Paper proposals are invited for a conference entitled “The Life and Work of G.I. Gurdjieff: Caucasian Influence in Contemporary Thought and Culture,” to be held 10-12 June 2005 in Yerevan and Gyumri, Armenia. Scholars are invited to examine the various dimensions of the life and thought of G.I. Gurdjieff and in particular the Caucasian and Armenian roots of his work.
Conference Topic: G.I. Gurdjieff (d. 1949) is an important figure in early 20th century philosophical and religious thought who continues to be influential throughout the world. British author Martin Seymour-Smith has recently included Gurdjieff’s "Beelzebub’s Tales To His Grandson" in his work "The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today."
Conference Theme: Building upon the success of the first conference, this conference will continue to take steps in redressing these imbalances. We will host a more in-depth three day conference in which presentations and discussions will take place that investigate Gurdjieff, his life, his work, as well as his ideas. In particular, we hope to highlight and explore the roots of his identity and his role as an important philosopher and thinker of Armenia and the Caucasus.
Planned Activities: The conference will last for a total of three days. In particular, we hope to present a range of papers delivered on Gurdjieff and the major themes in his writings, including the subject of the language that his works were originally written in (Armenian and Russian), the Caucasian dimensions of his teaching (e.g. The meals and toasts that formed the basis for his meetings with people), his influence on contemporary art and culture, as well as papers that situate his work in contemporary philosophical and religious thought. On the third day, we plan an excursion to Gyumri for sightseeing and a banquet.
Paper Proposals: Proposals addressing Gurdjieff’s thought and cultural identity and aspects of the cultures that influenced his ideas, teaching and writing are welcomed. However, papers are particularly encouraged that undertake original research speaking to one or more of the following areas of inquiry.
Gurdjieff’s Influence in Contemporary Culture and Thought
Gurdjieff’s Caucasian and/or Armenian Identity
Gurdjieff’s Writings: Language and Terminology
Gurdjieff’s “Toast of the Idiots”
Gurdjieff’s View of War.
Scholars, researchers and students interested in presenting papers at the conference should send a paper proposal of not more than 500 words by e-mail to: Michael Pittman (e-mail address given below).
The working languages of the conference will be English and Armenian – there will be simultaneous translation. The deadline for the submission of paper proposals is 28 January 2005. Authors of the paper selected for the conference will be notified by 11 February 2005.
*Some in country expenses may be paid for a few of the participants. Please indicate any particular financial or other needs with proposal submissions.
Participants will be required to submit the full text of their respective papers to the conference organizers by 12 May 2005 (4 weeks before the conference).
It is anticipated that the conference papers will be published as a volume. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the conference organizers will have first option on all papers presented at the conference, and will let participants know by 18 November 2005 whether they will exercise that option.
Informal preliminary inquiries regarding paper submissions are welcome and may be directed to the email address indicated above.
***If you are interested in attending but not presenting at the conference, please use the E-mail address below for questions or to receive more information about expenses, accommodations, etc.
Dept. of Humanities
Albany College of Pharmacy
Albany, NY 12208
(518) 445-7385 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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