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Encounter and Experience: Cultures in Process
Interdisciplinary Conference

University of Bielefeld, Germany, 2 to 4 March 2007


Call for Papers

Cultures are dynamic sites of negotiation, exchange, and mixing. In fields
such as literary studies, cultural studies, post-colonial studies,
cultural history, or anthropology concepts such as transculturation
(Ortiz, Pratt) and hybridity (Bhabha, Young) explore cultures and their
representations in such terms. Together with linguistic approaches like
accommodation theory (Giles) they have high currency in contemporary
debates. Notions such as "contact zone", "interstices", or "third space"
outline the context, preconditions, and effects of cultural interchange.
The processes that are at the centre of cultural encounters, however, have
largely remained lacunae in a complex, interdisciplinary field with a
multiplicity of terminological coinings.

For the analysis of cultural encounters the fact that "process" mostly
remains an open variable has particularly serious repercussions not least
with regard to the field's central conundrums such as the role of agency
or the widely acknowledged but little understood notion of accommodation.
Emphasising the dimension of process, by contrast, opens what "happens
inside" up to analysis. Moreover, because of this inside view, new
insights, for example with regard to the workings and possibilities of
agency or accommodation can be garnered. What "process" involves becomes
particularly visible in a specific and exemplary type of cultural process,
namely cultural encounter. Here, since two or more cultures meet and
interact, the dynamics of cultures become the centre of attention, whether
they manifest themselves in cultures defined in national or ethnical terms
or in cultures in a broad sense, including media cultures, legal cultures,
gender cultures, age cultures, etc. More precisely, the experience of
cultural encounter offers itself as the prime point of access to cultural
processes, since "culture" after all refers to how human beings organise
and negotiate their lives both materially and discursively.

For the conference "Encounter and Experience: Cultures in Process" to be
held 2 to 4 March 2007 at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, we solicit
papers which explore cultural processes in disciplines such as literary
studies, cultural studies, linguistics, psychology, history, anthropology,
media studies, or philosophy. The conference will be organised in sections
and we list the sections we envisage below. If possible indicate for which
panel you propose your abstract. Depending on proposals we will expand and
adjust the scope of the sections.

# Cultural Encounters in Process: Concepts, Theories, Positions
# The Processing of Cultural Encounters: Perception and Cognition
# The Body in Cultural Encounters
# Cultural Encounters and Linguistic Processes
# The Manifestations of Cultural Processes in Individual Cultures and 
  their Cultural Representations

Please send abstracts of 300 words for papers of 20 minutes in electronic
form to conference2007.process@uni-bielefeld.de by 15 December 2006.

Convenors:

Prof. Dr. Ralf Schneider and Dr. Stephan Gramley
University of Bielefeld
Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies
Postfach 10 01 31
33501 Bielefeld
Germany

Dr. Sigrun Meinig
Dresden University of Technology
British Literary Studies, Institute of British & American Studies
01062 Dresden
Germany
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