CFP: [Cultural-Historical] CFP: âKeeping the Ability to Respondâ: Panel for Free Exchange Graduate Conference, University of C

full name / name of organization: 
Mike Roberson
contact email: 
mroberso@ucalgary.ca

Abstracts and/or papers are sought for a panel entitled “Keeping the Ability to Respond: Ethics
and the Creative Act” as part of the annual Free Exchange Graduate Conference to be held March
28-30, 2008 at the University of Calgary. The theme for this year’s conference is “Literature and
Its Others: Inside, Outside, and Between the Disciplines.”

In his book, Totality and Infinity, philosopher Emmanuel Levinas suggests that ethics must be
based in a recognition of responsibility to the Other—a willingness to respond to an-other. In
kind, poet Robert Duncan defines responsibility as keeping the ability to respond. Taken
together, the indication is that responsibility, as the core of ethics, carries with it an obligation to
be both committed and flexible, open and vigilant. While these are terms we might also
associate with artistic practice, how often is art conscious of itself, as not only responsive but
responsible to the world around it—as having serious ethical bearing? One might even begin to
ask, echoing W.H. Auden, whether art really makes anything happen? In underscoring the
importance of response in notions of responsibility, this panel seeks ultimately to explore the
relationship between creative endeavors and their sociopolitical, and/or ethical implications.
Considerations might include:
• How does, can or has art traverse(d) both its aesthetic role and its responsibility to the world
around it?
• What might a responsible art look, sound, feel or even taste like?
• What is the difference between reaction and response?
• Can highly aestheticized or experimental work have real social impact?
• Does poesis (making) really influence ethos (social character)?
• What is a poetics of responsibility? A poetics of engagement?
• How can the personal really be political?
• Does the political or moral allegory still exist with any real efficacy?
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length) to panel chair Mike
Roberson at mroberso_at_ucalgary.ca. Attachments should be in Rich Text or Word format only,
and please include your name, professional affiliation, and contact information in the body of
your email. Deadline for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

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Received on Thu Jan 17 2008 - 20:55:21 EST

cfp categories: 
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches