>"Ghosts, Gods, and Avatars: the Primordial and the Posthuman"
>I am organizing a conference seminar (9-12 papers) for the 2003 ACLA
>Conference and am inviting brief proposals for papers. The Conference,
>focusing on various types of "crossing over," will be hosted by Cal State-San
>Marcos, just north of San Diego, from April 4-6 2003. Further information
>about the conference is available at http://lynx.csusm.edu/acla2003/
>This seminar session will examine fault lines and conjunctions between
>narratives of the posthuman and those that are often associated with
>pre-modern societies such as myth, fable, dream, fairy tale, and the like.
>Ghosts, gods, and avatars, however, are all active figural categories in
>video games, film, literature, scientific narratives, academic disciplines,
>and other forms of contemporary cultural production. What needs and desires
>do such "uncanny" figures serve? What has happened to the Enlightenment ideal
>of reason that wants to "tame" such discourses and imaginings? If one version
>of the posthuman is of the meeting of the most primordial human wishes-for
>immortality, for example-with the highest of high technology, how can we
>interpret this encounter of the most ancient with the most modern? What does
>it indicate about our current cultural situation and what types of responses
>might serve us the best as we make the crossing into the era of the posthuman
>that is redefining all the old boundaries between the animate and the
>inanimate, the so-called material and the so-called spiritual, texts of
>fantasy and texts of the "real"?
>This session seeks a broad range of papers, or other forms of presentation,
>that seek to define, critique, or expand these topics. They may range from
>ancient mythology to Bruno Latour; from Vedic texts to Virilio. One of our
>goals will be to reflect upon and facilitate contact between eras, texts,
>media, methodologies, or authors that are not usually brought into
>conjunction with one another, and to talk together about how we might invent
>the discourse of the posthuman.
>Please send 500 word abstracts (or any questions you might have) to:
>Department of English Language and Literature
>Central Michigan University
>Mt Pleasant, MI 48859
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>The deadline for proposals is October 1, 2002.
>Please note that all participants in the annual meeting must be members of
>the ACLA. Membership forms are available at http://www.acla.org/gen_join.html