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Conference on Deleuze's Cultural Encounters With the New Humanities


Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University and the Department of English & Technoscience Culture Research and Development Centre at Hong Kong Shue Yan University is pleased to announce a call for papers for the conference on Deleuze’s Cultural Encounters With the New Humanities. The conference will take place in Hong Kong on 9-12 June, 2014. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 January, 2014.

The organizers of this conference are inspired by Gilles Deleuze’s thought on how the traditional humanities could be revitalized through an emphasis on a nomadic encounter between the East and the West. To encounter is to see differently of the world; and true encounters are always with an outside, from roots to rhizomes. The conference is rooted in humanities studies of literature, various art forms, cultural texts such as media and films, etc, but the topics of studies flow over to concepts related to a revised humanities and particularly to the post‐human. The conference welcomes Deleuze scholars who explore into many of the ramifications of such a new humanities on the one hand, and on the other, those who aspire towards mapping and/or recreating cultural boundaries between the East and the West by experimenting with new concepts so as to create interassemblages between them. It is the conference’s mission to “dislocate” any sense of cultural centrism, meanwhile relocating the very edges of encounters or interfaces within the context of a
globalized, intercultural and sustainable nomadology in the 21st century and beyond.

The various assemblages guided by a posthuman, global and transformative cartography can be defined by a nuanced relatedness between the human and the non‐human. Such a cartography draws out “a passage of life that traverses both the livable and the lived.” (Deleuze, “Literature and Life,” Essays Critical and Clinical) We humans are representational beings, having the habit of saying “I”, and we tend to rely on an assumption that the world is constructed through our language and culture. We do not think of plants, molecules and machine to grant them some kind of culture or a world, an Unwelt. Deleuze’s bio‐geo‐ethological philosophy is such, however, that human and a tree or a fly do live in mutually reinforcing “interkingdoms” and we should let the earth pass into the plane of immanence of a Being –thought, of a Nature‐thought, as there are “microbrains or an inorganic life of things” (Deleuze, What is Philosophy?) which will be that “something in the world which forces us to think.” (Deleuze, Difference and Repetition). Here we ask the question, what would a humanities look like if our “collective assemblages of enunciation” (Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus) follows an “affective term” that would embrace plants, rocks and animals? We also ask how we can open the world more than it is by looking into questions of the posthuman as in anti‐humanism or post‐humanism, or post‐anthropocentric as a critical dimension. Issues of this kind entail ethical values, political rights and new forms of intersubjectivity, as they are manifested in practices of arts, aesthetics, media and visual culture, cultural criticism and ecoethics, and finally the interdisciplinary approaches to the new humanities in general.

We reckon that the title of our conference reflects a privilege site of intercultural exploration with a range of interlocking themes, privilege in the sense of both the unique location of Hong Kong and its
timeliness in the 21st century and beyond. The following is a list of themes and areas with which interested scholars can situate themselves as participants of a collective movement towards
becoming the “people yet to come”:

1. (Re)creating posthumanist, globalized and transformative assemblages of arts, science and philosophy and the affective turn
2. The minor/minoritarian in literary criticism, contemporary arts and critiques
3. Deleuze and Asia towards a synthesis of cultural emergence
4. Buddhism and Daoism and Deleuze’s ecosophy and the vital materialism
5. Feminism(s) , the principle of Not‐One and neo‐materialism
6. Technoscience, technovisuality, cyberculture and Deleuzian becomings
7. Globalized and sustainable education towards nomadic subjectivity

Download the call for papers here:

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