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Hermeneutics of Persecution
Internet Conference, October-November 1998

Internet Conference 1998 : Hermeneutics of Persecution

The Institute of Modern German and European Literatures at Hagen
University (Germany) and the Center for the Study of Globalization and
Cultural Difference at the German Department of Tamkang University
(Taiwan, ROC) invite scholars from all disciplines to an internet
conference planned to take place from October 19 through November 6, 1998. 

That conference will be the opening event of the long term project
Persecution and the Consolidation of Cultures both institutions have
decided to pursue together within the coming years. 

The interplay between the consolidation of collective identities on the
one hand and the formation and/or persecution of minorities on the other
has been widely studied in various disciplines. Current events are
demonstrating that this mechanism is everything but history. Different
from earlier expectations, there is no general process of rationalization
that would finally eradicate a potential of violence within collective
identities. Such a potential seems to be a constitutive element of their
formation. In the first stage of our project we plan taking stock. We want
to explore, to compare and to test the conceptual tools designed and used
by authors from different disciplines to study that topic. 

Our opening event will be dedicated to the work of René Girard. In his
books La violance et la sacré (Paris 1972) and Le Bouc émissaire (Paris
1982) Girard develops a theory of culture that deserves attention within
the context of our research. A first axis of Girard's study is a theory of
the sacrifice, a second axis is a particular hermeneutics he uses to
demonstrate that theory and to show its implications for the understanding
of cultural identity. The main focus of the internet conference will be
that second axis. We want to discuss the conceptual setup of Girard's
HERMENEUTICS OF PERSECUTION as well as Girard's readings of particular
texts on the basis of that hermeneutics. 

Due to the overall frame of our background project, the subject of that
conference should be understood in a wide sense. Scholars from all related
disciplines are invited to participate. All contributions will be made
available on the internet. 

You can contribute to that project in one or more of the following

1. Send a full length and unpublished paper. Pending funding and
   depending upon what we get, we will try to find a publisher
   for those papers after the conference.
2. Send a specific. That format would be shorter and less formal than a
   regular paper. A specific could be any form of
   reflection or remark you might consider of interest.
3. Send background material of any form that could help us to get the
   discussion going. It could be a paper you may have
   written earlier, published or unpublished; it could be a chapter or
   section from a book; it could be a bibliography; it could be a
   report on some conference dedicated to related topics.

>From Nov. 21 through Nov. 22, 1998, there will be a colloquium at Hagen
University dedicated to the same topic. 

For registration and further information contact one of the organizers by

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schoedlbauer
Institute of Modern German and European Languages
Hagen University, Germany

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Duessel
Center for the Study of Globalization and Cultural Difference
at the Department of German
Tamkang University, Taiwan, ROC