CFP: Producing the Human in the Politics of Life and Death (11/30/05; ACLA, 3/23/06-3/26/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Masha C Mimran (mmimran_at_Princeton.EDU)
contact email: 


�Producing the Human in the Politics of Life and Death�

Panel for the American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting 2006: �The Human and its Others,� Princeton University, Princeton NJ, March 23-26, 2006

Deadline for paper proposals: November 30, 2005

Paper proposals are invited for the following seminar at the 2006 ACLA Conference: �Producing the Human in the Politics of Life and Death.�

Producing the Human in the Politics of Life and Death

In light of Giorgio Agamben�s ground-breaking theory of bare life, this seminar seeks to create an interdisciplinary discourse that re-examines the politics of life and death which produce, police, and define the human in opposition to the animal. In Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Agamben writes: �What is captured in the sovereign ban is a human victim who may be killed but not sacrificed: homo sacer� (83). Following Michel Foucault�s concept of �bio-power� and his claim that the modern state supplants the sovereign �right of death� by the power to �make live,� Agamben suggests that in the extreme case of the state of exception, sovereign authority propels this power to �make live� to a paradoxical excess; stripping individuals of the significant markers of social and political existence, only bare life can subsist. In The Open: Man and Animal, Agamben further argues that the anthropological machine itself produces bare life, a life that i!
 s neither human nor anim
al. We invite papers that explore how the dichotomy between man and animal produces a definition of the human that calls into question the relationship between the human and the non-human.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to: Can the animal respond?; �Biopower,� animality, and humanity; Dasein, the openness to a world, and the animal; animality, voice, and performative; �bare life,� death and the human; procreation, animality, and sexual difference; human, animal, and the (war) machine

Paper Proposals are due no later than November 30th. Abstract should be 250 words, and submitted online at

The American Comparative Literature Association annual conference is organized primarily into seminars (or �streams�), which consists either of twelve papers, if they meet on all three days of the conference, or eight to nine papers, if they meet on two days. Papers should be 15-20 minutes long maximum to allow time for discussion.

For further information about the conference, including the format, please see The conference may also be found by going to the ACLA homepage,

About this particular seminar, �Producing the Human in the Politics of Life and Death,� please feel free to contact seminar organizers at or

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Received on Thu Nov 03 2005 - 12:47:24 EST