[UPDATE] Deferral, Discipline, Knowledge

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Generative Anthropology Society & Conference
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The Eighth Annual Generative Anthropology Summer Conference: Deferral, Discipline, Knowledge

Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Dates: June 19-22, 2014

Plenary Speakers: Eric Gans and Raymond Tallis

Website: http://web.uvic.ca/gasc2014

Eric Gans is Professor of French at UCLA and has written eight books on Generative Anthropology. He claims that those categories deemed fundamental to humanistic inquiry must be traceable to their appearance in the "originary scene" of human culture. Gans will kick off our conference with a plenary on Jacques Derrida's idea of deferral and its relationship to Generative Anthropology's conception of a human science. Our second plenary is by the well known UK polymath Raymond Tallis. A Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester and author of 22 books of philosophy, anthropology, and cultural criticism, Tallis shares Gans's conviction that the humanities must re-engage in fundamental anthropological reflection if they are to succeed in their basic mission. Listed by The Economist in 2009 as one of the top living polymaths in the world and nominated in 2007 as one of the fifty "Brains of Britain" by The Independent, Tallis will deliver a keynote on "Neuromania and Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Mankind."

Call for Papers:

Our conference theme is deferral, discipline, knowledge. Critical objectivity and self-reflection are necessary for innovation and renewal across the disciplines. Yet only in the humanities does the idea of self-reflection coincide with the origin of one's disciplinary object. Humanists study texts, and the text is structured by the differentiation and deferral of symbolic signs, a process Jacques Derrida, in his early seminal work, attempted to analyze under the rubric of a "grammatology." Deferral is also where deconstruction overlaps with Eric Gans's originary hypothesis, which views representation as the deferral of violence, and the first symbolic sign as an aborted gesture of appropriation. Deferral, meanwhile, is the basis of any discipline, whether by discipline we mean a shared object and vocabulary of inquiry, or a mode of self- or other-regulation. We are seeking papers that examine the general theme of deferral and discipline within the context of human knowledge, knowledge-making, and knowledge-events,thereby focusing on the task of theory, the role of the academy, and the responsibilities of pedagogy. We will consider as many dimensions as possible, including but not limited to:

• deferral in moral and ethical theory
• esthetic deferral; the deferral of desire in literature and the arts
• the relation between deferral and difference
• disciplines and disciplinarity
• the history and sociology of discipline
• Generative Anthropology and its relation to other disciplines
• Eric Gans's thinking and that of leading postmodern thinkers of deferral and discipline,such as Agamben, Badiou, Bauman, Bourdieu, Butler, Derrida, Foucault, Habermas, Hacking, Heidegger, Kristeva, Kuhn, Lacan, Luhmann, Nussbaum, Sloterdijk, Spivak, Zizek and others.

We welcome papers from those familiar with Generative Anthropology (GA) as well as those new to it; those friendly to GA as well as those critical of it. We would especially welcome papers which explore, expand, question, re-situate or refute Gans's claim that "representation is the deferral of violence," and the consequent claim that this understanding of representation is the proper basis for humanistic knowledge and inquiry.


Proposals for papers of 20 minutes should be sent by attachment to Richard van Oort, Department of English, University of Victoria . Deadline: March 1.

GASC Student Award

Students are invited to apply for the annual GASC Student Award (includes $400 cash plus registration fee waiver). To be eligible for consideration, send your completed paper to the above email address by February 1. Please state that you are applying for the award.