CFP: [Graduate] Identity and Roots (Grad)

full name / name of organization: 
Christopher Parsons


University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario
May 24, 2008

Keynote Speaker TBA

The University of Guelph Philosophy Graduate Student Association invites
submissions from graduate students from disciplines such as political
science, cultural and media studies, history, philosophy, critical theory,
and area studies. This graduate conference seeks to explore the
relationship between the issues of developing, recognizing, and expressing
identity and its rootedness in cultural, psychological, and/or material
substratum. Our emphasis will be not only on the philosophical
underpinnings of identity, but also what it means to realize identity in
spatial, tactile, and auditory environments, political associations,
cultural groups, and global networks.

Identities are core expressions of a composite of factors responsible for
contributing to what it means for a person to be themselves. This said,
each person expresses themselves differently given the situations they find
themselves in and often discover that their modes of expression are
uniquely sculpted by their particular recognition of the past, present, and
future. While questions of who we are, how we became as we are, and what
this means for our future projects have classically operated as guiding
questions for academic projects, these questions are becoming even more
important given the (seeming) rapidity of contemporary global environments.
As communication, cultural, transit, intellectual, and economic networks
are extended and intensified people are simultaneously experiencing a
potential closeness to their identity's roots, while often being unable to
fully realize that closeness. What are the effects of this alienation of
closeness? While these aforementioned networks propose to flatten
traditional hierarchies, making all members of the networks equal to one
another, what is the effect of this flattening on the development of
identity? Can individual or cultural identities continue to use traditional
sources to root their identities, or must their modes of formation shift in
light of global transformations?

Moreover, what does it mean to identify as a particular gender in this
global environment? Can the common identity distinctions between public and
private be maintained given the blurring of public/private binary
divisions? What are the effects of only partially developing one's identity
according to traditionally recognized normative criteria? What
codes/symbols/metaphors are involved in the establishment of identity, and
where are they located, and how should we investigate them?
Each presenter will be allocated 25 minutes. Please email abstracts (400
words) to by April 6, 2008.

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Received on Tue Feb 19 2008 - 12:15:16 EST