Call for Papers: Significance of Color in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Feb. 24-26, 2012
North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, GA
For most of us colors are ubiquitous in our lives, from colorful language to the natural and material worlds that we inhabit and (re)create. Colors are used to persuade consumers, or to affect our mood. But they can also become symbols in political and social struggle, from international relations to the envisioning of different futures for our society. From Le Rouge et le Noir, the thin red line, to the color-line, colorblind society, and the Green Revolution. This interdisciplinary conference wants to see how we attach (or have attached) importance to colors.
Does how we conceive of color(s), now or in the past, tell something about us? How has color been theorized during the past centuries? What does it mean for societies to assign different values to colors, when color functioned as one of the most elementary form of communication and signaling? How is color a part of the larger senses, and did it always play a similar part? Who studies color nowadays (in psychology, advertisement, etc…) and how is this research used or related to larger developments in society?
Color raises interesting interpretative issues about the visual. Understanding our reaction to color brings us to where the cultural and neurological overlap. Are colors simply empty signifiers or are there genuine differences in how our brain reacts to colors? In the latter case, did this change over time?
Keynote Speaker: Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania)
Keynote Title: "Color Symbolism and Color Patterns among the Early Inhabitants of the Tarim Basin."
Professor Victor Mair will give the keynote address of the 2012 Arts & Letters Conference at North Georgia College & State University. Mair is Professor of Chinese Languages and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, and author or editor of more than two dozen books. One of the foremost scholars on China and Asia, his works include Contact and Exchange in the Ancient World (U. of Hawaii Press, 2006), The Columbia History of Chinese Literature (Columbia U. Press, 2001), The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West (2000, with J. P. Mallory), The Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature (1994), as well as translations of the Tao te ching (Bantan Books, 1990), the Zhuang Zi (Wandering on the Way; U. of Hawai'i Press, 1998), and The Art of War: Sun Zi’s Military Methods (Columbia U. Press, 2007).
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