Abstract due by: 09/30/2013
Why read the Trickster? The Trickster is defined by contradiction, irony, deception, inversion, reversal, and paradox; ambivalence and ambiguity are the tools that Trickster uses to make and remake culture. Radin describes the Trickster as ‘at once and the same time creator and destroyer, giver and negator, he who dupes others and who is always duped himself... He knows neither good nor evil yet he is responsible for both. He possesses no values, moral or social...yet through his actions al values come into being.’ (Radin, 1956)
Thus, the Trickster stands at the origin of culture and figures as the archetype that shapes, colors, and forges what we consider to be human. The incarnations of the Trickster remind us about forgotten rituals, rejected values, and the primal ethics that compose our understanding of civilization, as well as civilizational decay.
This seminar will analyze the figure of the Trickster in literature and across cultures: his/her appearance in ancient Greek mythology, in African, Native American, and Latin American cosmologies; as a symbol in art; as a trope in film; even as a motif in music. Please send 300-500 word abstracts and brief biographical statements (preferably MS Word or PDF attachments) via email to Graciela Báez and Danielle Carlo, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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