CFP: Theorizing Cultural Difference and Transdifference (10/1/04; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Dunja M. Mohr


Journal for the Study of British Cultures

Special Issue: "Theorizing Cultural Difference and Transdifference"

The inquiry into various types of cultural difference has been a central
concern of cultural studies for the last two decades. Especially in the
contexts of postcolonial and gender studies as well as globalization,
every account of identity now begs the question of difference. Many
attempts have been made not only to theorize difference, but also to
transcend its binary and hierarchical aspect and to overcome it with the
help of concepts like transculturalism, multiculturalism and hybridity.
However, such concepts fail to adequately account for multiple
affiliations, for seemingly paradoxical phenomena and ambivalences as
well as for binarisms which may be temporarily suspended without being
permanently deconstructed. In order to address such phenomena which defy
traditional logic, the founding members of the Graduate School "Cultural
Hermeneutics: Reflections of Difference and Transdifference" (University
of Erlangen) have coined the term "transdifference". Its trajectory is
neither synthesis nor deconstruction, but a temporalization and
pluralization of difference.

We assume that such a focus on the pluralization of difference will not
only enable a different approach to the fairly well-researched
categories of race, class, gender and sexual orientation, but will also
make it possible to move beyond these and include other markers of
difference, like age or religion, which have received comparatively
little attention. Moreover, "transdifference" could be the basis for an
exploration of various other constructions of cultural meaning not
limited to the question of identity, as well as for a critical analysis
of disciplinary categorizations.

In the special issue of the JSBC, we aim to supply a more detailed
theoretical explanation of "transdifference" and of the concepts
relevant for it and to put the concept to the test with the help of
various examples which show "transdifference" at work in a particular
context. We welcome contributions from various disciplines such as
cultural studies, sociology, political sciences, history or media
studies as well as British Studies.

Please send abstracts of about 1,000 words (email) to all three guest
editors of this special issue. The deadline for abstracts is October
2004; finished essays need to be submitted by February 2005.

Guest Editors:

Doris Feldmann,
Ina Habermann,
Dunja M. Mohr,

University of Erlangen
English Department
Bismarckstr. 1
91054 Erlangen

Tel.: ++49 9131 85-22432

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Received on Sun Jul 11 2004 - 21:26:06 EDT