“To be or not to be” may certainly be the question. It draws the boundary separating order and chaos, dividing the light from darkness, so to speak. The question resents the authoritative order of “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” while not readily accepting the risk of “the undiscovered Country.” This dilemma drives Hamlet to play within the sphere of conspiracy and performance, representing in general the “dialectic between codification and play [which] is an enduring feature of human existence,” as Robert Scholes asserts in his Textual Power.Codes and canons that establish and safeguard orthodoxy prompts resentment and challenge from society and the discourse that surrounds it, to which “orthodoxy replies by codifying unorthodox, setting aside times and places for approved Saturnalias, designating certain attire as the jester’s special clothing, and telling poets they have a ‘license’ to be odd.” Literature and the arts (fine or otherwise) in general have served as a kind of Saturnalia, given the license to question generally accepted values and conventions and to offer novel—and even radical and revolutionary—modes of thought and expression, sanctifying and celebrating moral and socio-political outcasts and heretics (historical figures and fictional characters) from Abu Nuwas and Wu Cheng-en, Boccaccio and de Sade, Fanny Fern and Mark Twain, to Lawrence and Rushdie.
Unorthodox discourse and discourse on unorthodoxy becomes more demanding, if not necessary, as cultures meet, contend, and osmotically seep into each other in an increasingly globalized world. Carnivals are extended to include everyday praxis, blurring and widening the boundaries that separate chaos and order, becoming more and more a part of normalcy as rebellion and experimentation become a trend and vulnerable to commodification. As the Berlin Wall, the Bamboo Curtain, and trade barriers are taken down, studies in the arts and humanities have questioned their own codes and canons, setting side by side the classical and the avant-garde, the high and the popular, the central and the peripheral, the sublime and the profane. Accordingly, boundaries between disciplines and languages are crossed as interdisciplinary inquiries and translations crowd and saturate the academy and the market, and radical, revolutionary ideas and movements that dismantle established notions and norms of identity, nation, race, class, gender, and sexuality are watered down to jargon and small talk. Will, then, the Socratic figure escape execution to, in turn be imprisoned as a commercial icon on a T-shirt front?
This conference is expected to bring together scholars, writers, artists, and activist engaged in the fields of
- English studies and studies in Anglophone cultures
- Literature and literary theory
- Translation studies
- Media and Communication studies
- Discourse analysis
- Cultural studies
- Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Queer studies
- Studies in Tourism and Leisure
- Law and Political science, particularly International Relations
- Visual arts
- Mass and popular culture
The organizers invite aspiring, emerging, and experienced scholars (faculty members as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students) as well as cultural and literacy activists to submit abstracts of approximately 250 words the following topics.
- The place of the arts and the humanities in a globalized, postmodern world of hypercommodification
- Representation and performance social transgressions in literature and art
- Travels and transversals across familiar discourses and uncharted spaces
- The impact of tourism and cross-cultural encounters on local and global cultures
- Habitation and habituation in transitory and liminal realms
- The dismantling or incoherence of identities—sexual, racial, ethnic, national, religious, or otherwise
- Problems and problematics in linguistic, literary, and cultural translation
- Artistic endeavours as breakthroughs and/or breakdowns
- Aesthetic innovations and violations, experimental art, and new media
- Crossing pedagogical barriers in teaching English, EFL, and ESL
- Other relevant topics
Abstracts are to be submitted in English by April 30 online at http://english.fib.unpad.ac.
Abstracts will be triple-blind reviewed by internal and external readers, who include:
- Manneke Budiman, University of Indonesia, Jakarta
- Carmen Comeaux, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
- Hardy Jones, Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma
- Thomas W. Reynolds, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Natchitoches, Louisiana
- Michael K. Walonen, Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Florida
- Dudih A. Zuhud, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung
Acceptance will be notified by 7 May 2012.