CFP: “Devilishly Human” – Manifestations of Evil in Contemporary Cultures - Fourth Salzburg Institute Symposium, University of Salzburg, July 23, 2015

Keynote Speaker:  Russell Berman (Stanford University)

In a letter from 1802 to his friend Friedrich Schiller, the German poet Goethe described the plot of his tragedy Iphigenie auf Tauris, as “devilishly human.” This paradoxical phrase is also applicable beyond the evil deeds described in Goethe’s classic work. Manifestations of the “devilishly human” occur frequently within cultures. Evil rarely shows up in some pure, abstract, or readily recognizable shape but rather appears in human form. How does the human and evil fit together? Is man inherently evil? How does evil reveal itself in contemporary cultures? In this this interdisciplinary, bilingual Symposium we aim to examine possible cultural manifestations of evil in art, literature, music, film and other media. Possible guiding questions for tracking the devilishly human in current cultures are the following:

·         Possible metaphysical frameworks for evil

·         Philosophical, religious, anthropological, sociological, political, and historical explanations for the occurrence of evil in culture

·         Descriptions of the devil, either sympathetic or judgmental

·         Salvation from evil through religious or cultural rituals or practices

·         Individual versus collective manifestations of evil

·         Cause, effect and solution to cultural manifestations of evil

·         Are the devilish and the human unbridgeable opposites?

·         Cultural struggles against evil

This international and interdisciplinary Symposium is open to colleagues from various academic fields (cultural studies, sociology, philosophy, literary studies, history, political science, religious studies, Judaic studies, Islamic studies, and theology). Please submit proposals of 250 to 500 words in either English or German via email to [log in to unmask].  

Proposal deadline is May 31, 2015. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes presentation time. The Salzburg Institute does not cover travel or accommodation costs for participants. Selected papers will be published in our “Symphilologus” book series. Conference organizers are Armin Eidherr (University of Salzburg), Gregor Thuswaldner (Salzburg Institute), and Jens Zimmermann (Salzburg Institute)


Dr. Gregor Thuswaldner

Academic Director

The Salzburg Institute of Religion, Culture and the Arts

******************* The German Studies Call for Papers List Editor: Stefani Engelstein Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: