"Encounters: Friends, Foes, and Companions," The 10th TACMRS International Conference, 21-22 October 2016, Due: 3 Feb. 2016

full name / name of organization: 
Taiwan Association of Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies

Human civilization often entails various kinds of encounters. One of the most fundamental is interpersonal contact from which friendship, animosity, and companionship are born. In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, friendship is defined in terms of ethical virtues, while in patristic writings friendship refers to a shared sense of being children of the one Father and brothers in Christ. From the Renaissance down to the modern era, there have been engaging discussions about forbidden friendships. In contrast, hostile feelings, especially jealousy and hatred, have long been favorite topics for writers such as Shakespeare who draws from the book of Proverbs in Julius Caesar and Othello to represent how the kisses of an enemy may be profuse.
On a broader scale, encounters can also be examined with reference to the contacts among different cultures and subsequent ideological transmission, conflict, hybridity, assimilation, and transformation. Ever since Classical Antiquity, communication between the East and the West has triggered a series of crucial cultural exchanges and interfaith interactions that can be inexhaustible subject matters for profound deliberation and academic research.
In addition to investigations into encounters in human societies, surveys of cross-species and eco-critical perspectives are welcomed so as to stimulate dialogue on environmental problems from both the viewpoints of the exploiters and the exploited. This discourse may help elucidate how human beings envision environments as their companions or adversaries and how human preconceptions determine the literary representation of human-animal and human-environment relationships. Therefore, aside from conventional approaches, this conference also aims to look at how the works of pre-modern environmental advocates square with the more popular drama, poetry, and even political discourse of the time and how these matters form an important part of literary, cultural, social, and environmental histories.
Within the purview of human contacts with the physical world, we would also welcome studies concerning engagement with nonphysical entities--the demonic and the heavenly—to shed light on the supernatural or transcendental perception of human encounters via different religious beliefs.
Within this four-stratum framework, this conference aims to proffer a forum for investigating human encounters that engender affection and enmity.

Topics for consideration may include (but are not limited to):
Philosophy of friendship in various cultures
Friendship from Classical Antiquity to the Renaissance
Forbidden friendship & homosexuality
Male friendship and female friendship
Friendship and patronage
Friendship and betrayal
Affiliation and politics
Human-nonhuman relationships
Humanism vs. anthropocentrism
Environmental encounters
Pre-modern environmental imagination
Representation of landscape and dreamscapes
Environmental impact on human psychology
Utopian imagination and new world order
Cross-species encounters
Bestiary and animal studies
Cross-boundary encounters
Wars and cultural encounters
Commerce and cultural encounters
Cosmography and the human world
Cosmology east and west
Pilgrimages and healing environments
Exorcism vs. healing practices
Interfaith encounters
Religious notions of friendship and relationship
TACMRS cordially invites papers that reach beyond the traditional chronological and disciplinary borders of Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies. Please submit abstracts of 250 words and a one-page CV to Sandra Yu or Phoebe Yang at 2016tacmrs.nptu@gmail.com with a subject line stating "Submission for the 10th TACMRS Conference" by 3 February 2016.
For more information, please visit the 2016 TACMRS Conference website: http://www.english.nptu.edu.tw