[UPDATE] Interrogating the Human: Literary and Epistemological Interchange - July 9-11 2013 Annual AUETSA Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Association of University English Teachers of South Africa / Rhodes University
contact email: 

This conference will consider the interrelationship between formal structures of knowledge and literary writing / discourse. It will interrogate the deep discursive interplay between non-fictive and fictive forms and address critical issues associated with this historical division.

How are paradigms for the collection and transmission of knowledge about the natural world informed, transmitted, and transmuted by literary means? How might literary criticism play a role in the interrogation of epistemological genres associated with the categorization of the human, including but not limited to philosophy, jurisprudence, anthropology and biology?

Topics might include (but are not limited to):

• Travel writing, Empire, and the making of natural history and ethnography; Social Darwinism, race and gender.
•Early Modern/Enlightenment philosophical paradigms for human classification.
• Law in/as literature; science in/as literature; the literary genealogies of secular epistemological paradigms and their conception of the human self.
• Narratives of human origin in the human sciences (and beyond); 'first contact' accounts of culture in the human sciences; ethnography as genre; human science and popular culture.
• Primatology and the human self; human and animal selves in classificatory epistemologies; animals and human selves in premodern epistemologies.
• The body in medical discourse; patient testimonies vs. medical case histories in the creation of medical knowledge; the body and pathology.
• The body as specimen; historical conceptions of the body and the self in epistemological and literary intersections.

Keynote speakers:
Robert Young is a Professor of English at New York University. His work is primarily concerned with people and cultures on the margins and peripheries of society. Publications include The Idea of English Ethnicity (2008), Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction (2003) and White Mythologies (1990).

Laura Otis is a Professor of English at Emory University. Her work focuses on the ways that scientific and literary thinking coincide and foster each other's growth. Publications include Müller's Lab (2007), Membranes: Metaphors of Invasion in Nineteenth-Century Literature, Science, and Politics (1999) and Organic Memory: History and the Body in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (1994). Laura is also editor of Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century: An Anthology (2002).

Submission of abstracts:
Abstracts for papers of not more than 300 words should be submitted electronically by 15 March 2013, via the AUETSA website at
http://auetsaconference2013.co.za/, where more information about the conference will be available.