Talking Tongues, Speaking Gestures: International Conference on Orality & Performance(01/12-13-14/2010; Deadline: 10/15/2009)

full name / name of organization: 
Jadavpur University

The oral, as a system of communication, while connecting the speaker and the listener in a network of communitic experiences, produces epistemological parameters ""status for the individual and the community. The three day-international conference will dwell on the questions of epistemology, identity and agency as emanating from the oral within the social—including indigenous and the cosmopolitan life worlds—without inviting/invoking an essential distinction between the two. Moreover, the conference will also address performance as an integral part of orality to understand the link and rupture between the sacred and the profane and between history and memory. It will inaugurate memory as mobilizing cognition and subjectivity. The conference will exercise caution in looking at orality as an indigenous essence; rather, it will open up a network of communications, in the form of speech and in the form of the non-discursive, to suggest patterns of negotiation with the immediate normative, the imaginary, and the future. It will look at performance as producing social subjectivities and thus will consider performance/performativity simultaneously as a socially sanctioned pattern and as a disavowal (the norm and its negation). Is then the reading of performance instrumental in opening up possibilities to look at patterns of practice, of production and consumption of identities through different media? How will we consider orality then: as a system of knowledge, integrally linked with the power coordinate, and thus an ideological struggle that is discerned around each and every speech, performance and/of silence?
Some principal sub-thematic concerns therefore will be:

* Voices and silences
* Memory and remembering
* Oral history and alternative voices
* Folklore and the life-worlds
* Orality as knowledge system
* Performing the profane
* Orality and the media (Film, theatre and others)
* The future of ritual
* Embodiment and empowerment

The title and a brief abstract (200-300 words) of the proposed paper may be sent as an email attachment by 15 October, 2009 to and