Body and Awareness: The Discourse Between Anthropology and Literature

full name / name of organization: 
University of Zadar (Croatia)
contact email: 
g.hofmann@ucc.ie

The conference would like to establish a forum for debate and dialogue on current theory, practice and form of anthropological and literary work in social and cultural conceptualizations of body and awareness. We invite papers from all disciplines, which present theoretical and historical study on the overall topic: Body and Awareness. The Discourse between Anthropology and Literature.
Following the trace of Czordas' anthropology of embodiment and Nancy's theory of “writing the body,” intending to elaborate further on the discourse of semiotics (intertextuality) and phenomenology (intersubjectivity), we would like to include awareness as a phenomenon which we consider pivotal in understanding and deconstructing the common dualities of body and mind, body and self etc.
On the level of discourse we challenge the current crisis in representation to the point of encounter of anthropology and literature and look for ways of 'incorporating' awareness/embodiment in cultural theory. Such theory faces the blurred shaping of cultural practice as it manifests itself today in all spheres of social, literary and artistic life, and it concentrates on ambiguous strategies of response, stretching between archive and vision, confinement and transgression, and searching into the human condition of embodied awareness.
In such a context, 'body' becomes both agent and receiver of processes of awareness, while 'awareness' remains the witness of both bodily and conscious epistemological and practical acts. Embodiment as lived experience is a cultural phenomenon which can neither be perceived as equivocal with 'person' nor as clearly distinct. The process of de-ontologizing the difference and non-difference between body and awareness raises the question: how to objectify the ‘body’ which is our own? Only as an act of eccentric awareness which is simultaneously both the experience of existential presence and the representation of an objectified and recognizable abstraction. Each claim, either of identity or difference between body and awareness leads us into paradoxes, since in both cases while aiming at truth we get entangled in fictions.
Apart from reframing theoretical presumptions about embodiment as being-in-the-world, we want to discuss various modalities of its appearance in the stream of life – from biological, individual, social, political, cultural, narrative and performing formations of the lived body to the ultimately dead body in its social encounters and literary anticipations.
Crucial questions will be raised: Are we in intercultural situations embodied in the same way as on our cultural home-ground? Does every transnational experience require new embodiment? To look for answers we welcome particularly, but not exclusively, studies which emerge from multisited ethnographies and postcolonial or migrant literatures which genuinely challenge any given concept and idea of body, awareness and embodiment.
Thus language enters the discourse of experience, and writing on cultural diversities enables the crossing of disciplinary borders as an instance of embodiment that in the same act performs and witnesses its own emergence as a dynamic that goes beyond the negotiations about identity and difference of ‘body’ and ‘awareness’ as separate entities.
We invite papers engaging with such shifting horizons in the discourse on “Body and Awareness” on the levels of human experience, reflection and imagination, in writing, performing arts and rituals, and within social groups as well as individual lives. The impact of rapid global changes forces us into new ways of thinking in the search for meaningful orientations and solutions of emerging problems, locally and worldwide.
Papers might therefore focus on lived experience either in political, religious or artistic and literary spheres of human practice.

Date and Venue
25-27 May 2012, University of Zadar, New Campus (Novi kampus), dr. Franje Tudjmana 24 i

Organizing Committee
Snježana Zorić, University of Zadar, Croatia
Gert Hofmann, University College Cork, Ireland
Mario Katić, University of Zadar, Croatia

Key Speakers
Frank Chamberlain, University College Cork, Ireland
Klaus-Peter Köpping, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Submission Details
Abstracts (up to 350-words in Word doc.), should be sent to the conference E-mail address (boaazd@gmail.com), Snježana Zorić (szoric@unizd.hr) or Gert Hofmann (g.hofmann@ucc.ie) by 15th February 2012. Please include short biography, contact details and institutional affiliation.
You will be informed about acceptance or non-acceptance of your proposal by 29th February 2012.

Conference participation fees
Participation fee is – € 100
Participation fee for PhD and postdoctoral research students is – € 50.
The participation fee includes all symposium proceedings, daytime refreshments and two excursions into the Velebit Mountains where we are going to see mirila (a unique funeral custom) and to the old castle of Benkovac in Zadar hinterland.

Accommodation
Accommodation is not included in the conference fee. Further information is available on the conference website www.bodyandawareness.info

Enquiries
For queries regarding academic issues please contact either Snježana Zorić (szoric@unizd.hr or tyti28@gmail.com) or Gert Hofmann (g.hofmann@ucc.ie).
Queries about organizational issues may be addressed to Mario Katić (makatic@unizd.hr)
All information will be regularly updated on www.bodyandawareness.info

We look forward to seeing you in Zadar in May 2012.

cfp categories: 
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
gender_studies_and_sexuality
interdisciplinary
international_conferences
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond