourselves and the earth from total annihilation. Irigaray's ideas challenge the necessity of breaking the bonds of love, for it is human ties that are the "missing pillars of our culture".

Special Plenary Talk: Shannon Bell

Shannon Bell is a fast feminist immersion philosopher who lives and writes philosophy in action. Her books include "Reading, Writing and Rewriting the Prostitute Body," "Whore Carnival," and "Fast Feminism." Bell is an associate professor in the York University Political Science Department where she teaches on psychology and politics, post contemporary theory, and identity/post identity politics.


Description of the Series and Conference Theme

"On the face of it at least, our civilization possesses no ars erotica. In return, it is undoubtedly the only civilization to practice a scientia sexualis..." --Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction

This conference is part of a larger series of ongoing, international, multidisciplinary conferences--run under the banner of The Human Condition Series--that brings together people from a variety of disciplines to assess a singular topic from artistic, cinematic, literary, ethical, social, political, philosophical, psychological and religious perspectives. We encourage you to share innovative ideas and new ways of thinking and acting. Proposals will be considered on any related theme and we especially welcome papers, reports, works-in-progress, workshops and sessions. This year's theme is EROS.

Though a human nature may not exist, there is comfort in the notion that a unifying force should subsist within all humankind: the will to live. Sigmund Freud named the driving impulse Eros. If humankind does possess, as a matter of our continuance as a species, an impulse for life-- a drive to overcome all adversity in order to reproduce itself--what does this say of the human condition? How can desire, pleasure and love lead to social bonds that ensure the perpetuation of the species in healthy abundance? What types of relations cultivate worth and esteem in the individual, and how can destructive elements of these same tropes damage the psyche and dissolve the very relations that lead to a healthy self-concept? How does pathos reveal itself in minds and in societies and how can we know when there is satisfaction in love or if an alternative object has been found through sublimation?

The Human Condition Series invites you to consider the concept of Eros, and to share original and revisited thoughts that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. We encourage expressions about how culture, habit, language, science and art, embody, remedy or fail Eros. Without prescription, we urge theorizations and analyses which seek to look beyond the here and now towards the possibilities to come.


Please submit a working title, a ONE-PAGE ABSTRACT (300-400 words) as an email attachment, and a short biography before March 1, 2010 to Professor Toivo Koivukoski at



PRESENTERS ARE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A 10-15 page summary paper by APRIL 15 and to register for the conference.

Presenters will have until June 25, 2010 to prepare their manuscripts for submission to the double-blind review process for possible publication.

For information about the HUMAN CONDITION SERIES please go to:

For information on the 2008 conference (including the conference program) please go to:


Possible topics include but are not limited to:

- The concept of Eros in the work and scholarship of Luce Irigaray.
- Heroines and Heroes of Eros
- The Eros of War
- The Eros of Motherhood.
- Representation, construction, reproduction or analysis of Eros.
- Subject/Identity formation and constructions of gender, sex and
- Eros and parthenogenesis in history and literature
- Categories of normativity, disorder, pathology or deviance in desire
- Eros as nature, power, cosmology, mythology, and society
- Eros and the transformation of consciousness, near-death and dreamlike
- Sacred marriage, immortal/mortal love
- Sex tourism, sex trafficking
- From Eros as mythos to Eros as logos
- The sensuous in the human world
- Eros and Gaia in the marketing of holistic healing
- Contemporary Families and Eros
- Eros in women's literature as a distinct tradition
- The role of Eros in different religious and spiritual traditions
- Semiotic approaches to Eros and culture, place, space, time


Film Feature

"Eros" is the collection of three short films exploring the subjects of love, sexuality, and desire: "Il filo pericoloso delle cose", directed by Michelangelo Antonioni; "Equilibrium", directed by Steven Soderbergh; and "The Hand", directed by Kar Wai Wong.


Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

For information on Nipissing University, please go to:

Bracebridge is north of Toronto. Shuttle service and other transportation are available.