Otherness, Subjectivity and Representation
Many perspectives in the humanities share a struggle with the ethnographic ambition to represent the subjectivity of 'the other' and the ethical dimension which representations of otherness always have. However, the practices of academic representation move beyond the idealized epistemological positions of on the one hand the well-known dichotomy between subjective and objective, and on the other, the emphases of critical reflection, mutuality and dialogue. Among the many and diverse ways in which 'the other' can be encountered, represented and made space for there is a grey zone embedded in the complexity of self-other relations where 'otherness' and 'alterity' prevails as a haunting and desirable shadow in our experiences of people, texts, noises, voices, bodies, images and spaces.
This conference has the ambition of exploring the complexity embedded in representations of subjectivity and otherness, the various positions and methods that are applied, and the possible directions future research can or should take.
The conference will result in an edited volume to be published by an international publisher in English. The conference invites proposals dealing with the theoretical frameworks, recent developments and fresh approaches from several academic fields, such as art studies, literature studies, visual studies, media studies, philosophy and religious studies. Topics or approaches that might be addressed include:
- Aesthetics and ethics of otherness
- Modes of re-conceptualizing otherness and ethical thinking
- Otherness and the construction of new subjectivities
- Aesthetics and ethics of reparative thinking
- Re-use of traditional cultural expressions in the representation of otherness and ‘novel representations’
Please submit your abstract (250-300 words) to Linda Mattsson no later than May the 31st. Letters of acceptance/ rejection will be sent out no later than the 17th of June.
Confirmed key note speakers
Trinh T. Minh-ha, Professor of Rhetoric and Gender & Women's Studies, Berkeley, University of California
Marsha Meskimmon, Professor, Loughborough University, School of the Arts, Leicestershire
Kalle Pihlainen, Academy of Finland Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Åbo Akademi University
The conference is organized by Prof. Martin Gustafsson, Prof. Peter Nynäs and MA Antony Fredriksson from Åbo Akademi University and Research scholar Lottamari Kähkönen from Art Studies at the University of Turku. The conference is part of the activities of the following projects and networks:
Post-Secular Culture and a Changing Religious Landscape is a Åbo Akademi University centre of excellence in research 2010-2014. PCCR is devoted to qualitative and ethnographic investigations of the changing religious landscape in Finland. http://web.abo.fi/fak/hf/relvet/pccr/
Regulated Liberties. Negotiating Freedom in Art and Culture since the 1960s is a multidisciplinary research project funded by the Academy of Finland and led by Professor Marianne Liljeström. The studies on “regulated liberties” concern temporal/spatial dimensions, genres and identity production in art, culture and media. The aim of the project is to investigate the complex and ambiguous relationship between freedom and its regulation, the shifting negotiations between norms and resistance in connection to the production of art and culture.
Nordic Network of Philosophical Anthropology is funded by NordForsk and led by Associate Professor Kevin Cahill (Bergen). It has around 60 members, and involves research groups from Åbo Akademi University, Uppsala University, University of Bergen and University of Aarhus. By allowing a unique collaboration between philosophers and anthropologists, its aim is to promote a more systematic and timely approach to questions concerning the human being than has been achieved in social anthropology, analytical or continental philosophy, taken in isolation from one another. http://www.philosophicalanthropology.org/