Writing in a post-Derridean era

How do we write today after years of criticizing the limiting and controlling powers of logos? How have poststructuralism and Derridean deconstructive investigations been expanded into new intellectual and artistic territories? Have we or are we ever going to arrive at the futures that Jacques Derrida has written about? Can we think, write and act affirmatively, beyond the negative movement – the ”neither-nor” – upon which even Derrida was dependent?

The conference will address these and similar questions, and we welcome proposals that discuss whether thinking, writing, and creative forms or practices (with or without deconstruction’s help) have or have not succeeded in giving us theories, novels, poems, dramas, films or art that make use of logos without making use of the violence that has been a constitutive part of it.

Possible topics and areas of investigation for twenty-minute presentations include (but are not limited to) the following:

Writing: What are the possibilities and characteristics of writing today? How is feminine writing possible today? Can we speak of a masculine writing (that is removed from phallogocentrism)? How would such writing differ from logocentric or phallogocentric writing?

Otherness: How is the other and the responsibility towards the other addressed and expressed today in writing, arts, bodies, cultures, technologies, media and societies?

Dichotomies: How do we negotiate and express, today, the binary pairs (speech/writing, male/female, black/white, nature/ culture, centre/margin etc.) that have shaped and governed our world views? How do these dichotomies and their inherent connection to logos influence, infuriate, or complicate our intellectual/creative practices after the surge of Derridean criticism?

The impossible: How do we make possible and (re)present the impossible that writers like Maurice Blanchot, Hélène Cixous, and Derrida have placed in a beyond? How does this making possible and present take place without turning such a making into a ground, an origin, an arche? How is the singular given to us today without the strictures of identity?

The body: We think that it is of vital importance to trace corporeality and materiality within the space that has been opened after almost five decades of questioning boundaries.

Tragedy: How is tragedy constructed today, when metaphysical certainty has long been removed? Is then tragedy possible in art or in life?

Aesthetic and ethical values: It is important to discuss whether beauty and/or morality are achieved today and, if so, how. How does the affirmation of beauty or goodness inform thinking and creativity?

Keynote speakers are professor Nicholas Royle (University of Sussex), literary critic and associate professor Lilian Munk Rösing (University of Copenhagen) and author Thanasis Valtinos (Greece).

The call for papers is directed to writers, scholars, intellectuals, and artists alike. We welcome proposals that are theoretical, critical, assertive as well as pertaining to the various processes of aesthetic creation.

Proposals for artistic performances are particularly welcome. Our aim is to establish a research area and a series of conferences that will combine the study of different forms of writing today with the study of the different forms of power that in one way or another inform or dictate our ways of expressing ourselves.

The conference will have an open structure in line with its subject. Apart from papers, we welcome alternative forms of participation: events, installations, performances, screenings, posters, panels. The time for either form of participation is limited to 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion. The official language of the conference is English.

Please send pictures, abstract and/or description of your participation (maximum 400 words) to:
openwriting.hum /a /vxu.se

Submissions are due by 17 March 2008. You will then be contacted by the conference committee no later than 4 April. The conference fee will be SEK 1700, including three lunches, coffee and fruit twice a day, at least one reception, one banquet, and various artistic performances.

Please visit the website of the conference. It will be continuously updated: