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Janeiro 2022

Call for papers: VII International Jos Saramago Conference Jos Saramago's philosophical and socio-political heritage

 

We are pleased to announce the release of the Call for Papers for our annual conference on José Saramago's work and thought and we are inviting interested parties to submit their proposals.

 

Please find the full document in English in the attachment, along with the Portuguese version.

 

The year of 2022 marks the Portuguese Nobel Prize-winning author centenary and, among many events organised by numerous institutions all over the year, the VII International José Saramago Conference of the University of Vigo "José Saramago's philosophical and socio-political heritage" will be taking place from 26 to 29 of October at Vigo (Galicia - Spain).

 

On the world literary scene, José Saramago definitely holds today a prominent place. The significant influence his work, which has already been translated into more than 50 languages, has had not only on the western culture but also on the public opinion in general, as well as its international academic reception, make it enormously relevant. Dealing with the most pressing issues of the world today (from gender equality, environmentalism, speciesism vs. anti-speciesism, consumerism vs. anti-consumerism, culturalism vs. anti-culturalism to capitalism and the neoliberal economy), Saramago's work provides an excellent starting point for the critical examination of our globalised society and the cultures and economic and political structures of the West, which have been experiencing ongoing crises in recent times that demand reflection and active participation.

 

The theme for this VII Conference was inspired by the book Saramago's Philosophical Heritage (2018), edited by Carlo Salzani (University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna) and Kristof Vanhoutte (University of the Free State, Bloemfontein), professors and philosophers from the Paris Institute for Critical Thinking (PICT), who are also co-organisers of the event.

 

As a first thematic axis, we will be exploring the great contemporary relevance of the philosophical legacy left by José Saramago, including questions related to animals, empathy, and anthropomorphism. The socio-political objectives of the JaRICCA network, derived from the Universal Charter of Duties and Obligations of the Human Beings, will also be tackled as part of this axis.

 

This Charter was inspired by the speech delivered by Saramago on 10th December 1998 in Stockholm, where he received the Nobel Prize. The document was composed at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM) by a Commission of international experts and later submitted to the United Nations in 2018. We aim to turn the Universal Charter of Duties and Obligations of the Human Beings, along with the resulting international discussion on related topics, into the second thematic axis of our conference.

 

Finally, a third thematic axis will be the connection between the poetical and the political in José Saramago, which will be closely linked to the research project "Contemporary Poetry and Politics: Social Conflicts and Poetic Dialogisms", led by the CJS.

 

Confirmed keynote speakers

Ana Paula Ferreira, University of Minnesota

Kristof Vanhoutte, Paris Institute for Critical Thinking / University of the Free State, Bloemfontein

[2 to be confirmed]

 

 

GENERAL CALL FOR PAPERS

 

The VII International Conference “José Saramago’s Philosophical and Socio-political Heritage”, will be held between 27 and 29 October 2022 at the city of Vigo and we are kindly inviting any researchers interested in Saramago’s work to participate by submitting a proposal for a 20-minute communication, which will be followed by a short debate.

 

Proposals should have a direct relation with one or several of the following topics:
    1. Philosophy.
    2. Politics.
    3. Sociology.
    4. Ethics (especially, the Charter of Duties and Obligations of the Human Beings).
    5. The poetical and the political.

Portuguese, Spanish, Galician and English will be the working languages of the conference.

 

Abstracts must be no more than 350 words and must be accompanied by a brief biographical note (150 words).

 

Please send your proposals to catedrasaramago@uvigo.gal before 20 April 2022. Participants will receive notification of acceptance/rejection by 17 June, after evaluation by the Scientific Committee, according to the relevance of the proposal with regard to the conference topics and its originality.


A selection of the accepted papers will be eligible for publication, after double- blind peer review.


 

SPECIFIC CALLS FOR PAPERS

 

Together with the general call for papers, we are inviting researchers to consider also these specific calls for the following thematic panels:

 

 

Panel 1 on "Animals, Empathy, and Anthropomorphism in Saramago’s Work", organised by Carlo Salzani (University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna), within the context of the project on "The Limits of Imagination: Animals, Empathy, Anthropomorphism":

 

A by-now solid body of scholarship supports the claim that literary works enrich and enlarge our power of imagination, and consequently, as moral thinking too has a narrative form and is shaped by stories, our moral capacity. The work of Portuguese Nobel Laureate José Saramago is a case in point: both his fictional and nonfictional works carry a strong ethico-political charge that lies more in the power of his words and images than in explicit ideological postures. And a special focus of this charge is the empathetic demands his oeuvre puts forwards: Saramago’s literature teaches empathy and brings us in contact with other beings – human and nonhuman alike –, assigning us the task of going outside ourselves and meeting the Other. Animals in his works (especially, but not exclusively, dogs) perhaps even epitomize this ethical imperative, asking the reader to meet the Other in all its forms, where anthropomorphism and its heuristic value is questioned and redefined.

 

As part of the VII International Conference “José Saramago’s Philosophical and Socio-political Heritage,” to be held in Vigo, Spain, on 27-29 October 2022, we invite proposals focusing specifically on animals, empathy, and anthropomorphism in Saramago’s work to be included in one or two panels.

 

Abstracts must be no more than 350 words and must be accompanied by a brief biographical note (150 words). Please send your proposals to catedrasaramago@uvigo.gal before 20 April 2022 with the reference "Panel on Animals, Empathy, and Anthropomorphism in Saramago’s Work". Participants will receive notification of acceptance/rejection by 17 June. Portuguese, Spanish, Galician and English will be the working languages of this panel. For questions, please email Carlo.Salzani@vetmeduni.ac.at.

 

 

Panel 2 on "The Poetical and the Political in José Saramago" organised by Burghard Baltrusch (Universidade de Vigo) within the context of the research project "Contemporary Poetry and Politics: Social Conflicts and Poetic Dialogisms (POEPOLIT II)":

 

In a 1989 interview, José Saramago characterised his writing as follows: "I begin to understand that the novelist is probably something other than what I am. I'm a kind of poet who develops an idea. In my books things happen a bit like a fugue. There is a theme that is later subjected to different treatments in terms of timbres and movements. This can happen in my books. You reach the end of the reading with the impression of having read a long poem." This and similar statements from Saramago must of course be related to his politically-minded way of writing that aimed to convey memorability to what hegemonic discourses usually tend to turn invisible, and that always reclaimed ethical responsibility and action. In this sense, the panel wants to explore the relationship between the political and the poetic in its work in all possible dimensions.

 

As part of the VII International Conference “José Saramago’s Philosophical and Socio-political Heritage,” to be held in Vigo, Spain, on 27-29 October 2022, we invite proposals focusing specifically on the relations between the poetical and the political in Saramago’s work to be included in one panel.

 

Abstracts must be no more than 350 words and must be accompanied by a brief biographical note (150 words). Please send your proposals to catedrasaramago@uvigo.gal before 20 April 2022 with the reference "Panel on The Poetical and the Political in José Saramago". Participants will receive notification of acceptance/rejection by 17 June. Portuguese, Spanish, Galician and English will be the working languages of this panel. For questions, please email burg@uvigo.es.

Publicado, 13/01/2022




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