The fifth International Symposium of CORPUS International Group for the Cultural Studies of the Body will take place on September 7th-9th 2011 in Munster (Germany). The theme of this event will be "Devoted Bodies or Great Shows? Making Profit on Sacred Areas". It will be organised with the support of the University of Munster, the National University of Catamarca (Argentina) and the Escuela Nacional Superior de Folklore José María Arguedas (Peru).
From the great Himalayas to the Andes, as well as Kilimanjaro, Mount Sinai, Mount Athos and the sacred mountains of China… inhabitants perform rituals to calm down the "five elements" or call down God’s blessing from these high areas. Since the 1970s and especially at the beginning of the 21st century, secular Europeans and other Westerners have begun seeking "spiritual clues" to understand their own lives, looking for "virgin" places immune to market influences. To fulfill this desire, local populations have developed a tourist market, promoting tour operators and travel agencies. As a result, a new kind of tourism is increasing, often labeled "ecotourism," "responsible tourism," "sponsoring journey," or even "spiritual journeys." Groups of tourists and travelers stream towards sacred places in order to witness "traditional true rituals". Villages invaded during Western holiday periods have learned to benefit from this new seasonal migration."
During our 1st & 3rd International symposia, in Lisbon and Lima, we focused on the way people folklorised their culture or how the perception of beauty and ugliness is transformed by interacting with other cultures. During this conference, we shall pay more attention to the interactive perspective of how the various stakeholders (local populations, tourists, businessmen and women, politicians, NGOs…) act together without losing their own identities? What are the repercussions on local social organizations? How do these local societies represent themselves to the west and Westerners? What are Westerners’ testimonies of these experiences? How do the publications of these new "hero-adventurers" or "pioneers of the sacred lands" respond to the need to make a profit or becoming famous?
Panel topics for proposed papers are as follows:
Transformation in kinship systems (definitions of endogamy or exogamy/migration/ out-marriage…)
Changing processes in ritual (religious and others) performances - (materials used/ time schedules/ spaces used/ dances performed/ body art…)
New local actors involved in business (developments in tourism, food supply, building trade, art as a commodity…), the political process, education (NGOs, sponsoring) and the impact of these changes on the local social organization
Testaments about the representation of Western countries and westerners on one hand, and the reaction of the local population and the impact on traditional culture(being successful/ being rich/ fashion/ food cooking and eating/ dress code/ ideal body shape…)
What are the archetypal exponents (if they exist) of these new "pioneers of the sacred lands" (Writers? Adventurers? Scientists? And what is their credo?
We invite a range of analyses from various disciplinary perspectives (historical, art-historical, anthropological, sociological, political, geographical) to shed light on the complex and shifting relationships between local population and their social, economic, and political environments. Proposals for panels relevant to these themes will be welcomed.
Presentations must be delivered in English. The proposals must include an abstract (400 words) and a current CV. The deadline for receiving presentation proposals is April 15th 2011. Please use the address provided below to send your proposal to Salomé Deboos, Daniel Diaz José Luis Grosso and Frédéric Duhart. All proposals will be evaluated by an international scientific committee.
Any films are to be sent as DVDs by post or courier, with an email address and a short paper describing the merits of the film to the following two addresses: Salomé Deboos: Institut für Ethnologie, Studtstrasse, 21, D-48149 Münster; José Luis Grosso, Facultad de Humanidades, Universidad Nacional de Catamarca, Esquiú 612 CP. 4700, San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, Argentina. DVDs will not be returned.
The symposium will be held September 7th-9th 2011 at the Alexander von Humboldt Haus, Hufferstrasse 61, D-48149 Münster. There will be no registration fee. Transportation, visa, travel insurance costs and accommodation will be the sole responsibility of each participant.
CORPUS General Coordinator
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