Call for Papers

As human beings, we are bodily situated in the world, and it is through our bodies that we perceive our surroundings. This conference focuses on notions of embodiment and perception and addresses the relation of lived experience and critical practice in literary and cultural studies.

Within other disciplines, embodiment has long been on the agenda. This is true for such fields as the phenomenological tradition in philosophy, philosophy of mind, sociological traditions influenced by the work of Pierre Bourdieu, and second-generation cognitive science. Also, scholars working within critical race theory, disability studies, gender studies, and queer studies have taken up elements from these divergent fields to re-negotiate the relation between materiality and representation. Consequently, over the last two decades questions of embodiment and materiality have become central concerns within literary and cultural studies. Embodied perception is a key concept in reception theories. Within film studies, phenomenological approaches with a focus on how films are experienced have long challenged more traditional approaches, such as Marxism and psychoanalysis. Further, within literary studies, enactivist approaches, which draw on cognitive science, are becoming more prominent.

All of these more or less recent developments extend the methodological boundaries of literary and cultural criticism and demand critical reflection and evaluation. Hence, this conference is intended as a forum to discuss theories on embodiment and perception and their relation to critical practice within literary and cultural studies. Papers can either be dedicated to theoretical reflection or offer concrete readings of fictional and non-fictional texts of all media and genres. Possible topics might include but are not limited to:

embodiment and identity politics, visibility and difference, embodiment and affect, tacit knowledge, performativity and embodiment, experiential knowledge in academic writing, embodiment and disability studies, phenomenology of race, queer phenomenology, social constructionism vs. phenomenology, class and habitus, intersectional embodiments, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, experientiality and autobiography, embodiment and stigmatization, movement and gesture, phenomenological film theories, phenomenology of reading, enactivism, synesthesia, representation and embodiment

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Gail Weiss (Washington DC)
Chris Tedjasukmana (Berlin)
Stephen Kuusisto (Syracuse)

Please send an abstract of 500 words and a short bio by 1 February 2016 to
Simon Dickel:
Participants will be notified by 15 February 2016.