"Kairos and Qualia, or the Voices of the Undead" (ACLA Seminar, 11/15/11, 3/29/12-4/21/12)

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ACLA 2012

The concept of the undead focuses our attention upon the paradoxical, aporetic, seemingly-permeable boundaries between life and death, and between past and present. Within the scope of this seminar, we are interested in how embodied or estranged voices, narrative, and stories, pass through those boundaries.

The undead also raises the question of mind-body experience at the heart of qualia. If mind and body are linked, what happens when they are torn apart through the traumatic experience of death, what Agamben calls "overdeath," or, in some cases, near-death? Furthermore if mind and body are connected in what might be called the opportune time and place what is the effect of these types of catastrophe on kairos? Is there a way of reconstructing a type of kairos, is such a return possible, or is that nothing more than a space of nostalgia (or horror) opened up by the traumatic event?

This seminar will explore the abject voices of the undead and their dangerously evocative power. We see an abundance of possibilities for discussion, ranging from the zombie apocalypse to artificial intelligence and from the gothic to the cyberpunk. Papers that examine any aspect of the undead or living dead including but not limited to art, literature, film, television, gaming, and political discourse, are welcome.

Please submit abstracts of 250 words no later than 15 November 2011 via the ACLA conference website: http://www.acla.org/submit/index.php. Feel free to contact the organizers with any questions you may have.