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CONFERENCE "Crossing: Travels, Transformations, and Transgressions in and out of Codes and Canons"
full name / name of organization:
Department of English, Universitas Padjadjaran
“To be or not to be” may certainly be the question. It draws the boundary separating order and chaos, dividing the light from darkness, so to speak. The question resents the authoritative order of “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” while not readily accepting the risk of “the undiscovered Country.” This dilemma drives Hamlet to play within the sphere of conspiracy and performance, representing in general the “dialectic between codification and play [which] is an enduring feature of human existence,” as Robert Scholes asserts in his Textual Power. Codes and canons that establish and safeguard orthodoxy prompts resentment and challenge from society and the discourse that surrounds it, to which “orthodoxy replies by codifying unorthodox, setting aside times and places for approved Saturnalias, designating certain attire as the jester’s special clothing, and telling poets they have a ‘license’ to be odd.” Literature and the arts (fine or otherwise) in general have served as a kind of Saturnalia, given the license to question generally accepted values and conventions and to offer novel—and even radical and revolutionary—modes of thought and expression, sanctifying and celebrating moral and socio-political outcasts and heretics (historical figures and fictional characters) from Abu Nuwas and Wu Cheng-en, Boccaccio and de Sade, Fanny Fern and Mark Twain, to Lawrence and Rushdie.
Unorthodox discourse and discourse on unorthodoxy becomes more demanding, if not necessary, as cultures meet, contend, and osmotically seep into each other in an increasingly globalized world. Carnivals are extended to include everyday praxis, blurring and widening the boundaries that separate chaos and order, becoming more and more a part of normalcy as rebellion and experimentation become a trend and vulnerable to commodification. As the Berlin Wall, the Bamboo Curtain, and trade barriers are taken down, studies in the arts and humanities have questioned their own codes and canons, setting side by side the classical and the avant-garde, the high and the popular, the central and the peripheral, the sublime and the profane. Accordingly, boundaries between disciplines and languages are crossed as interdisciplinary inquiries and translations crowd and saturate the academy and the market, and radical, revolutionary ideas and movements that dismantle established notions and norms of identity, nation, race, class, gender, and sexuality are watered down to jargon and small talk. Will, then, the Socratic figure escape execution to, in turn be imprisoned as a commercial icon on a T-short front?
This conference is expected to bring together scholars, writers, artists, and activist engaged in the fields of
-English studies and studies in Anglophone cultures
The organizers invite aspiring, emerging, and experienced scholars (faculty members as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students) as well as cultural and literacy activists to submit abstracts of 250 words the following topics.
-The place of the arts and the humanities in a globalized, postmodern world of hypercommodification
Abstracts are to be submitted in English by April 30 online at http://english.fib.unpad.ac.id/crossing/abstract-submission, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by snail-mail to Department of English, Faculty of Arts, Universitas Padjadjaran, Jalan Raya Bandung-Sumedang km 21, Jatinangor, Sumedang 45363, Jawa Barat, Indonesia.
-Manneke Budiman, University of Indonesia
Acceptance will be notified by 7 May 2012.