CFP: Personhood, Place, and Possession: Embodiment and Emplacement in Special Contexts, The Departments of Religious Studies and Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara

 In Call for Papers, Uncategorized

Call for Proposals (Submission Deadline: March 25, 2013)
The Departments of Religious Studies and Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara
invite submissions for a graduate student conference

Personhood, Place, and Possession: Embodiment and Emplacement in Special Contexts

with Keynote Speakers Thomas Csordas, David Hershenov, and Tanya Luhrmann
May 28 and 29, 2013

This conference will explore the social, cognitive, philosophical, and religious conceptions and dynamics of personhood. We are especially interested in alterations of subjectivity, altered states of embodiment and emplacement, and cross-disciplinary methods and theories for imagining transient selves. We welcome proposals for full panels and individual papers from graduate students of any discipline on topics that touch upon the ways in which people understand personhood and the possibilities of its creation, transformation, and loss. We seek to include creative and interdisciplinary approaches to these questions, and to explore them in relation to religion as variously conceived in a variety of contexts. Suggested topics include but are not limited to the following:

● What can altered states of embodiment (spirit possession, charismatic practices, healing, prophecy, etc.) and emplacement (living in diaspora, traversing heavenly or hellish realms, visitations, borderlands, etc.) tell us about notions of subjectivity?

● Where is one’s proper place? How does one being take another’s place? Where can one find or lose the self, and how? How does one change/stay the same over time?

● How might a being exist in multiple places or multiple beings occupy the same space? What does the destruction or loss of a place mean for the possibility of articulating a self or recognizing oneself? How might places have personalities or powers? What makes a person at one time numerically identical to a person at another time?

● What do the cognitive sciences have to say about how the body is internally represented and how this representation can be altered? How might a particular sense of personhood or place relate to cognitive dissonance and/or creative tension?

● How is spirit possession represented in ethnography, literature, films, and so on? What kinds of subjects can be possessed? How might one manipulate spirit possession? Where does the possessed subject go? Where does the possessing spirit come from?

Keynote speakers: Thomas Csordas is professor of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego and is the author of Body/Meaning/Healing. He is currently researching contemporary exorcisms. David Hershenov is chair of the philosophy department at the University at Buffalo and works on metaphysics, bioethics, and religion, especially as related to identity. Tanya Luhrmann is professor of anthropology at Stanford University and is the author of When God Talks Back. She is conducting ongoing research into theory of mind and unusual sensory experiences.

Please email proposals, including name and institutional affiliation, of no more than 300 words, to by March 25, 2013. Notifications will be made by April 1.

Planning committee: Michael Kinsella, Chris Morales, Keith Hess, Jennifer Hahn, Nathan Fredrickson, Garrett Baer, and Philip DeSlippe. This conference is generously supported by Catholic Studies and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UCSB.

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