Deferral, Discipline, Knowledge

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Generative Anthropology Society & Conference
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Deferral, Discipline, Knowledge

Call for Papers for GASC VIII: University of Victoria, June 19-22, 2014

Plenary Speaker(s): Professor Eric Gans, UCLA; TBA

“Deferral” is the neglected half of Derridean “différance,” a concept which has become a synonym for the endless play of differences promoted by deconstruction and postmodernism more generally. But deferral is also where deconstruction overlaps with Eric Gans’s originary hypothesis, which views representation as the deferral of violence, and the first sign as an aborted gesture of appropriation. For Gans, then, violence is deferred, whereas for deconstruction meaning is deferred. In this difference lies the possibility for a productive discussion of the relation between meaning and violence, and perhaps a clue to the repression of deferral in postmodern thought, which has mostly followed the path of undeferred desire and transgression. Deferral (of desire, of appropriation, of immediate action), meanwhile, is the basis of any discipline, whether by “discipline” we mean a shared object and vocabulary of inquiry, or a mode of self- or other-regulation that resists enslavement to passion. The 2014 GASC Conference will examine the general theme of deferral and discipline within the context of human knowledge, knowledge-making, and knowledge-events, thereby focusing on the task of theory, the role of the academy, and the responsibilities of pedagogy. We will consider as many dimensions as possible, including but not limited to:

*deferral in moral and ethical theory
*esthetic deferral; the deferral of desire in literature and the arts
*the relation between deferral and difference
*disciplines and disciplinarity
*the history and sociology of discipline
*Generative Anthropology and its relation to other disciplines
*Eric Gans’s thinking and that of leading postmodern thinkers of deferral and discipline, such as Agamben, Badiou, Bauman, Bourdieu, Butler, Derrida, Foucault, Habermas, Hacking, Heidegger, Kristeva, Kuhn, Lacan, Luhmann, Nussbaum, Sloterdijk, Spivak, Zizek and others

We welcome thinkers familiar with Generative Anthropology (GA) as well as those still discovering it; those friendly to GA as well as those critical of it. We would especially welcome papers which explore, expand, question, re-situate or refute Gans’s claim that “representation is the deferral of violence,” and the consequent claim that this understanding of representation is the proper basis for humanistic knowledge and inquiry.

Further conference details will be available shortly at the GASC VIII website, linked to A brief introduction to Generative Anthropology, the online journal Anthropoetics, and a bibliography are already available at this site. Proposals for papers of 20 to 25 minutes should be sent by attachment in MS-Word to: Professor Richard van Oort, Department of English, University of Victoria, at Deadline: March 1, 2014.

Students are invited to apply for the annual GASC Student Award (value, approx. $500). For details, contact Professor Ian Dennis, Secretary-Treasurer of the Generative Anthropology Society & Conference, at Deadline: February 1, 2014.

the fox knows many things… the hedgehog, one big thing

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