CFP for Early Cultures Graduate Student Conference

2015 Early Cultures Graduate Student Conference
Between Being(s): Phenomenologies of the Creature in Early Cultures
University of California, Irvine
April 17-18, 2015

Keynote: Jennifer Waldron, University of Pittsburgh
Abstracts due: February 10th to
The Group for the Study of Early Cultures at the University of California, Irvine is pleased to announce the seventh annual Graduate Student Conference. This year’s conference builds on our previous topic of globalism and transnationality by considering the borders and passages between human and nonhuman life: the systems, networks, and environments under which all forms of life coexist in relation to the legal, poetic, analytic, and sacred horizons that enable human beings to navigate these zones of ethical and existential ambiguity. Along this line of inquiry, we aim to expand our understanding of the critical distinction between life conceived as common to all creation and life as circumscribed by the society in which it has been conceived.
In particular, we  invite papers that offer creatural alternatives to the cultural approaches that have long informed the study of premodernity. By uniting far reaching themes such as--but by no means limited to--posthumanism, biopolitics, political theology, and ecological criticism, the creatural calls for interdisciplinary approaches to the questions that it raises. We invite speakers from fields including art history, classics, comparative and national literatures, critical theory, drama, English, history, philosophy, political thought, and religion. Possible paper topics may include:
— Religious taboos and practices towards animal life.
— Creatural metaphors for the human community, and vice versa.
— The monstrous in art and literature.
— Creatural relationships in performance.
— The sovereign relation between humans and animals.
— Dehumanization and animal labor.
— Metamorphoses between the animal and human kingdoms.
Keynote: Jennifer Waldron, Professor of English and Director of the Program in Medieval and
Renaissance Studies, University of Pittsburgh.
Abstracts: Those wishing to participate must submit an abstract of between 300 and 500 words to by February 10th.