CFP: Logics of the Living (5/10/07; 10/12/07-10/14/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Alexis Briley
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Keynote Speaker: Daniel Heller-Roazen

Department of Comparative Literature
Cornell University
October 12-14, 2007

While a linguistic paradigm dominated theoretical inquiry in the humanities
in the last decades of the 20th-century, crucial questions of literature,
philosophy and politics are increasingly formulated in terms of "life"
rather than language. Extending across disciplines, whether medical,
environmental, juridical, philosophical, anthropological, or biological, an
open-ended concept of "life" has also come to inform critical thinking in
the humanities. How does an emerging life paradigm in the humanities
reflect or lead to the development of various "logics of the living" through
which "life" becomes an organizing principle or system, whether aesthetic,
conceptual, or social? How do these "logics of the living," as metaphors,
actualities, ethical foundations, or theoretical frameworks, come to inform
the work of cultural criticism? We invite varied responses to these
questions, as well as further reflections on how the question of "life" is
ordered, represented, repressed, celebrated, idealized or domesticated in
the humanities today.

Possible paper topics might include:
Future of life: finitude
Afterlife (trauma, haunting, survival)
Second Life and Second Death
Creation, procreation, creature
Birth (control), and labor
Reproduction, replication, proliferation
Evolution, adaptation, hybridity, competition, survival, desire
Life and sexuality
Life and artifice
Aesthetic forms of the living
Biographics: narrative, memory, biography
Humanisms and post/anti-Humanisms
Animal lives
Life and materiality
Bare Life and Biopolitics
Body Politic; corporation/incorporation
Rights of the living
Politics of life/death
Life and being: Bio-ontology
Touching: auto-affection, hetero-affection
Rhythms of life
Everyday Life
Life of objects
Commodification of life: stem-cells, human tissue, organ trafficking
Genetics, genomics, body and code
Systems, ecologies, interdependencies

About the keynote speaker: Daniel Heller-Roazen is Professor of Comparative
Literature at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative
Literature from the Johns Hopkins University and holds additional degrees in
Philosophy and German. His wide-ranging interests address issues in
classical literature, medieval philosophy (in Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic),
medieval literature, and twentieth-century philosophy. He is author of
Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language (Zone Books, 2005), which explores
the relationship between speech, writing, and memory, as well as Fortune's
Faces: The Roman de la Rose and the Poetics of Contingency (The Johns
Hopkins UP, 2003), which the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben has
described as a "model of theoretical acumen and critical sensibility."
Heller-Roazen is a noteworthy translator, having translated Agamben's The
End of the Poem: Studies in Poetics and edited and translated the collection
of Agamben's essays, Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy. His
work has appeared in the journals Critical Inquiry, diacritics, MLN, and
October. In 2007 he will publish The Inner Touch: Archaeology of a
Sensation, a study that investigates the sense of being sentient in thinkers
and writers from Aristotle to Benjamin.

The deadline for submission of 250-word paper abstracts for 20-minute
presentations is May 10, 2007. Please include your name, e-mail address,
and phone number. Please email abstracts to<>.
Notices of acceptance will be sent no later than May 31, 2007. Full text of
accepted papers will be due September 1, 2007. For more information visit

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Received on Wed Apr 04 2007 - 15:48:15 EDT