The Humanities Matter (?)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Department of English, University of North Bengal and North Bengal St. Xavier’s College, Rajganj (India)

International Seminar: The Humanities Matter (?)  

Organised by Department of English, University of North Bengal and North Bengal St. Xavier’s College, Rajganj (India)

Date: 10, 11 & 12 February, 2018

Venue: Conference Hall, University of North Bengal (India)


With productive indulgence and commitment the conference flings arrow shots on the dartboard of what we do and think about the Humanities today. Is it afflicted by mal d’archive or death drive where survival is linked with economic forces and where economy does not survive on an expenditure of excess? Can it survive in a world where the meaning and philosophy of humanism and humanistic thinking have undergone a serious transformation, struggling as it is under the relentless attack of how we look at aesthetic, ethical and cultural education? Where do the humanities stand within the postorientalist circulations that have reformulated our notions of violence, border, cultural thinking and phobic consciousness?  What questions do the humanities encounter through changes in materialist politics, obscurantist ideological positions, dismantling of the power of reason and the vexed tradition that comes with it? How have technicity, technomania, telematicism and forms of teleportation influenced and impinged upon our experience and understanding of the humanities? How can the arts and sciences step outside each other to effect a ‘deep’ integration? What truth should the humanities be searching within the space of a university, what academic freedom are we aspiring for, what predicament awaits it in the face of post-truth and post-factuality? Should our engagement with the humanities come with a condition or indulge the unconditional as well?  Is an unconditional humanities really possible? Is there, in the words of Derrida, any ‘humanities for future’? How do we see the ‘new humanities’ then?

Such a cluster of questions will contour the way we think about the humanities in this conference: our engagements with issues that endanger the humanities, issues that make us reclaim the humanities, issues that help us to make “thinking” central to our doing of the humanities.  

The conference will be organized through “discussion-clusters” beginning with an opening session with invited speakers on ‘The Matter and Mattering of the Humanities’.

Invited Speakers are: 

Prof Laurent Milesi (Cardiff University, UK),

Prof. Ivan Callus (University of Malta)

Prof. Isabel Karremann (University of Wurzburg, Germany),

Prof James Corby (University of Malta)

Prof. Sangeeta Ray (University of Maryland)

Prof. Anne-Marie Callus (University of Malta),

Prof Arleen Ionescu (University of Ploiesti, Romania).

Abstracts of 400-500 words should be sent via email to the seminar coordinator Ranjan Ghosh at by  September 30 , 2017 or by post to:

                  Seminar Committee

                  Department of English

                  University of North Bengal

                  Raja Rammohunpur, P.O: North Bengal Univerity

                  Siliguri- 734013, West Bengal, India               

Please note that the deadline for submission of abstracts is  September 30, 2017. Author information is to be provided on a separate sheet, including name, affiliation, contact address, paper title and author’s bio-note. Selected presenters will be informed via email by  October 15, 2017.

The clusters under which we welcome abstracts for consideration are:

  1. Counter-Text/post literary and the doing of Humanities [Cluster-heads: Ivan Callus & James Corby]
  2. Is posthumanism/transhumanism an answer to our doing of Humanities? [cluster-head: Ivan Callus]
  3. Disabilities studies and Humanities [cluster-head: Anne-Marie Callus]
  4. Technology and Humanities [cluster-head: Laurent Milesi]
  5. Role of the University [cluster-head: Isabel Karreman]
  6. Humanism, corporatism, institutionalism [cluster-head:  Arleen Ionescu]
  7. Humanities and Globalization [cluster-head: Sangeeta Ray]


We look into publishing a book out of the selected conference presentations (subjected to peer-review) under the series Transforming Literary Studies (Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield). This book series is edited by Ranjan Ghosh & Daniel O’ Hara (Temple University, US). For more on this book series see