2005 Pacific Rim Conference on Literature & Rhetoric
"ethics beauty environment: the Wilderness of Signs"
CALL FOR PAPERS
While it is clear that postmodernism was a shift in thinking that needed to happen -- a concerted movement to displace the grand narratives that for centuries have been used to disaffect peoples through naturalized and often power-stacked claims to reason, order, and justice -- postmodernism has proven defiantly evasive on elements integral to the condition(s) of being human: ethics, beauty, value, and judgment. And although signifying practice inescapably defines the human world, postmodernism has not successfully addressed aspects that lie outside human signification, namely the environment and the natural world. Here we find a dangerous conundrum: while the natural
world around us has an existence independent of its human conceptions, these human conceptions carry with them grave consequences for the natural world’s very existence. At the dusk of postmodernism, now is the time to visit careful attention upon these issues -- issues critical not only for the good of humanity, but for the good of the non-human world as well.
The title and theme for the 2005 Pacific Rim Conference on Literature and Rhetoric -- "ethics beauty environment: the Wilderness of Signs" -- invites discussion of:
objectivity after postmodernism?
ethical representations of non-humans
aesthetic responsibility and the role of art in society
homesteading as resistance
the environment in human imagination
reclamation and the middle places
threats of signification upon ecology
loss of the pastoral
the greening of discourse across disciplines
"greener pastures" on Mars: Eden ex terra
the ecocomposition classroom
"nature" of postmodern sexuality
the frontier and/of technology
"wide sustainability" vs. Gaia discourses
the consequences for and beyond humanities studies in the 21st Century.
These suggestions are meant to stimulate rather than limit thought, and responders are encouraged to interpret the conference theme freely. Proposals for both individual papers and panel organizations may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted directly through the conference website at: http://www.cyborgsophist.net/pacrim/
Individual abstracts should be 200-300 words for a 20-minute presentation. We will assess and organize individual papers into panels of three or four.
Panel proposals should be 500 words for a 1 hour-15-minute session. Please include the session title, name of organizer, institutional affiliation, discipline or department, along with the chair's name and participants' names.
The conference will be held March 3 - 5, 2005.
The submission deadline is December 15, 2004.
Please direct all questions and concerns to:
Joseph Jordan, conference director
Department of English
University of Alaska Anchorage
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