S/He...Embracing/Wrestling Genders. Cultural Spaces for a Re-Definition of the Political

Venue: University of Bielsko-Biala

Location: Bielsko-Biala, Poland

Event Date/Time: Oct 24, 2003 End Date/Time: Oct 25, 2003
Registration Date: Sep 25, 2003
Early Registration Date: Jul 30, 2003
Abstract Submission Date: Mar 30, 2003
Paper Submission Date: Dec 30, 2003
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“When you live between opposites, you can not escape the s/he who will follow you, who must either be wrestled with or embraced.” (Minnie Bruce Pratt, S/HE)

Do we really have to choose between embracing and wrestling? Is the inescapable “s/he of trouble” really a matter of the either-or-question of the cultural/political inescapability of alternatives? In Thomas Carlyle, for example, embracing and wrestling get conflated, and then rendered as a masculine kind of activity of taming the tumultuous sea/sh/e of trouble, of harnessing the haunting presence of the Other in the service of Culture which is metaphorically seen as marine service: “Thou shalt be a Great man. Yes, my World Soldier, thou of the World Marine-service, - thou wilt have to be greater than this tumultuous unmeasured World here round thee is: thou, in thy strong soul, as with wrestler's arms, shall embrace it, harness it down; and make it bear thee on, - to new Americas, or whither God wills!” (Thomas Carlyle in Past and Present). The question prompted by both Pratt and Carlyle, however discrepantly posited and implicit, is that of the alter-ity of alternatives, of their nativity in a wrestling embrace of the political whose power reduces the regions of difference to the tumultuous and “unmeasured” chasms of the s/h/ea. Please send proposals of conference papers and presentations (300-400 words) addressing the issues of changes invited and heralded by S/HE, by S/HE’s materialization in the discourses of humanities, arts, and elsewhere to the e-mail address below or to the postal address above (not later than March 30th 2003).
The following thematic areas are suggested: S/HE and the political; S/HE and difference; S/HE and labour; S/HE and war; S/HE and change; S/HE and economy; S/HE and WE.


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