The Partnership Studies Group (PSG), based at the University of Udine (Italy), is pleased to announce a three-day conference on “Creative Word” and “Positivist Term” within World Languages and Literatures in English to be held at the University of Salento in Lecce on 15-17 May 2013. According to the seminal work of Raimon Panikkar, the modern degeneration of the “word”, stripped of its dialogical power and reduced to a mere “term”, has a devastating effect on culture, to the extent that even education is reduced to a simple transferring of notions. Whilst the Galilean and Cartesian fracture between world and spirit continue to lead the Western scientific approach to Reality in rejecting analogy as instrumental for scientific research, Ancient and “Native” traditional knowledge and creative writing powerfully stem from analogic frameworks, rather than from one-sided “positivist” approaches to life. In this respect, World literatures in English offer a very productive context through which values of dominance and imperialism can be effectively analysed and transformed into cooperative and partnership models, thus opening new ways in promoting dynamic approaches to relational systems and fostering interdependence among peoples. Such research originates from a critical approach implemented by the Partnership Studies research group (PSG, Udine) that applies Riane Eisler’s partnership model to the study of literary texts in which the word is analysed in “native” oral traditions, narratives and myths within analogical, archetypal and mythological frameworks, rather than logical ones. More importantly, the “word” is investigated as an expression of creativity and communication manifesting its full symbolic and poetic power operating within a totally different system of values, far from the scientific and westernized technical ‘term’, which is rather a mere object of thought (Logos).
Papers are invited that directly address “narratives” (in the widest sense) in the literatures in English and in education, so as to investigate how the poetic and creative word is expressed as an instrument of intercultural consciousness and awareness. Possible themes to consider include:
Analysis and study of the creative word
- in its symbolic, archetypal and mythological dimension, so as to investigate how Mythos and Logos can be fruitfully put in interrelation again within a dialogical and partnership paradigm;
- in intersectional and plurilingual texts so as to explore how interlinguistic and trans-cultural encounters can foster enriched layers of meaning;
- in rewriting texts as creative instruments of identity transformation;
- in the retrieval of indigenous languages and their “dialogical dialogue” with the “dominant” culture.
The symbolic power of the written and spoken word in pedagogic and linguistic education
- to re-evaluate narratives, stories, songs and forms of dance which give voice to the creative word;
- to promote a pedagogical approach which develops and cultivates the imaginative dimension as a praxis of humanist thought complementary to rational-analytical thought;
- to foster a dialogical and sustainable relation in education.
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