Interdisciplinary conference for postgraduates
Graduate School of the Cluster of Excellence "Languages of Emotion", Freie Universitaet Berlin
13 to 15 October 2011
Between what can and what cannot be said runs a fine yet fluid line, a line we may encounter when putting emotions into language. It is the region surrounding this line that we wish to explore in this conference: the region between the sayable and the unsayable. Our interest is in the way in which emotions inhabit and transgress this space, become sayable as well as unsayable. This issue of emotional expressability is important since our ability to bring emotions into language is vital for our ability to perceive and understand them.
This conference aims to adopt an interdisciplinary perspective, within which we envision three main fields of enquiry:
First, into the possibilities of and restrictions upon bringing feelings into language across different media such as literature, music, film or the visual arts.
Secondly, into the cultural, historical and social norms governing both what can as well as what cannot be expressed in human interaction.
Thirdly, into the psychological or linguistic conditions underlying the way we express and perceive emotions, which may be empirically investigated.
The approach to the conference is thus to see language and non-language as separated by a fluid boundary rather than as forming a dichotomy. This, we hope, gives scope for investigating the point of contact between language and emotion in all its complexity.
We invite proposals for a 20 minute paper in German or English in any discipline, which approach the issues and questions raised here, and which are open for contact and exchange with other disciplines.
Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Non-verbal languages of emotion (e.g. dance, music, sign language, silent film)
- Aesthetic challenges in verbalising emotion (e.g. language crisis)
- Rhetorical techniques in articulating emotion (lies, irony, exaggeration)
- Cultural traditions of feeling regulation (e.g. etiquette, taboo, coolness)
- The role of status, age, gender and background in communicating feeling
- Spaces and time-frames of bringing emotions into feeling (e.g. mourning periods, confession, carnival)
- The discrepancy between implicit and explicit attitudes and their measurability
- The role of emotion in language acquisition
- Psychological disorders in emotional processing and communication (e.g. alexithymia, tourette syndrome, autism, trauma and the role of speaking in therapy)
Abstracts of up to 250 words should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 April 2011.
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