Jul 27

Call for Articles on ‘Borders’.

Following the recent success of our interdisciplinary conference on ‘Borders’, held at the University of Kent in May 2016, we are calling for contributions on the same theme to a future issue of Skepsi to be published summer 2017.
Thor Heyerdahl, widely known for his Kon-Tiki expedition, is said to have once remarked, ‘Borders? I have never seen one, but I have heard that they exist in the mind of some people’. Arguably, Heyerdahl might be mistaken for questioning the existence of borders, yet his statement nonetheless draws attention to some highly interesting and controversial questions: What exactly are borders and on what necessary, legal and ethical grounds do we build them — and where? These questions seem particularly relevant today, as the European Union is facing the so-called migrant ‘crisis’, and with Daesh’s auto-proclamation of an Islamic State.
It is, thus, not surprising that academic interest in borders is on the increase. Over the last decades the topic has been developing into a new interdisciplinary field of research drawing together scholars from the social sciences and humanities. Border studies notably look at the historical, anthropological, sociological, and geopolitical aspects of borders ‘in the quest to understand the changing nature of territory, power, governance, and identity within both national and more global frames of reference’. (Wilson & Donnan: 20–21).

 

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • European Borders and the Refugee Crisis
  • Shifting Borders, Territory and Partition
  • The Frontier
  • Security and Conflict
  • Globalisation vs. National State
  • Colonialism and New Imperialism
  • Mobility, Migration and Multicultural Societies
  • Borders and (national/sexual/racial) Identity
  • Performativity
  • Crossing Borders
  • The Impact of Borders on Literature and their Literary Representation
  • The Representation of Borders in the Arts
  • Borders and Language(s)
  • Physical Boundaries and the Self
  • Psychological Aspects of Borders and Boundaries

 

Submissions are invited from academic staff, postgraduate students and independent scholars. Articles will be selected by the Board after peer review and published in a forthcoming issue of the journal, to be published in summer 2017.
Articles, which should not exceed 5,000 words, should be sent together with an abstract of about 250 words and brief biographical details about the author to:
skepsi@kent.ac.uk
The deadline for submission is 31 October 2016.

 

Skepsi is an online interdisciplinary peer reviewed research journal, now in its ninth year, run by postgraduate students of the University of Kent’s School of European Culture and Languages and funded by the University of Kent.

Jul 21

The latest edition of the journal is coming soon!

Skepsi’s ninth annual conference took place at the University of Kent in May 2016. The latest edition of the journal entitled ‘The Secret in Contemporary Theory, Society, and Culture’, will be online soon.

Jan 06

Call for Papers: ‘Borders’

 

BORDERS

Skepsi’s 9th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference – Call for Papers

27th May 2016 -University of Kent, Canterbury

School of European Culture and Languages

Keynote Speaker: Professor Glenn Bowman (Kent)

A few decades ago Thor Heyerdahl, widely known for his Kon-Tiki expedition, remarked “Borders? I have never seen one, but I have heard that they exist in the mind of some people”. Arguably, Heyerdahl might be mistaken for questioning the existence of borders, yet his statement nonetheless draws attention to some highly interesting and controversial questions: What exactly are borders and on what necessary, legal and ethical grounds do we build them – and where? These questions seem particularly relevant today, as the European Union is facing the so-called migrant “crisis”, and with Daesh’s auto-proclamation of an Islamic State.

It is, thus, not surprising that academic interest in borders is on the increase. Over the last decades the topic has been developing into a new interdisciplinary field of research drawing together scholars from the social sciences and humanities. Border studies notably looks at the historical, anthropological, sociological and geopolitical aspects of borders “in the quest to understand the changing nature of territory, power, governance, and identity within both national and more global frames of reference.” (Wilson & Donnan: 20-21).

This conference, chaired by postgraduates in the School of European Culture and Languages, wishes to explore these plural facets of borders – particularly the structures, the roles and the meaning of borders in contemporary society and culture. It also wishes to explore the function and modes of border (and boundary) representations in texts and in the visual and plastic arts, and warmly invites contributions.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • European Borders and the Refugee Crisis
  • Shifting Borders, Territory and Partition
  • The Frontier
  • Security and Conflict
  • Globalisation vs. National State
  • Colonialism and New Imperialism
  • Mobility, Migration and Multicultural Societies
  • Borders and (national/sexual/racial) Identity
  • Performativity
  • Crossing Borders
  • The Impact of Borders on Literature and their Literary Representation
  • The Representation of Borders in the Arts
  • Borders and Language(s)
  • Physical Boundaries and the Self
  • Psychological Aspects of Borders and Boundaries

Papers should last for 20 minutes and will be followed by a 10 minute discussion. Abstracts of approx. 300 words should be sent as word documents to the conference organising committee at: skepsi@kent.ac.uk by 31st March 2016. The e-mail should also include the name of the author, institutional affiliation and brief autobiographical details. Please, also indicate any audiovisual requirements that you may have. 

The conference is organised by Skepsi, a peer reviewed postgraduate journal based in the School of European Culture and Languages at the University of Kent and kindly supported by the Centre for Modern European Literature and the Modern Languages and Comparative Literature departments, University of Kent.

(https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/skepsi/).

May 13

‘Disgust’ conference programme

We are delighted to announce that the final programme is now available: Disgust conference programme.
Registration is open until 24 May 2015 (guest registration form).

Skepsi_Disgust_poster-page-001

Dec 12

Call for Papers: ‘Disgust’

The eighth Skepsi conference (29-30 May 2015) wants to explore the complex nature of the feeling of disgust in a variety of disciplines. It is universally experienced even if the object of disgust as well as its linguistic expression can vary greatly according to the cultures. Yet, more broadly, it can also be elicited by abstract issues; that is, can or should it be related to ethical outrage as a way to protect human dignity and social order? Click here to see the full CFP.

Jul 03

Call For Articles: The Secret

The Secret in Contemporary Theory, Society, and Culture – Call for Articles

 

Following the recent success of The Secret in Contemporary Theory, Society, and Culture, a two day postgraduate conference held at the University of Kent, we are calling for contributions to a future issue of Skepsi, the online interdisciplinary research journal, run by postgraduate students of the University of Kent’s School of European Culture and Languages, and now in its sixth year.

In an effort to capture and expand the broad and interdisciplinary interest in the Secret, we are seeking to gather ideas, explorations, critiques and theories that examine this topic. In revealing the governmental practice of spying on millions of conversations, the Snowden case triggered a sudden upheaval in the definition of public and private spheres. It has also prompted us to question what constitutes a secret, and what function secrets have in society today.

 

Some of the questions in which we are interested include: How does the formation of a secret inform, and how is it informed by, the boundary separating the private from the public sphere? What ethical issues are involved in questions of transparency, concealment, and revelation? Does the conventional understanding of the secret – rightly or wrongly – presuppose a hidden ‘truth’ buried beneath the lack of meaning at the level of language? Is the secret itself a function of something like Derrida’s ‘différance’, and therefore an illusion or mere surface-effect of language?

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following and their interrelations:

  • Power relationships: what kinds of power relationships can exist between a secret holder and those who do not, or wish to, know it? Who does a secret alienate?
  • Sociological and anthropological approaches to secrets: collective and individual secrets and the question of surveillance; how secrets vary across cultures.
  • Language and communication: does interpreting a text reveal its secret(s)? Or is there a semantic void within any text, the lack of a fixed signified or ‘secret’, which nonetheless generates its apparent meaning(s)? What is a coded language?
  • Secrets in Literature, and in the Visual and Plastic Arts.
  • Secret Histories: subaltern and other marginalised histories; Nationalism, identity, and concealing or reinventing the past; the role of State secrets in history; how the definition and function of the secret has changed in history.
  • Philosophical approaches to secrets (analytic and continental): do secrets exist? Are they logically possible? What relations are maintained between secrets, language, and intersubjectivity, and between secrets and the unconscious?
  • Psychological and psychoanalytic perspectives on the structure and function of secrets. Emotional responses (guilt, shame, etc.).

Submissions are invited from academic staff, postgraduate students and independent scholars. Any of the submitted articles selected by the Editorial Board after peer review will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal, to be published in Spring 2015.

Articles, which should not exceed 5,000 words, should be sent, together with an abstract of about 250 words and brief biographical details about the author, to:

skepsi@kent.ac.uk


The deadline for submission is 30 September 2014

 

_________

Skepsi is a peer reviewed postgraduate journal based in the School of European Culture and Languages at the University of Kent and funded by the University of Kent (https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/skepsi/).

Apr 29

Conference Programme Now Available!

[…]

The Secret in Contemporary Theory, Society, and Culture

University of Kent, Canterbury

Friday 30th May – Grimond Building, GLT3

13:30-14:00 Welcome Coffee and Registration

14:00-16:00 Panel 1: Secrets and Philosophy:

  • Florian Hadler: Undercover Investigations: Secrets as Individual Negativities
  • Faith Fulbright: Index Sui: Keeping the Secret
  • Guillaume Collett: “The secret is that there is no secret”: Sense and Nonsense in Hyppolite and Deleuze

16:00-16:30 Coffee Break

16:30-18:30 Panel 2: Public/Private:

  • Andrew McKenzie-McHarg: Secrecy and Privacy: Where does the Dividing Line Lie?
  • Emma Deeks: Blogging in Private: The Difficulty of Telling Two Billion People to ‘Ssshhhhh’
  • Michel Weber: Secrecy from Liberation to Oppression

20:00 Conference Dinner

Saturday 31st May – Grimond Building, GLT3

9:00-9:30 Welcome Coffee

9:30-11:00 Panel 3: Dreams and Thresholds

  • Alex Wilkinson: The Secret inside the Form: The Matter of Dreams
  • Michiko Oki: Threshold – A Place of Secret and Violence: Open Doors in Magritte and Kafka

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-13:00 Panel 4: Espionage:

  • Keith Scott: Dark Gnostics: Secrets, Mysteries, and OCCINT
  • Toby Manning: Secrets in John Le Carré’s Cold War Fiction

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Panel 5: Secrets and Literature:

  • Gero Bauer: Paranoid Masculine Secrecy: Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White
  • Krista Bonello R. Giappone: Excessive Textual Weaves and the Unreadable in James Hogg’s Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:30 Keynote Address: Professor David Vincent: Prying and Privacy in the Nineteenth Century

17:30- Wine reception

Mar 03

Call for Papers: “[…] The Secret in Contemporary Theory, Society, and Culture”

30th-31st May
University of Kent, Canterbury
Grimond Building, GLT3
Keynote Speaker: Prof. David Vincent (Open University)

With WikiLeaks and the Snowden case, the international newsreel has recently been increasingly concerned with revelations of secrets, allowing the confidential, private sphere to mix with the public, popular domain. In revealing the governmental practice of spying on millions of conversations, the Snowden case triggered a sudden upheaval in the definition of public and private spheres. It has also prompted us to question what constitutes a secret, and what function secrets have in society today.

This conference wishes to explore the structure and the conditions of the creation of a secret as reflected in contemporary theory and culture, as well as the role secrets play in society and in texts. Some of the questions in which we are interested include: How is a secret created? Which protagonists does a secret involve? Is there such thing as an absolute, as opposed to a relative, secret – in other words do secrets exist if others are unaware of them? Or do secrets only exist once they have taken on their structural position in relation to those who do and those who don’t know? How does the formation of a secret inform, and how is it informed by, the boundary separating the private from the public sphere? What ethical issues are involved in questions of transparency, concealment, and revelation? Does the conventional understanding of the secret – rightly or wrongly – presuppose a hidden ‘truth’ buried beneath the lack of meaning at the level of language? Is the secret itself a function of something like Derrida’s ‘différance’, and therefore an illusion or mere surface-effect of language?

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following and their interrelations:

• Power relationships: what kinds of power relationships can exist between a secret holder and those who do not, or wish to, know it? Who does a secret alienate?
• Sociological and anthropological approaches to secrets: collective and individual secrets and the question of surveillance; how secrets vary across cultures.
• Language and communication: does interpreting a text reveal its secret(s)? Or is there a semantic void within any text, the lack of a fixed signified or ‘secret’, which nonetheless generates its apparent meaning(s)? What is a coded language?
• Secrets in Literature, and in the Visual and Plastic Arts.
• Secret Histories: subaltern and other marginalised histories; Nationalism, identity, and concealing or reinventing the past; the role of State secrets in history; how the definition and function of the secret has changed in history.
• Philosophical approaches to secrets (analytic and continental): do secrets exist? Are they logically possible? What relations are maintained between secrets, language, and intersubjectivity, and between secrets and the unconscious?
• Psychological and psychoanalytic perspectives on the structure and function of secrets. Emotional responses (guilt, shame, etc.).

Papers should last for 20 minutes and will be followed by 10 minutes of questions.

Abstracts (300 words) should be sent as a Word attachment to the conference organising committee at: skepsi@kent.ac.uk

The email should include the name of the author, institution, and brief biographical details. You should also indicate in your proposal any audiovisual requirements you may have.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31st March 2014.

Funded by University of Kent, School of European Culture and Languages, and by K.I.A.S.H.

Dec 03

Cradled in Caricature is now live!

It is with great pleasure that we announce the publication of Volume V, Issue 2 (Autumn 2013) of Skepsi, entitled Cradled in Caricature.

You can download the entire issue or individual articles at THIS ADDRESS.

May 23

Conference Programme : ‘Ghosts in the Flesh’

Friday 24th May

 

9.00 -9.30: Welcome coffee and registration

 

9.30 -11.00 Panel 1 The other ghost: walking, talking deadchair: Nina Rolland

– Lucy Arnold ‘Mother always said that she would haunt’

– Veronica Frigeni ‘Dead man walking’

– Maria Dada ‘Tempo di Materiality’

 

11.00 -11.20: Coffee break

 

11.20 -12.30: Panel 2 Performance, Representation and Imagechair: Adina Stroia

– Alicia Spencer-Hall : “Spiritual Ghosts in the Digital Flesh? 13th Century Mystical Resurrection and the Modern “Spectre” of Tupac Shakur”

– Jack Webb ‘The Spectre of Haiti in Late Victorian Britain’

 

12.30 – 13.30: Lunch

 

13.30 -15.00: Panel 3 Ghosts and Literature. I chair: Mathilde Poizat-Amar

– Jeffrey Knaack ‘Ghosts as we are: Authenticity, Romanticism, and Books as relics in 19th century American Literature’ [in absentia]

– Doreen Bauschke ‘Solid Ghosts and Phantom Persons: The Notion of Somatic Hauntings in Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl’

– Christopher Bond ‘Ghosts in the literature of War’

 

15.00 -15.30: Coffee break

 

15.30 – 17.00: Panel 4 Ghosts and Literature. IIchair: Krista Bonello

Beatrijs Brouwer ‘Desire – divine or deadly? The Supernatural in Imperial Chinese Literature’

– Melanie Foehn ‘Out of joint’: The spectre of incommunicability in Hamlet, La Chute, and Beckett’s short plays’.

– Aaron Aquilina ‘Writing Afterlife – The Exhibitionism of the Dead’

 

17.00 – 18.00 Wine Reception

 

19.30: Dinner in town, everyone is welcome to join

 

 

Saturday 25th May:

 

10.00 -11.30: Panel 5 Physical Spaceschair: Titu Chakraborty

– John Sabol ‘The Ghosts of Place: The Acoustemology of Situated Past Presence’

– James Geary ‘The Holy Ghost made Manifest: How Bernini pinned down the Holy Ghost in Rome’

– Michał Sowiński and Katarzyna Trzeciak ‘Gdynia – city with(out) ghosts’

 

11.30 – 11.45: Coffee break

 

11.45 – 12.45: Keynote speaker: Esther Peeren, University of Amsterdam, ‘Fleshing out the Spectral metaphor’ chair: Guilaume Collett

 

12.45 – 14.00: Lunch

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