23rd International Conference of the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures, University of Silesia in Katowice

Captive Minds: Norms, Normativities and the Forms of Tragic Protest in Literature and Cultural Practice
Hotel Meta Resort Vine Spa, Szczyrk, Poland
September 20, 2018 – September 23, 2018
www.captiveminds.pl

 Although generally resented and deemed unfavourable for individuals, societies and nations, Murti-Bing was a Mongolian philosopher who had succeeded in producing an organic means of transporting a “philosophy of life.” This Murti-Bing “philosophy of life,” which constituted the strength of the Sino-Mongolian army, was contained in pills in an extremely condensed form. A man who used these pills changed completely. He became serene and happy. The problems he had struggled with until then suddenly appeared to be superficial and unimportant. He smiled indulgently at those who continued to worry about them. Most affected were all questions pertaining to unsolvable ontological difficulties. A man who swallowed Murti-Bing pills became impervious to any metaphysical concerns. […] More and more people took the Murti-Bing cure, and their resultant calm contrasted sharply with the nervousness of their environment. […] [O]nce tormented by philosophical “insatiety,” now entered the service of the new society. Instead of writing the dissonant music of former days, they composed marches and odes. Instead of painting abstractions as before, they turned out socially useful pictures. But since they could not rid themselves completely of their former personalities, they became schizophrenics.(Czesław Miłosz, The Captive Mind)

In a world transforming faster than ever before, a Murti-Bing pill would do wonders to those who painfully discover that their heretofore professed philosophy of life has unexpectedly become a burden: an obstacle standing in the way to “serenity and happiness.” In fact, the miraculous power of the pill is simple: whatever norms gain on momentum at a given moment of time, they immediately become one’s own. With serenity and happiness at stake, the choice not to take the pill is a choice between one’s own “insatiable,” unique self and one’s peace of mind, the tranquility of life and liberty not to judge success in life by the gauge of satisfaction. In a world transforming faster than ever, in which the Murti-Bing pills are available without prescription and advertised in all official media, the refusal to blend into the woodwork for the sake of the comfort of being “impervious to any metaphysical concerns” is nothing short of a tragic choice. Therefore, the 2018 edition of the International Conference of the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures of the University of Silesia in Katowice aims at addressing one of the most elusive, albeit simultaneously most tangible aspects of our experience of being in the world. As a foundation and a product of grand narratives, norms apply to any and every aspect of individual, communal and social life. They regulate our behaviors, determine directions in the evolution of arts and philosophical ideas, condition intra- and cross-cultural understanding, organize hierarchies. Yet – when transformed into laws – norms become appropriated by dominant discourses becoming “truths.”  Those in control of language always construe them as “universal” and, as such, “transparent”. Those once tormented by philosophical “insatiety,” sharply aware of this, face a choice: a pill-induced schizophrenia which must eventually come, or even more catastrophic consequences of the tragic protest, which are most likely to ensue. Oppressive normativity and protest have always gone hand in hand. The 2018 International Conference of the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures, in a sense, is a product of the refusal to take the Murti-Bing pill.

 

DETAILED CALL FOR PAPERS: http://www.ocs.us.edu.pl/index.php/captiveminds/captiveminds/schedConf/cfp

APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 10.

CONFERENCE FEE: The conference fee amounts to 600 PLN (Polish Zloty), which is ca. 160 EURO,

CONFERENCE WEBSITE: http://www.ocs.us.edu.pl/index.php/captiveminds/captiveminds

A Conference Organized by the University of Silesia,  Poland  and the University of the Fraser Valley, Canada
April 26-28, 2017, University of Silesia, Sosnowiec campus

Indigenous Expressions of Culture in Storytelling, Drama, Theatre and Performance –Traditional and Contemporary Canadian and  Polish Upper Silesian Perspectives

www.fraserus.edu.pl
https://www.facebook.com/indigenoustheatre2017poland/
Confirmed Speaker: Tomson Highway (Cree)

“Storytelling is at the  core of decolonizing,  because it is a process of remembering, visioning and creating a just reality […] [it] becomes a lens through which we can envision our way out of cognitive imperialism” (Simpson 89)

The first of the intended series of conferences dedicated to the exploration of the complexity of Indigenous cultures of North America and minor cultures of Eastern/Central Europe - is a joint project of the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures, Canadian Studies Centre, Department of American and Canadian Studies, Theatrum Research Group and the Centre for the Study of Minor Cultures at the University of Silesia (US), and the Department of English and Indigenous Affairs Office, University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), Canada.  As Canadian and Polish scholars and educators working in the fields of  Indigenous, minor, and transcultural literary and cultural studies, we propose that the first conference will explore the traditional and contemporary expressions of culture in Indigenous America,  specifically Canada, and in the Eastern/Central European territory of Upper Silesia, specifically Poland, with a primary focus on the  acts of resistance, survival and celebration of culture as enacted in storytelling, drama, theatre and performance (DTP). Performance is interpreted broadly including traditional and contemporary music and dance as well as festival events understood as modes of cultural storytelling. We envision the event as a meeting of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars representing a variety of disciplines  and Indigenous Canadian and Upper Silesian storytellers, writers,  artists, performers,  educators and community members.

University of Silesia in Katowice
Faculty of Philology
Institute of English Cultures and Literatures

CORPUS HISTORICUS: THE BODY IN/OF HISTORY
Sosnowiec, Poland, June 30th‒July 1st 2017
www.corpushistoricus.wordpress.com

CALL FOR PAPERS

The significance of the body in the context of historical narratives has been paramount for the understanding of the contemporary human condition and of the past by which it has been shaped. Our perception of the body and the bodily, seen as both the object and the subject in and of history, has influenced our current understanding of both individual and collective narratives of the past, since, in the words of Donna McCormack, “[f]lesh is woven into history as both the bloody deaths necessary to achieve the desired goals and the skin on which it has become possible to write these new foundational narratives.”[1]

International Conference organised by the Department of Postcolonial Studies and Travel Literatures, Institute of English Cultures and Literatures, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
Szczyrk, META Hotel, 20 – 23 September 2017

www.suitcase.us.edu.pl

The Institute of English Cultures and Literatures, University of Silesia is happy to announce its upcoming conferenceL Fantastic Material(s): Things and the Workings of the Non-Real (7-8 July 2016). The conference Keynote Speakers are Mark Bould (UWE, Bristol, UK) and Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock (Central Michigan University, USA). Futher details and the CfP can be found on the conference’s website: https://fantasticmaterial.wordpress.com/.

 

The Institute of English Cultures and Literatures, University of Silesia (Poland) and Love Research Network are happy to announce the CFP for the upcoming conference:

The Materiality of Love

The interest of love studies in the ways affection can be materialized has been reflected through various scholarly perspectives. Although material culture studies have given the issue less attention, there has recently been a revival of research into the intersection of materiality and love. The conference is seeking to reexamine love from the perspective of materiality studies, especially new materialism and object-oriented philosophy, to sparkle a debate on a relationship between love, objects and new forms of materializing affection. The conference aims to analyze the role of things and material culture in practicing and conceptualizing love. It intends to provide an insight into how materiality (in its broadest sense) impacts the understanding of love today (its meanings and practices), and reversely, how love contributes to the production and transformation of the material world.

 

HistoRISUS: Historie śmiechu / Śmiech [w] historii

Konferencja Instytutu Kultur i Literatur Anglojęzycznych
Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach
21-22 listopada, 2014
Sosnowiec

Zachęcamy do odwiedzenia strony konferencji: http://historisus.wordpress.com/

Zachęcamy do zapoznania się z zaproszeniem na konferenjcę (Call for Papers) - w języku polskim (PDF) oraz angielskim (PDF).

Ties and Knots. Bridges between Lands and Cultures International Conference

September, 18th – 19th 2014.

http://tiesandknots.conference.2014.us.edu.pl

 

Zapraszamy do pobrania programu konferencji (dokument MS Word) oraz plakatu (PDF).

The Institute of English Cultures and Literatures, University of Silesia (Poland) is happy to announce a CFP for an upcoming international conference:

“The Popular Life of Things. Material Culture(s) and Popular Processes” to be held in Sosnowiec (Poland), 3-4 July 2014

In the preface to Les Mots et les choses (1966), a work on the relationship between discourse and things, Michel Foucault observes that “the fundamental codes of culture – those governing its language, its schemas of perception, its exchanges, its techniques, its values, the hierarchy of practices – establish for every man (…) the empirical orders with which he will be dealing and within which he will be at home.” A predominant cultural code today, popular culture, “offers” processes, mechanisms and representations which mediate the experience and uses of things, changing the ways we understand / approach materiality and engage with objects in our domestic, social and professional lives.

The theme of the conference focuses first and foremost on the maze-like structure of both the urban landscape and the net of relationships within that structure, drawing attention to the ubiquitous feeling of puzzlement that accompanies the journey through the urban labyrinth. It invites the speakers to consider the multiplicity of ways in which the city is imagined in literature, allowing for a vast variety of amazing visions of the urban landscape, but it also proposes a completely opposite type of relationship, in which it is the cityscape that can be read like a dense plot.

Download the CFP (PDF file)

CONFERENCE

Organized by Canadian Studies Student Circle,
at Canadian Studies Centre, Institute of English Cultures and Literatures,
University of Silesia,
MAY 14TH 2014,  Sosnowiec, Poland

MULTICULTURALISM, THE FINAL FRONTIER? REPRESENTATIONS OF DIVERSITY IN CANADIAN MASS MEDIA AND POPULAR CULTURE

KEY NOTE SPEAKER:
PROF. MICHELLE LAFLAMME
UNIVERSITY OF FRASER VALLEY
BC, CANADA

Conference of the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures
22 - 23 November 2013, Sosnowiec
University of SiIlesia, Poland
cryptohistory.wordpress.com

Download CFP as a PDF file (in English)
Download CFP as a PDF file (in Polish)

With the 50th anniversary of one of the arguably most mysterious and speculation-provoking moments in history, the death of JFK, as inspiration, the conference intends to be a meeting ground for discussions of cryptic discourses in history and historical narratives converging on the mysterious. It is perhaps no exaggeration to suppose that one of the vital factors underlying the earliest interests in history and its rise as a science may be related to the sense of mystery associated with the past. It appears, moreover, that in an era of an increased socio-cultural demand for various conspiracy theories and alternative histories, the narratives of the past focusing on its cryptic aspects deserve particular and thorough examination. Equally important seem to be the mechanics of their rise in history and their narrative strategies. We, therefore, invite papers that will engage in disputes centring on the issues of secrets, mysteries and enigmas in narrative and theoretical discourses of history.

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Wydział Filologiczny Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
ul. Gen. S. Grota-Roweckiego 5
41-205 Sosnowiec