The Graduate Humanities Forum of the University of Pennsylvania invites submissions for its twelfth annual conference: “Adaptations.” This one-day interdisciplinary conference will take place on Friday, February 17th, 2012 at the Penn Humanities Forum, in conjunction with its 2011-2012 theme, “Adaptations.” Our keynote speaker is Dr. Rey Chow.
In the humanities, the word “adaptation” has traditionally described the relationship of one work of art to another; we tend to consider the debt or faith a new text owes its precursor, to think about the identity between objects that persists across time, space, and media. This understanding of adaptation relies upon a series of apparent contradictions: highly constrained forms prove agile in accommodating unique content, artistic works inaugurate new markets but are consumed within existing economies, tropes and figures fall in and out of favor according to the perception of their utility and relevance, or the valuation of their obsolescence. We seek papers that consider the tensions between freedom and constraint, active and passive, survival and resistance: how does adaptation negotiate among these?
We also seek papers that consider versions of adaptation from beyond the traditional purview of the humanities: how might science studies, the digital humanities and other emerging fields articulate questions of transformation, migration and persistence? If, for example, an agent changes in response to a new environment, and the environment itself alters due to the agent’s presence, to what or to whom do we attribute agency? How do we imagine autopoeisis? What urgency might questions of adaptation gain if considered through the study of populations? Transformations of object and audience take place within each new encounter, sites and identities proliferate; we therefore invite submissions from a wide range of disciplines exploring specific adaptations, as well as submissions exploring adaptation itself, both in its traditional humanistic senses and in the new ways in which emergent areas of scholarship are expanding the term.
Topics for proposals might include:
- Audiences and receptions
- Techniques and technologies of adaptation
- Digitization and new media
- Commodification, assimilation and revolution
- Survival, survivance, and loss
- Identities and artworks / identities among artworks
- Translation and transmission
- Repurposing, reuse, and bricolage
- Failures of adaptation and regeneration
Hailed as one of the most prominent intellectuals working in the humanities today, cultural critic Dr. Rey Chow works at the confluence of postcolonial studies, ethnic studies, gender and sexuality studies, literature, film and visual studies. She is the author of numerous publications including Sentimental Fabulations, Contemporary Chinese Films (2007), and The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism (2002). Her book Primitive Passions (1995) was the recipient of the Modern Language Association’s James Russell Lowell prize. Dr. Chow’s current work concerns the legacies of poststructuralist theory, the politics of language as a postcolonial phenomenon, and the shifting paradigms for knowledge and lived experience in the age of visual technologies and digital media. Formerly Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Brown University, Dr. Chow is Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature at Duke University.
Please send 250-word paper proposals, along with a 1-page CV to Sarah Dowling at firstname.lastname@example.org by November 15, 2011.
For further information please visit http://www.phf.upenn.edu/11-12/ghf/cfp.shtml
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