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2013 IGS Graduate Student Conference

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Renewing/Reknowing the Body

May 3-4, 2013

To view photos from this year's conference, click here.

In Precarious Life, Judith Butler writes that “[t]he body implies mortality, vulnerability, agency; the skin and the flesh expose us to the gaze of others, but also to touch, and to violence, and bodies put us at risk of becoming the agency and instrument of all these as well” (26). While Butler’s analysis of the body and its potentialities emerges from considerations of life and its uncertain value, recent scholarship on the body reveals that it is a politically charged space where seemingly fixed concepts of identity, ethics, and ability destabilize from normative discourses. As such, the conference, under the theme of Renewing/Reknowing, will consider ongoing conversations of bodily materiality, agency, and how we respond and/or are called upon to respond to the bodies of others. More specifically, the conference seeks to explore ideas regarding the body and its agency to call into question and expand our current understandings of responsibility, or response-ability, towards others. Our intention is not to reinforce conventional or normative constructions of the body or ‘able-body’; rather, we wish to reflect on the body as a densely packed space for thinking about and appreciating inter-human and inter-species relationships, agency and vulnerability.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Ashok Mathur | Re-Ignition / Corporeal Fire
Dr. Mathur is a Canada Research Chair of Cultural and Artistic Inquiry at Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, where he directs the Centre for innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada, a think tank and residency site for investigative creative practices. Mathur is a novelist, multi-media artist, and cultural critic, whose presentation will engage the discourses of reconciliation and storytelling modes that counter nationalist frameworks.

Dr. John Sorenson | A Confusion of Corpses: Lessons from the Horse Meat Scandal
Dr. Sorenson teaches Critical Animal Studies, globalization, and anti-racism. Professor Sorenson has an HBA and MA from the University of Alberta and a PhD from York University (Social and Political Thought). Much of his research has been on war, nationalism, and refugees. His books include Culture of Prejudice: Arguments in Critical Social Science; Ghosts and Shadows: Construction of Identity and Community in an African Diaspora; Ethiopia: Struggles for History and Identity in the Horn of Africa; Disaster and Development in the Horn of Africa; and African Refugees. His current research concerns the exploitation of animals, representation of animals, and animal rights as a social justice movement.

Conference Schedule (PDF)

Call for Papers (PDF)

Conference Poster (PDF)

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Last reviewed shim11/25/2014 4:32:34 PM