a past that has never been present

Art • Philosophy • History
June 9-12, 2011

University of King’s College

About Halifax, NS

Conference Poster
(1.8MB PDF)

Keynote presentations
and panels
are open to the public.
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, University of King’s College

Call for Papers (closed December 15th 2010)

This interdisciplinary conference, supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, will bring together scholars from various disciplines to explore the ways in which Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s reference to “a past that has never been present” in The Phenomenology of Perception might be said to challenge our conventional notion of memory as a past perception, and so also to complicate our understanding of what is at stake in representing the past as an object of experience.

Given Merleau-Ponty’s claim that this “original past” is not to be interpreted on the basis of consciousness, perception or bodily engagement with the world, might the notion of a “past that has never been present” provide a new angle of inquiry in our explorations of temporality and its rupturing, memory disorders and obsessions with the past—in short, a thinking of representation that moves beyond a subject-object dichotomy?

Papers are welcome from scholars in philosophy, arts and art history, film studies, architecture, literary studies, history, trauma studies and/or psychoanalysis. Conference organizers will select a number of papers for subsequent publication. Paper proposals should provide
  1. name/institutional affiliation;
  2. 250-word abstract of proposed paper.
We invite proposals on such topics as:
  • Belatedness
  • The primal scene (psychoanalytic interventions)
  • Questions of messianism
  • Nostalgia
  • Augustine (confession, time, memory)
  • Politics of Foundation / Revolution
  • Merleau-Ponty / Levinas / Bergson/ Deleuze
  • Proust (In Search of Lost Time)
  • Difference and Repetition
  • Revisiting Trauma
  • Mourning and Melancholy
  • Film and New Technologies (Digital Reproducibility)
  • Traces and Materiality
Deadline for proposals is December 15th 2010. Please send submissions electronically to sarah.clift@ukings.ns.ca.

  Funding from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada is gratefully acknowledged.
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