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[ecrea] CFP 'Failing Identities: Resistance and Identification'
Wed Feb 21 17:45:20 GMT 2018
*Failing Identities: Identification and Resistance*
*International Conference (University of Liège, 20-21 September 2018)*
This conference aims to scrutinize, clarify and elaborate upon the
concept of identity, which ranks among the most (ab)used concepts in the
humanities since the end of the 20th century.
The popularity of the concept is, first and foremost, to be situated in
the aftermath of the linguistic turn, which led to identity being
conceived of as the product of discursive interpellations. This
theoretical reframing of the subject constitutes the theoretical basis
of multiple strands of discourse theory and analysis, and of various
types of (post)poststructuralist theory.
The pervasive presence of identity as an object of study is, however,
and to an even greater degree, also explained by the postmodern critique
of universality and the concomitant deconstruction of the universal
subject as a fiction subservient to particular (masculine, white,
western, heterosexual...) interests. It is precisely this critique that
drives the various forms of progressive identity politics that are so
conspicuously present today.
To put it simply and provocatively: where do we go from here? This
fundamental question translates into a wide range of more specific
questions, such as:
§Is what (post)structuralism calls the decentred subject a mere passive
recipient of discursive interpellations, or does it resist and, if so,
in which way(s)? How should this resistance be understood – as an
inability or rather as a refusal to accept discursive interpellations?
As a rearticulation and ‘slanting’ of a given discourse? As a form of
more or less subtle and agile negotiation with hegemonic pressures? As
the articulation of a counterhegemonic discourse?
§How paradoxical and/or ambivalent are identification processes? If a
seemingly official and explicit refusal often hides a more fundamental
implicit identification (‘I am no racist, but...’) and vice versa (‘We
are determined to tackle tax evasion’), how do both levels interact with
one another and what audiences are they intended for? How can
identificatory acts and utterances be construed as positioning the
subject within the conflictual and dialogic contexts from which they
§How easy is it to cancel or replace identifications? Have ‘postmodern
subjects’ really become fluid and endlessly malleable in a ‘liquid
modernity’ (Zygmunt Bauman), or are they tough, inert and persistent? Do
they have ‘hard kernels’ and, if so, what would be the nature of these?
How important is the impact of discursive sedimentation on individual
subjects, cultures and societies? How do deliberate or involuntary
cancellations of identifications affect the subject? Are they
emancipatory or destructive – or both?
§Does the postmodern critique of the universal subject not in fact
continue to refer to a universal horizon of equality and justice? Should
this critique be maintained or should it give way to a dialectical
vision of the opposition between the universal and the particular?
§Are ‘progressive identity politics’ more needed than ever or are they
at risk of becoming essentialist and unbearably reductionist stances?
§Are ‘progressive identity politics’ genuinely progressive or do they
allow the researchers involved to view themselves as ‘progressive’? What
makes them superior to traditional, conservative identity politics? Do
they hamper attempts to unite progressive groups and efforts, uniting
only ‘deplorable’ antiliberal, reactionary forces, as is argued by such
varied authors as Eric Hobsbawm, Terry Eagleton, Slavoj Žižek, Vivek
Chibber and Mark Lilla?
§What are relevant methodological underpinnings of research on identity
and identification? Which linguistic means can be observed to index
identity (as one of their multiple functions), and how can we classify
them meaningfully? For example, how can such phenomena as taboo
expressions, metaphors, language varieties (e.g. sociolects and slang),
language contact and learner languages enhance our understanding of
identity and identification? What about language policy and (official
and unofficial) puristic movements?
Proposals will be judged on their ability to address theoretical issues
and methodological questions, or the latter’s application to concrete
cases and corpora
Since the conference is interdisciplinary in nature, we welcome
proposals from the fields of literary studies, linguistics, translation
studies, cultural studies, communication studies, political studies,
social sciences, philosophy and history.
*Abstracts (in English or French) should not exceed 300 words and be
submitted along with a brief biobibliographical note (100 words max.) by
1 April 2018 at the latest to the following address: **(letl /at/ uliege.be)**.
Participants will be notified by 1 May 2018.*
Papers may be delivered in Dutch, English, French, German and Spanish,
with discussions taking place in English and French.
*Keynote speakers:*Vivek Chibber (New York University), Philippe Hambye
(UCLouvain) and Marc De Kesel (Radboud University Nijmegen)
*Organizing committee:*Kim Andringa, Lieselotte Brems, Louis Gerrekens,
Maxim Proesmans, Laurent Rasier, Erik Spinoy, Kris Steyaert, An Van
linden, Marie Viérin, Patricia Willson (ULiège)
*External members:*Ted Laros (Open Universiteit Nederland), Alejandrina
Falcón (Université de Buenos Aires), Lieven Vandelanotte (UNamur)
*Scientific committee:*Ewa Bogdanowska-Jakubowska (University of Silesia
in Katowice), Sigurd D’hondt (University of Jyväskylä), Philippe Hambye
(UCLouvain), Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam), Dorien Van De
Please visit www.letl.uliege.be/cms/c_3141291/fr/letl-activitesfor
up-to-date information and practical details.
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