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Conference: "Otherness and the Arts" August 8-9, 2008.

Global Conference on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Otherness and Alterity in Literature, Film and Culture. Organized by the Department of English, University of Aarhus, and Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, in collaboration with the Centre for Studies in Otherness.

Location: Aarhus University, Denmark.

"Nobody - that's my name"
- Homer, The Odyssey, VIIII

The Delphic injunction to know thyself, to understand oneself as self, entails alienating self-reflection and the awareness that the limits of any entity, hence its individuation, are determined by what lies outside these borders - otherness. But where is this division between the I and other located? How is this schism constructed? Or can this schism even be discerned? Instead, the injunction of the Arts articulates an inverse yet more immediate approach to the problem of knowing thyself. It entails an understanding of oneself as other: the boundary between "I" and "that which I am not," necessary for our constitution as subjects, dissolves in our Homeric hero's proclamation "Nobody - that's my name."

keynote speakers

  • Luce Irigaray (video conference)
  • Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo
  • Svend Erik Larsen, University of Aarhus
  • Eugene O'Brien, University of Limerick
  • Ann McCulloch, Deakin University

Novelist and Poet, Tabish Khair, read from work

Topics included

  • Otherness in Cultural Representation
  • Hybridity, Creolization, and the Global other
  • Memory, History, Trauma, and Otherness
  • Ethics, Responsibility, and the Other
  • Sexuality, Gender, the Body and the Other
  • M/other / Sm/other: Engendering Otherness
  • Ambivalence and Otherness: Mimicry & Menace
  • Absolute Otherness vs. Self-Same Other
  • Monstrosity, Spectrality and Terror of the Other
  • Uncanny or Abject Others; or The Familiar Other
  • The Sublime or the Unimaginable Other
  • Malignant Otherness: Madness/Sadness
  • Healing Otherness: Sanity & Suffering
  • Pathography: Voicing the Otherness of Pain