BIGSAS International Transdisciplinary Symposium on Matter-Texts and Critical Posthuman Poetics
Conveners: Prof. Dr. Susan Arndt, Weeraya Donsomsakulkij, James Wachira and Xin Li
The symposium seeks to explore literary scholarship’s engagement with epistemological as well as ethical concerns that invite a rethinking of trans*human and trans*species entanglements. The symposium aims at offering a platform, at the University of Bayreuth, where a transcultural literary scholarship will theorize a transgression of the nature-versus-culture-matrix and the many –isms thus engendered and reread literary and cultural texts that discuss this (transgression) of anthropocentrism and ideologies about gender, race, nation, religion. The symposium’s agenda will start off from the pioneering work Natures of Africa: Ecocriticism and Animal Studies in Contemporary Cultural Forms, by Fiona Moola (2017) and Karen Barad’s Meeting the Universe Halfway (2007), responding to the growing need to transgress disciplinary boundaries in knowledge production. Thus, this symposium brings together literary and cultural studies scholars to dialogue on the aesthetics of the agencies and materialities of matter, embodied and embedded by fictional narrations in Africa and beyond. The anticipation would be that the discussions will transcend the normative construction of the human as the privileged being over other beings by exploring how materiality and discourse of different entities entangle and stage their textuality. In doing so, (ideological) mappings of being (non)human and/or inferior versus superior human are revisited ethically.
During the symposium, there will be keynote lectures from renowned scientists of literary and cultural studies as well as some of the authorities in critical posthumanist poetics. Keynote speakers are:
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