CFP: Peace. Esthetics of an Ethic (10/31/05; 4/27/06-4/28/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Sylvain David



International and interdiciplinary conference
Concordia University (Montreal), Avril 27-28, 2006

Peace as a social value has, in the same manner as War, always followed
human evolution. It was, however, defined in a coherent way ­ that is by
association to what one could call "the supreme good" ­ much later than were
the treaties of the war, even if its previous depictions can be traced back
to the state of bliss conveyed by the myths of the creation of the world. It
is during this long invention of peace that, in the spirit of Kant, for
example, appears the ideal of perpetual peace (taken up recently by
Habermas). Peace, born from a situation of conflict, henceforth becomes an
autonomous concept; with the advent of modernity, it will be transformed
into a progressive value. What remains of peace today, in a so-called global

If many studies of the uses and practices of peace in the historical and
contemporary worlds have already demonstrated the complex character of the
phenomenon ­ which falls under sometimes very distinct ethics, systems
and/or political, social and cultural movements ­ the aesthetic dimension of
such a symbol still deserves a thorough exploration. For peace is also
beautiful. But towhat point? What is the true relation governing these two

Peace as the end of hostilities between men, religions, States or economic
powers has often been seen as the consequence of multiple phenomena
including the signature of a treaty, the application of a truce or the
increase of economic exchange. But it has also been seen as a reaction to
the horror brought on by massacres, which it tends to push back ad
infinitum, or even as the direct result of war and conquests.

Nevertheless, the manners of instituting, living and breaking peace remain
multiple and answer to different logics; in the same way, the depictions,
fictitious or not, of the condition of human beings living in a pacified
state or universe often vary according to particular characteristics. This
especially as the image of peace often goes beyond an instituted rapport,
beyond the mere word, and is made visible through gesture, glance, dress or
posture: in short, peace is surrounded by an ethos whose transparency and
obviousness testify only to its importance. From a multi-disciplinary point
of view, this conference wishes to bring together researchers interested in
the modes of depiction of peace, particularly insofar as the transposition
of an ethical question to an expression of an aesthetic nature in the broad
sense makes it possible to approach, from a critical perspective, the
problems or benefits, for modern and post-modern societies, of a pacified
universe, one in the process of pacification or one living in the memory of

Suggested Topics

- Peace and modernity: a sociopolitical ideal of peace and harmony vs. a
philosophical and aesthetical ideal of negativity, conflict and rupture;
forms of expression and depiction;

- End of History, postmodern world, global society and peace; new aesthetics
of peace;

- Peace in literature and the arts (painting, theatre, cinema, music, dance,

- Religious and spiritual heritage of peace; social memory of peace;
argumentation and narration;

- To see and to show peace: an iconography and its symbolic system;

- Aesthetics of the pacifist movements, from the hippies to the

- "Si vis pacem, para bellum": the paradox of a combat, of an armed struggle
for peace (this stemming from revolutionary movements as well as from powers
in place); pathos of peace;

- Representations of peace in the event of victory or defeat; staging honor,
resignation, shame, revolt, etc;

- Peace and culture (also, the correlation, posited by a certain philosophy
of history, between the idea of pacification and that of the decline of
civilization); peace as a critical element of culture.

Proposals for papers, in English or in French, must include a summary of 300
words, accompanied by a title and coordinates (name, position, University,
Department, etc). The organizing committee must receive proposals before
October 31, 2005.

François-Emmanuel Boucher, Collège militaire royal du Canada
Courriel :

Janusz Przychodzen, York University
Courriel :

Sylvain David, Concordia University
Courriel :

Important: The committee is accepting also proposals for articles on the
same topic. The selected articles will be included in the collective
published after the conference. Priority will be given to papers presented
at the conference and selected by the committee. Proposals for paper must be
sent before October 31, 2005.

The selection committee will send letters of acceptance before November 15,

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Received on Mon Oct 17 2005 - 23:53:38 EDT