CFP: Epistemologies of Torture (grad) (3/25/07; 4/6/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Eric L. Martinsen

The 5th Annual Graduate Student Conference of the Consortium for
Literature, Theory & Culture at the University of California, Santa

Epistemologies of Torture: Limits, Bodies, Black Sites
Friday, 6 April 2007
Centennial House, UC Santa Barbara

Abstracts Due: Sunday, March 25
Send to:

Keynote Speakers:

Alicia Partnoy (poet, activist, torture survivor and author of The
Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival in Argentina)

Gail Wronsky (poet and translator of both Alicia Partnoy and the
Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo)

Both the humanities and torture have historically been bound up with
the pursuit of truth and knowledge. This conference will probe how
we know torture and how we torture to know (or to suppress knowing).
We will also
investigate the conceptual limits and ethical boundaries of this
knowledge production at both extremes.

As scholars in the humanities - a project intimately concerned with
the necessary and inescapable bond between language and practice - we
must not be silent in the face of current linguistic manipulations
that have redefined torture to justify its practice within the limits
of law.

In addition to ethical and legal epistemologies, this conference will
take up the particular knowledge of torture survivors as well. In
the words of Jean Améry, "If from the experience of torture any
knowledge at all remains
that goes beyond the plain nightmarish, it is that of a great
amazement and foreignness in the world that cannot be compensated by
any sort of subsequent human communication" (1980:
39). We seek to acknowledge and know better this permanent
foreignness, how we allow it to come into the world, and the extent
to which communication, though it will never serve as compensation,
might be a way of looking forward.

We invite 250-word abstracts that speak to any of the following topics:

torture and language
torture and memory
torture and law
the history of torture
economies of torture
torture and memorialization
torture and urban design
documenting torture
torture and the academy
torture and the intellectual
the performance and performativity of torture
writing torture
teaching torture
reading torture
defining torture

Please send abstracts to by Sunday, 25
March 2007.

For more information on the Consortium for Literature, Theory and
Culture and the event, please visit:

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Received on Mon Mar 19 2007 - 14:51:13 EST