Ghosts, Gods, and Avatars: the Primordial and the Posthuman
ACLA Conference, April 4-6, 2003. Cal State, San Marcos
I am organizing a conference seminar (9-12 papers) for the 2003 ACLA Conference and am inviting brief proposals for papers. The conference, focusing on various types of "crossing over," will be hosted by Cal State-San Marcos, just north of San Diego, from April 4-6, 2003. Further information about the conference is available at the website listed below.
This seminar session will examine fault lines and conjunctions between narratives of the posthuman and those that are often associated with pre-modern societies such as myth, fable, dream, fairy tale, and the like. Ghosts, gods, and avatars, however, are all active figural categories in video games, film, literature, scientific narratives, academic disciplines, and other forms of contemporary cultural production. What needs and desires do such “uncanny” figures serve? What has happened to the Enlightenment ideal of reason that wants to “tame” such discourses and imaginings? If one version of the posthuman is of the meeting of the most primordial human wishes—for immortality, for example—with the highest of high technology, how can we interpret this encounter of the most ancient with the most modern? What does it indicate about our current cultural situation and what types of responses might serve us the best as we make the crossing into the era of the posthuman that is redefining all the old boundaries between the animate and the inanimate, the so-called material and the so-called spiritual, texts of fantasy and texts of the “real”?
This session seeks a broad range of papers, or other forms of presentation, that seek to define, critique, or expand these topics. They may range from ancient mythology to Bruno Latour; from Vedic texts to Virilio. One of our goals will be to reflect upon and facilitate contact between eras, texts, media, methodologies, or authors that are not usually brought into conjunction with one another, and to talk together about how we might invent the discourse of the posthuman.
Please send 500 word abstracts (or any questions you might have)to the address below. The deadline for proposals is October 1, 2002.
Please note that all participants in the annual meeting must be members of the ACLA. Membership forms are available at http://www.acla.org/gen_join.html
Department of English Language and Literature
Central Michigan University
Mt Pleasant, MI 48858
Fax: 989-774-1271 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the website at http://lunx.csusm.edu/acla2003/
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