CFP: African Oedipus (Netherlands) (12/20/06; AEGIS, 7/11/07-7/14/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Ide Corley-Carmody

Addressing the question of how psychoanalytic theories might speak
about "race," Hortense Spillers gives the term "African Oedipus" to a
model of cultural self-formation which recognizes the status of the
"father" as a social function rather than a biological genitor ("'All
the Things You Could Be by Now if Sigmund Freud's Wife Was Your
Mother': Psychoanalysis and Race"). For Spillers, the term "African
Oedipus" mediates a sociosymbolic order characterized by shifting
specular relations rather than by the fixed hierarchical positions and
meanings attributed to the father, the mother and the child within the
traditional Freudian model. The term "African Oedipus" is also linked
by Spillers with historical experiences and memories of slavery and

This panel invites papers exploring the psychoanalytic dynamics of
cultural self-production in Africa and the diaspora. The panel seeks to
focus on what may be construed as "private" and "familial" rather than
on the broader social effects of mass traumas linked to events like war
or forced migrations. In doing so, however, the panel does not seek to
hide the effects of social and political events or issues on (either
prominent or relatively anonymous) families and persons.

Possible topics might include but are not limited to:

Applications of the work of Frantz Fanon, Marie-Cecile and Edmond
Ortigues, Ibrahim Sow and/or Hortense Spillers to specific African
cultural texts

Cultural expressions of such paradigms as the "collective phallus" and
the "unbeatable ancestor" (the Ortigues/Spillers)

The dynamics of fraternal rivalry

The urban gang as a manifestation of "African" Oedipal confraternity

The effects of "African" Oedipality for women and/or gendered relationships

The psychosocial roles of personal appearance and/or of apparitions in
African cultural settings

Please send paper proposals (250 words) to Ide Corley at on or before 20th December 2006.

Please note: The Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies
(AEGIS) is a research network of African Studies Centres in Europe
which aims to create synergies between experts and institutions. For
more information about AEGIS and the conference in Leiden, please visit

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Received on Sun Nov 19 2006 - 17:51:09 EST