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BREAKING THE RULES! Cultural Reflections on Political, Religious and Aesthetic Transgressions
full name / name of organization:
Leiden University Center for the Arts in Society (LUCAS)
LUCAS International Graduate Conference 2015
Society, religion and art have always been defined and governed by certain (un-)written rules. Yet there have always been those who willingly transgressed communal norms. Throughout history, from Antiquity, through the Middle Ages, up to the present day, these transgressors have met with either praise or disapproval. Some have been heralded as heroes, great thinkers or revolutionary artists, while others have been branded as exiles, sinners or outcasts. In Greek mythology, Prometheus was punished for defying the Gods and gifting humanity with fire; Christianity, Judaism and Islam condemn Adam and Eve’s transgression of divine command. The legacy of prominent rule-breakers, such as Socrates, Jeanne d’Arc, Pablo Picasso and Martin Luther King, can still be felt today.
This multi-disciplinary conference focuses on the wide range of cultural reflections on the violation of laws, traditions and conventions in the political, religious and aesthetic domains. Central questions, applicable to all three domains, include: Who breaks the rules? What are the aims of the offender: identification, protest or innovation? How can the authority of rules be undermined? How has transgression been perceived through the ages? Is the rule breaker punished or praised? To what extent is an act of rule breaking a confirmation of the existence of certain rules? What role does gender play in rule breaking? How do various cultures define transgression?
Papers in the political domain may focus on artistic perspectives on social taboos, the ethics of rule breaking, revolt, emancipation, disobedience, identity through rule breaking, the absence of rules (anarchy, freedom), protest through art or any other topic related to this domain. Papers in the religious domain may deal with cultural perspectives on the various aspects of religious rule breaking, such as sin, confession, penance, damnation, redemption, heresy and inquisition, as well as iconoclasm and idolatry. Other topics include, but are not limited to, sin as a political instrument, religious taboos and forbidden pleasures. Papers in the aesthetic domain may focus on boundaries of what is considered to be art, changing perceptions of beauty/ugliness in art, deviations from stylistic conventions and artistic traditions, plagiarism, the tension between resisting convention and embracing innovation or any other topic related to this domain. Creative and engaging ideas which fall outside the three domains described above will also be considered.
The LUCAS Graduate Conference aims to reflect the institute’s interdisciplinary and international character. As such, this two-day conference will provide a platform for PhD students in the humanities, from Leiden as well as other universities in the Netherlands and abroad, to present and exchange their ideas in an international and interdisciplinary environment. The organising committee invited two internationally renowned senior academics from different disciplines to act as keynote speakers, participate in the discussions and provide feedback to the papers presented at the conference.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Barbara H. Rosenwein, Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago
The LUCAS Graduate Conference welcomes papers from all disciplines within the humanities. The topic of your proposal may address the concept of rule breaking/transgression from a cultural, historical, classical, artistic, literary, cinematic, political, economic, religious or social viewpoint. Possible themes for papers may revolve around, but are not limited to, the following concepts:
- Heresy, Agnosticism, Sin, Adultery, Immorality, Redemption
Please send your proposal (max. 300 words) to present a 20-minute paper along with a brief bio (150 words) before 15 October, 2014 to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be notified whether or not your paper has been selected by 1 November, 2014. Should you have any question regarding the conference and/or the proposal, please do not hesitate to contact the organizing committee at the same email address. The conference website can be found here:
A selection of papers will be published as conference proceedings in the Journal of the LUCAS Graduate Conference http://www.hum.leiden.edu/lucas/jlgc/. For those who attend the conference, there will be a registration fee of €50 to cover the costs of lunches, coffee breaks, excursions and other conference materials. Unfortunately we cannot offer financial support for travel or accommodation expenses.
The Organizing Committee