Monday, July 5, 2010

2011 Conference on Modernity, Critique, and Humanism

Photos and Program of the 2011 Conference on Modernity,
Critique, and Humanism
held at
California State University, Los Angeles
February 12-13 

Conference Organizers
Left to right:  Oliver Kozlarek, Roberto Cantu', Michael Calabrese, and Bidhan Chandra Roy

Article covering this conference, "Serious Brain Power,"
 published in The University Times (pages 1,4),
Cal State L.A., February 24, 2011

University Times Article

2012 Conference on Modernity, Critique,
and Humanism
King Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
April 21-22, 2012

Video of Professor Marshall Berman's featured lecture
 (in four parts):

"All that is Solid Melts into Air:
Thirty Years After"

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

Video #4

Video of Professor Richard J. Bernstein's keynote lecture
(in four parts):

"What is Critique?"

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

Video #4

Group Photos
February 12-13, 2011

Session #4: The Modern World, Questions & Challenges
L to R: Oliver Kozlarek (Mexico), Razaak M. Ghani (Sri Lanka), Gwen B. Barde (The Philippines)  

Same as above, and Bruno Gandlgruber (Mexico)

Featured Speaker (at the podium):  Professor Isak Winkel Holmes (Denmark)
introduced by Professor Bidhan Chandra Roy (Cal State L.A.)

Professor Isak Winkel Holmes addressing his audience

Professor Richard Bernstein raising questions after
Professor Winkel Holmes's lecture

See above photo and caption

Professor Joern Ruesen (Germany) intervenes in the discussion

Gloria Bautista, Juan Carlos Parrilla, and Gerardo Briceño, members of the
University-Student Organizing Committee

Featured Speaker
Dr. Stephen Shepherd

Title of Lecture:

"Medieval Intervention in Modern Reading:
The Case of Two Fifteenth-Century Manuscripts"

February 12, 12:00-1:00 pm.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Session #2-B:  Globalization and Challeges to Critical Theory
L to R:  Professor Hildebrando Villarreal (moderator), and
Professor  Andrew Renahan (Québec), Professor Mageb Aladwani Alzahrani (Saudi Arabia), and Professor Cetin Balanuye (Turkey). 

See above photo for names of panelists

Enjoying a brief coffee break

More coffee...

Professor Atef Laouyene (Cal State L.A.) about to
open his morning session (#1-A).

Atef looks for Professor Michael Calabrese, who no doubt is
drinking his third cup of coffee

L to R:  Atef Laouyene, Michael Calabrese,
Theresia de Vroom, and Alison Taufer

Professor Calabrese opens the session
with one of his favorite topics: 
Pre-Reformation literature in England

Professor Theresia de Vroom reads her paper on Shakespeare's The Tempest

Professor Anthony Hutchison presents paper on Richard Rorty and Dave Eggers

Stunned audience...

Audience needs a cup of coffee...

L to R:  Anthony Hutchison (United Kingdom), Domnita Dumitrescu (Cal State L.A.), Dennis Rohatyn (UC San Diego)

L to R:  Professors Domnita Dumitrescu, Anthony Hutchison,
Hongmei Qu, and Dennis Rohatyn

Professor Hongmei Qu (People's Republic of China)

Professor Alfredo Morales hanging on every word, each gesture...

L to R:  Professors Oliver Kozlarek and Marshall Berman
during the latter's featured lecture (check out the T-shirt!): 
"All That is Solid Melts Into Air:  Thirty Years After"
February 13, 2011
Golden Eagle Ballroom 

Professor Berman during Q & A

Dr. Joseph Prabhu presents at his Featured Session

"Hegel, India, and the Dark Side of Modernity"

February 13, 2011
2:30-4:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

L to R:  Professors Richard Bernstein and Hongmei Qu

L to R:  Professors Hongmei Qu and Joern Ruesen

February 12-13, 2011
Golden Eagle Ballroom
California State University, Los Angeles


This conference is sponsored by the University of Copenhagen (Denmark); Universidad de Guadalajara en Los Angeles; Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (México); Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa (México); Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT, México); the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series; the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics; the College of Arts and Letters; the College of Natural and Social Sciences; and the Departments of Chicano Studies, English, and Modern Languages and Literatures at Cal State L.A.


Richard J. Bernstein
New School for Social Research, New York


Marshall Berman
City University of New York

Jörn Rüsen
Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities
Essen, Germany

Stephen Shepherd
Loyola Marymount University

Isak Winkel Holm
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

For questions contact:
Roberto Cantú, Professor of Chicano Studies and English, at 

Campus Map

Cal State L.A. Map Website:
Self-parking (meter) is available in Lot C, near the conference site. Note that University parking is enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dr. Oliver Kozlarek's website:

Nearby Hotels
Alhambra and San Gabriel, CA
Make your reservations ASAP

1. San Gabriel Hilton (San Gabriel, CA). This hotel is close to the San Bernardino Freeway (10), and to Cal State L.A. It is located in the heart of nice shops and several restaurants, with luxurious rooms and beautiful décor. Highly recommended. All conference participants who are guests at the San Gabriel Hilton will receive a corporate rate of only $119 plus tax per room (one King bed, or two Queen beds). The San Gabriel Hilton‘s address is 225 West Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA, 91776. Make your reservations by e-mail. Contact the hotel manager, Mr. Darwin Wang, at Telephone: (626) 270-2700. Fax (626) 270-2777.  Transportation from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the San Gabriel Hilton:  Super Shuttle, telephone:  (800) 700-1983, or (626) 679-3598.        

2. Days Inn-Alhambra (Alhambra, CA). This hotel is nearby restaurant row and close to the University. The manager (Mrs. Dimple) has agreed to give conference participants the corporate rate of $69 plus tax for a King bed; $79 plus tax for 2 Queen beds, per night. Continental breakfast is included, and Internet is free. Make your reservation by telephone: (626) 308-0014; or by Fax: (626) 281-5996. The Days Inn-Alhambra's address:  15 North First Street, Alhambra, California, 91801.  To receive this special rate you must identify yourself as a participant in Cal State L.A.‘s 2011 Conference on Modernity, Critique, and Humanism.  Transportation from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the Days Inn-Alhambra:  Super Shuttle, telephone:  (800) 700-1983, or (626) 679-3598.

Conference Meals

We will have two luncheons and two dinners as part of Cal State L.A.‘s hospitality during the conference. The cost of the four meals is a reduced rate of $85 (includes tax and service charge).  The rate for individual meals are as follows:  $20 for luncheons, and $25 for dinners (includes tax and service charge).  The deadline for meal payments is February 12, during morning registration.  You can pay in cash or make checks payable to Golden Eagle Hospitality.  The two luncheons and two dinners (one corresponds to the conference banquet on February 13), are open to conference participants and to the general public attending the conference. After the morning of February 12, participation in the meal program will be closed.  For menu details, see conference program. 

Full Conference Program

(See Below)

Participating Institutes and Universities

Latrobe University, Victoria

Health Sciences University at Porto Alegre

Concordia University, Montréal, Québec
University of Western Ontario

Jilin University

University of Copenhagen

Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen
University of Osnabrück

The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Baqir al -Olum University

Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa, Mexico City
Universidad de Guadalajara en Los Angeles
Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco
Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, México
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico City

The Netherlands
Radboud University Nijmegen,

University of Warsaw

Saudi Arabia
King Saud University

South Korea
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Yongin,

Umeå University
University of Gothenberg

Akdeniz University, Antalya
Middle East Technical University, Ankara

United Kingdom
University of Nottingham

United States of America
California State University, Los Angeles
California State University, Northridge
City University of New York
Claremont School of Theology
Columbia University
Harvard University
Loyola Marymount University
Marymount Institute for Faith, Culture and the Arts
New School for Social Research, New York
North Carolina State University
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
University of San Diego
University of Virginia
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Conference Program

Saturday, February 12

8:30-9:00 a.m.
Registration & Coffee
Golden Eagle Ballroom

9:00-9:30 a.m.
Roberto Cantú & Co-Organizers:
Michael Calabrese, Oliver Kozlarek,
and Bidhan Chandra Roy

Welcome and Introduction
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Featured Speaker

Isak Winkel Holm
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Title of Lecture:

“The Last Man on Earth is Not Alone”

February 12, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Session #1-A
February 12, 10:40-11:50 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-A


Moderator: Atef Laouyene, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Michael Calabrese, California State University, Los Angeles
Human Learning and Salvation in Pre-Reformation Literature in England

2. Theresia de Vroom, Marymount Institute for Faith, Culture and the Arts
Playing the Goddesses and Playing Chess: Ritual and Reason in Prospero’s Tempest

3. Alison Taufer, California State University, Los Angeles
Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Tirso de Molina’s El condenado por desconfiado: A Question of Contrition

Session #1-B
February 12, 10:40-11:50 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-B


Moderator: Domnita Dumitrescu, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Anthony Hutchison, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
The Collapsible Space Between Us: Humanist Literary Critique in Richard Rorty and Dave Eggers

2. Hongmei Qu, Jilin University, China
Marxian Humanism: From the Historical Viewpoint

3. Dennis Rohatyn, University of San Diego
The Future of Humanism: Despair, Transcendence, Hope

Featured Speaker

Stephen Shepherd

Associate Director, The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive,
University of Virginia
Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts,
Loyola Marymount University

Title of Lecture:

“Medieval Intervention in Modern Reading: The Case of Two Fifteenth-Century Manuscripts“

February 12, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-A

Luncheon: 1:00-2:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-C

Sesame Beef Stir-fry,
Steamed Rice, Stir-fry Vegetables,
Asian Green Salad, Desserts,
Water, and Iced-Tea

Session #2-A
February 12, 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-A


Moderator: Lia Kamhi-Stein, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Ana Carolina da Costa e Fonseca, Health Sciences University at Porto Alegre, Brazil
A Dialogue with Nietzsche on the Concept of Responsibility

2. Héctor Raúl Solís Gadea, Universidad de Guadalajara, México
Hannah Arendt and Humanism

3. Katarina Andersson, Umeå University, Sweden
Aging and Dependency – From a Passive Receiver to an Active Consumer of Welfare Services: How to Claim the Human Rights of Dignity and Respect in Home Care Services

4. Suvadip Sinha, University of Western Ontario, Canada
The Fallacious Overlap: Machine, Modernity, and Pre-capitalist Fetishism in Ritwik Ghatak’s Ajantrik

Session #2-B
February 12, 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-B


Moderator: Hildebrando Villarreal, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Andrew Renahan, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec
An Essay on Postmodern Culture: A Consideration of “Values and Commitments”

2. Mageb Aladwani Alzahrani, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
Cultural Globalization and the Gulf States:  A Critical Analysis

3. Cetin Balanuye, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey
Post Humanism: Humbler than Modernism, Braver than Postmodernism

Session #3
February 12, 4:15-6:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom


Moderator: Choi Chatterjee, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Bidhan Chandra Roy, California State University, Los Angeles
An Uneven Global Modernity: Re-Imagining Class Identities in South Asian Diasporic Fiction

2. Hema Chari, California State University, Los Angeles
The Haunting Ghosts from Bandung: The Politics of Secularism and Fundamentalism Revisited

3. Reza Khorasani, Baqir al -Olum University, Iran
The Confrontation of the West and Modernity with Political Islam in the Contemporary Period

Featured Speaker

Jörn Rüsen

Professor Emeritus, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany
Senior Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities
Essen, Germany

Title of Lecture:

“Intercultural Humanism: Idea and Reality”

February 12, 6:00-7:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Dinner: 7:15-9:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-C

Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice and Beans,
Tortillas, Salsa, Full Salad Bar,
Desserts, Water, and Iced-Tea

Sunday, February 13

8:30-9:00 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-C

Session #4
February 13, 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-A


Moderator: Oliver Kozlarek, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, México


1. Razaak M. Ghani, Latrobe University, Victoria, Australia
Humanitarianism vs Civility: Agency and Community Responses towards internally displaced people affected by violent civil conflict in Sri Lanka

2. Gwen B. Barde, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
From Heretics to Critics: The Humanism of Indigenous Synergies as Sublation

3. Bruno Gandlgruber, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa, Mexico City
Potentials and Limitations of Social Corporate Responsibility: An Institutional Perspective

4. Daniel H. Fernald, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea
White Collar Migrants: Foreign Teachers in Korea

Session #5-A
February 13, 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-A


Moderator: Michael Calabrese, California State University, Los Angeles

1. Ewa Luczak, University of Warsaw, Poland
Frank Yerby’s Case with Eugenics: Popular Literature and Humanism

2. Somogy Varga, Universities of Copenhagen and Osnabrück, Denmark
Culture Industry Reloaded

Session #5-B
February 13, 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-B


Moderator: Linda Greenberg, California State University, Los Angeles

1. Miriam Reyes Tovar, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Deterritorialization as a Way to Understand the Concept of Border and the Idea of Identity in Migration
2. Oliver Kozlarek, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, México
Towards a Humanist Turn in Social Theory

Featured Speaker

Marshall Berman

Distinguished Professor of Political Science
City University of New York

Title of Lecture:

“All That is Solid Melts Into Air:
Thirty Years After”

February 13, 11:45 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Luncheon:  1:00-2:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-C


Basil Pesto Pasta & Grilled Chicken,
Garlic Bread, Full Salad Bar,
Dessert, Water, and Iced-Tea

Featured Session
February 13, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

“Hegel, India, and the Dark Side of Modernity”

Presenter: Joseph Prabhu, California State University, Los Angeles

Moderator:  Bidhan Chandra Roy, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Richard J. Bernstein,
New School for Social Research

2. Kayley Vernallis,
California State University, Los Angeles

Session #7-A
February 13, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-A


Moderator: Louis R. Negrete, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Jacob Lillemose, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Trying to Save the Human from/by Technology. Revisiting the Question of Technology in the Context of the Personal Computer

2. Choi Chatterjee, California State University, Los Angeles
Everyday Life in Transnational Perspective: Consumption, Consumerism, and Party Favors, 1917-1939

3. Frank Weiner, Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia
Dialectics of Humanism and Animality

4. Lesley Lopez, California State University, Northridge
It’s a Different Kind of Family: Non-biological Social Groups Presented as Chosen Families in Grey’s Anatomy and Bones

Session #7-B
February 13, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-B


Moderator: Abbas Daneshvari, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Andrew Keener, North Carolina State University
Silence, Solitude, and Self: Pavese’s Postwar Modernity

2. Rune Graulund, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Mobility at Large: Globalization, Textuality, Travel Writing

3.  Zlatan Filipovic, University of Gothenberg, Sweden
Not Human Enough

4. Rami Schwartz, Founder of 
UCube: The Tridimensional Language of Humanism

Session #8
February 13, 4:45-6:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-A


Moderator: Samuel Schmidt, Universidad de Guadalajara en Los Angeles


1. Aysun Aydin, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
Deweyian Experience and Naturalistic Hopes for Philosophy

2. Peter Brier, California State University, Los Angeles
George Eliot and the Talmud Man: The Humanist Roots of a National Vision

3. Kile Jones, Claremont School of Theology
Atheism and Religious Pluralism: Navigating between Freedom of and Freedom from Religion

4. Maya Aguiluz-Ibargüen, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Stressing the Concept of Strangeness as a Base of Thinking the Human

Keynote Speaker

Richard J. Bernstein
Vera List Professor of Philosophy
New School for Social Research

Title of Lecture:

"What is Critique?"

February 13, 6:00-7:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Conference Banquet
February 13, 7:15-9:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-C


Grilled Salmon, Roasted Red Potatoes,
Bread, Fresh Vegetables, Dessert,
Water and Iced-Tea

Conference Speakers

Dr. Marshall Berman

Distinguished Professor of Political Science
City University of New York

Dr. Marshall Berman was born in the South Bronx, New York. He participated in Civil Rights and anti-war movements, and received degrees from Columbia, Oxford, and Harvard Universities. He helped found the Center for Worker’s Education at CCNY. He is member of the editorial board of Dissent, and has written on cultural history and criticism in The New York Times, Village Voice, Dissent, Nation, and in New Left Review. His publications include: Adventures in Marxism (New York: Verso, 1999); All Thas is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (Verso, 1983); The Politics of Authenticity (1970); On the Town: One Hundred Years of Spectacle in Times Square (2006); wrote the introduction to the new Penguin edition of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto; and coedited, with Brian Berger, New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg (2007). Dr. Berman has also been involved in PBS’s History of New York, and a History Channel documentary on the history of Times Square.

Dr. Richard J. Bernstein

Vera List Professor of Philosophy
The New School for Social Research, New York, USA

Dr. Richard J. Bernstein received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Chicago and Columbia University, graduating from these institutions with Honors in Philosophy and summa cum laude, respectively. His M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are from Yale University, with a doctoral dissertation titled “John Dewey’s Metaphysics of Experience.” Professor Bernstein joined the faculty of Philosophy at Yale University where he taught for seven years, later moving to Haverford College where he served as Chair of the Department of Philosophy and as T. Webster Brown Professor of Philosophy. In 1989, Professor Bernstein was honored as the Vera List Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research, where he also served as Chair of the Dept. of Philosophy, Coordinator of the New School’s Psychoanalytic Program and, most recently, as Dean of the Graduate Faculty. Professor Bernstein has been Visiting Professor at several universities in the world, such as Hebrew University, the Catholic University of America, and Frankfurt University, among others. In his productive work as a teacher and researcher, Professor Bernstein has authored 17 books, a productive range of landmark publications that includes the following: Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics and Praxis (1983); The New Constellation: The Ethical-Political Horizons of Modernity/Postmodernity (1991); Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question (1996); The Abuse of Evil: The Corruption of Politics and Religion since 9/11 (2005), and—among other titles—his most recent book: The Pragmatic Turn (Cambridge, 2010). In addition, Professor Bernstein has authored 178 articles, introductions and reviews. Two books of essays and conversations have been published in his honor.

Professor Bernstein’s scholarship is inspired by various philosophical traditions, from classical antiquity to modern European thought, and American pragmatism. His books and articles are a constant philosophical inquiry into the works of Aristotle, Hegel, Kant, and Nietzsche, next to John Dewey, Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, and Jürgen Habermas, among others. Enriched by these different but convergent philosophical legacies, Professor Bernstein‘s philosophical writings illuminate fundamental political and moral questions of today, such as rethinking responsibility and ethics, representations and foundations of evil, the meaning of community and modernity, knowledge and freedom, and the relations between a classical legacy of humanism and education. Professor Bernstein has been editor of Review of Metaphysics, and Editor-in-Chief of Praxis International. He has received many awards for distinguished and gifted teaching. He is currently serving as Board Member of the New York Council for the Humanities.

Dr. Jörn Rüsen

Professor Emeritus, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany
Senior Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities,
Essen, Germany

Dr. Jörn Rüsen is Senior Fellow at the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities) at Essen and Professor emeritus at the Universtiy of Witten/Herdecke. In 2010 he received an Honorary doctorate from the University of Lund (Sweden). In 2009 and in 2010 he was Visiting Chair Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, National Taiwan University. In 2008 he was awarded the Order of Merit from the State of Northrhine Westfalia, Federal Republic of Germany. From 2006 to 2009 he was the head of the research project on "Humanism in the era of globalisation - an intercultural dialogue on humanity, culture, and values" at the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities) at Essen. From 1997 to 2007 Rüsen was te President/director of the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities) at Essen. From 1997 to 2007 he was Professor for General History and Historical Culture at the University of Witten/Herdecke. From 1989 to 1997 he was the chair for general history with special respect to theory of history at the University of Bielefeld. And before that from 1974-1989 he held a Professorship on modern history at the University of Bochum.

During his long career Prof. Rüsen has engaged in the following fields of research: theory and methodology of history, history of historiography, strategies of intercultural comparison, general issues of cultural orientation, and intercultural communication inmodern societies; humanism in a globalizing world. His recent books include: Zerbrechende Zeit 2001; Geschichte im Kulturprozeß 2002; Kann Gestern besser werden? 2003; Berättande och Förnuft (Swedish) 2004; History: Narration – Interpretation- Orientation 2005; Lishi sikao de xin tujing [New Ways of Historical Thinking] (Chinese) Shanghai 2005: Kultur macht Sinn 2006; Istorika (Lithuanian) 2007; Historische Orientierung, 2nd ed. 2008; Historisches Lernen, 2nd ed. 2008. Recent edited books and special journal issues are: (with Michael Fehr und Thomas W. Rieger) Thinking Utopia. Steps into Other Worlds, 2005; Meaning and Representation in History, 2006; Chinese and Western Historical Thinking, Forum in History & Theory, vol. 46, No. 2, May 2007, pp. 180-232; Time and History. The Variety of Cultures, 2007; History and Utopia, in: Historein 7 (2007), pp. 5-113; (with Henner Laass) Interkultureller Humanismus. Menschlichkeit in der Vielfalt der Kulturen, 2009; (with Henner Laass) Humanism in Intercultural Perspective – Experiences and Expectations, 2009; (with Oliver Kozlarek) Humanismo en la la era de la globalización, 2009; Perspektiven der Humanität – Menschlichkeit im Diskurs der Disziplinen, 2010.

Dr. Stephen Shepherd

Associate Director, The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive,
University of Virginia
Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts,
Loyola Marymount University

The primary focus of Dr. Stephen Shepherd’s research is on the critical, codicological, and historical of medieval English literature, especially romance and the work of William Langland. He has published essays on these topics in collections and in Archiv and Medium Ævum. His honors include fellowships to the Huntington Library and the Bibliographical Society of America. He is the editor of the Early English Text Society edition of Turpines Story (Oxford University Press, 2004), and he has published three Norton Critical Editions: Middle English Romances (1995), Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur (2004), and, with Elizabeth Robertson, William Langland’s Piers Plowman (2006).

Dr. Isak Winkel Holm

Department for Arts and Cultural Studies
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Dr. Isak Winkel Holm, Associate Professor in the Department for Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen. Current research projects: "Disaster Discourse: The Cultural Framing of Disaster", and "Kafka: Forms of Injustice". Books: Tanken i billedet. Søren Kierkegaards poetik (Thinking in Images: The Poetics of Søren Kierkegaard), 1998. Articles: on Rousseau, Schlegel, Kleist, Hegel, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Musil, Kafka, Kundera, DeLillo, Sebald, McCarthy, etc. Translations: Franz Kafka, Fortællinger (The Complete Stories), 2007, and Friedrich Nietzsche, Tragediens fødsel (Birth of Tragedy, 1996).

Conference Panelists &
Abstracts of Presenttions

Maya Aguiluz-Ibargüen, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Stressing the Concept of Strangeness as a Base of Thinking the Human

In this section I will focus on my former reflections on the sociology of 'the stranger' (Simmel, Bauman, and others), as a form of otherness which has been traced individual and collectively as a figure embodying modern experience. Rooted in Bauman's concern on ambivalent modernity the question of the stranger has joined two extremes of social experience, from what is familiar and agreeable to what is concealed of sight, making possible diverse forms of being in touch with the Other and others. One important remark is related here with a necessary reflection on the classical figure of “the stranger“, and with the emblematic figure of “the Jew” since both figures have connoted kinds of modern uprootedness and restlessness.

By revising former conceptions of the stranger, I will try to explore its narrow sense to establish how it appears in different contexts of estrangement, displacement, and living out or living in a state of being “not home”, all of them are social spaces where senses of violences are in conflict with senses of the human.

In my perspective, to confront strangers and their bodies have arraised to a critic point nowadays. Different bodies, strange bodies, does not mean just to embrace differences among a polyphonic and multicultural world neither to make relevant the incommensurable feature of identities but to consider the conflicting semantics on what is the human of the human beings. (As a social discourse, sociology take place in a pluralistic world of narratives and semantics, and within this plural world many authors are searching, once again, a basic sense of us as living beings). Then, sociological debate apparently take a look on its past argues about nature/culture distinctions to identify this side of our existence that constitute us as "vulnerable bodies". In fact, as a social condition vulnerability appears most strongly among some groups and populations facing survival-threatening risks -people without place as the newly "naked beings" in the era of information and technologies of any kind-, nevertheless, we have witnessed such an intensive erosion of the boundaries of any kind -boundaries that almost all of us had known- that alterations, of any type, on the living body conduce us to adopt a different kind of position in front of the paradoxical concept of the body that was uttered, more or less, emphasizing that the more we know about bodies, the more we are able to control, intervene and alter them, the more uncertain we become as to what the bodies actually are. This last idea today in the context of a global, and climate, crisis has to be more to do with a dramatic question which involved a new kind of humanity based on survival challenge and a new connection of the human with the history of life of the planet

Katarina Andersson, Umeå University, Sweden
Aging and Dependency – From a Passive Receiver to an Active Consumer of Welfare Services: How to Claim the Human Rights of Dignity and Respect in Home Care Services?

Public elderly care is one of the largest and the most rapidly changing welfare institutions in Sweden, but also one of the least prestigious. Traditionally, care work is coded as female work and is dominated by women workers; the job has low status, is badly paid and requires only low levels of formal education. In modern times, old age has been constructed as a social problem and older people are described as a burden. Being old and dependent on care often means a vulnerable situation where the care workers have to take responsibility for the elderly people´s needs and their wellbeing. Thus, the relation between the elderly and the care worker is characterized as asymmetrical. In theories on caring, care is strongly idealised as a mutual relation with weight on moral obligation and proficiencies such as empathy, closeness and warmth are emphasised. Care workers’ moral obligation towards the dependent elderly often means complying with their wishes and is also seen as a way to balance the asymmetrical relation.

The former organisation of public elderly care has been described as being ineffective, uneconomical and time-consuming and seeing the dependent elderly as a passive receiver of care. The neoliberal turn that can be observed on the societal level today, indicates several changes of the welfare state towards new rationalities and values, such as marketization of care and where freedom of choice and individual rights is emphasised – claiming it to be in the best of interest of the individuals. Thus, the discourse of efficiency has changed the care work practice in Sweden, mainly influenced by New Public Management (NPM). By the act of free choice, legislation has further strengthened the elderly people as an active consumer and their position of self-governing on the free market of care.

However, drawing from empirical interviews with elderly people and care workers in one of the bigger Swedish municipalities, these ideal of free choice and influence on care is not incorporated in everyday care work practice. There were three main areas where the elderly tried, but failed to assert their individual rights: influence on the time for care, determining in their home and to be treated with respect. Most of the interviewed care recipients were discontented with the care services. They had experienced many inconveniences, but most of them did not complain, and if they did, nothing changed really. Also, most of them had experiences of being treated disrespectfully. Furthermore, the material reveals unequal distribution of care, depending on ethnicity and gender. Thus, national goals of diversity and gender equality seem to be challenged.

Apparently, being old and dependent on care is not the best conditions to assert one’s rights, and how could they claim the human rights to be treated with respect? Following the conceptualisation of free marketing, the question of the rights’ of the elderly to be treated respectfully have become depersonalised and depending on individual choice and a moral responsibility seems far-fetched.

Aysun Aydin, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
Deweyian Experience and Naturalistic Hopes for Philosophy

The concept of experience has been constantly reactivated during the entire history of western philosophy. This iterative force of the concept, I will argue, is brought by the fact that most of the philosophers have tended to read ‘experience’ in rather a mystyfiying way, one that takes it as both a crucial and distinctive possibility given only to human beings. Modern philosophy created the rational subject as a special existent and presented this subject as the main field of philosophy. Accordingly, modern thought described ‘experience’ as a special ability that given only to human beings. The rational subject is isoleted from its nature and it arises on the basis of distinctions. These distinctions such as; subject and object, mind and matter, sense and thought, are originated from the very nature of modern life. In short, modern philosophy legated us first; the rational subject, who feels himself gifted with the power of creating the world, and second; the world that is only conceived by way of subjectivist and dualists perspectives.

I argue that when experience is then taken as an exclusive asset inpenetrably distinctive but only for human beings, a particular type o mystification becomes inevitable. Out of this mystification many illegitimacies do necessarily follow. All those paths that originate from any kind of transcendent, subjectivist or anthropomorphic arguments other than naturalistic assumptions are in this sense illegimate. Then, any philosophical attempt that claims to avoid appealing to mystification of any kind needs to be re-discovered optimistically yet examined critically.

It is argued in this work that one of the important figures from American naturalistic tradition, John Dewey deserves a special attention in this sense. Dewey provides us ‘experience’ that is not given to subject but it constitudes the subject. According to him, ‘experience’ as culture and as society, is an interaction or activity that includes all relationship between human beings and nature. All kinds of human experience are parts of whole nature and there is no such divison between experiencing subject and experienced world. Human beings is characterized by ‘experience’ not outside of nature but in and by means of nature.

Based on this convinction the main purpose of this study is to clarify and evaluate in what sense Dewey can be seen as successfull source in overcoming the problems of modern thought and in establishing a fully naturalistic account of experience that does not appeal to mystification of any kind.

Cetin Balanuye, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey
Post Humanism: Humbler then Modernism, Braver than Postmodernism

The term “post humanism” has perhaps all of the distasteful connotations a term might possibly have. The prefix “post” had ben welcome about fifty years ago when it was first coined to qualify modernism, a period which has nothing to do with any single human being directly and the fact that it is coming to an end would equally be harmless for us. It was also welcome when it was used to qualify such concepts as structuralism, positivism, or enlightenment, which are altogether far from having immediate effects on our daily lives and practices.

When we come across with the concept of post humanism, however, it is very likely that we would feel a sort of hesitation, the feeling of losing something that we are certainly not ready to loose. I will argue in this piece of work that post humanism, despite its terminological disadvantages, can be imagined as a realization of an emergent need to create novel forms of thinking, one which is neither modernist nor postmodernist.

My defense will rest on an argument of three-steps: First, I will show that modernist paradigm is no longer sufficient to give us feasible strategies based on which we can argue against the findings of contemporary neuroscience, biology, or even physics. We have no good reasons to believe that human beings are special in any sense, i.e., in the sense of being lucky, noble, divine, ultimately free or rational. On the other hand, as my argument will show at the second level, postmodernist arguments against shortcomings of modernism went too far and left us with nowhere to believe either in Truth or possibility of grasping objective reality. For postmodernists, the fact that we are linguistically meaning inventing creatures should lead us to accept that there is nothing beyond or behind our linguistic conventions. If I succeed to convince my readers up to this level, my third attempt will be to suggest that posthumanism might well be conceived as a possibility to imagine less anthropocentric yet more confident ways of feeling at home.

Gwen B. Barde, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
From Heretics to Critics: The Humanism of Indigenous Synergies as Sublation

This paper aims at raising the voices of Indo-Malayan (East Asian) collective philosophies for social discourse and construction as both imperial (onto-theological) humanism and postmodernism falter. Jȕrgen Habermas’s essays on religion and rationality as well as his important work, Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action, are summoned to redeem these perennially thwarted sentiments. In the first part, I revisit and analyze the pre-colonial synergies (collective forces) in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India and expose the recurrent assertion of indigenous humanism despite the silencing and subversion by Christianization/Islamization, colonization, and recently, individualization and globalization. Various forms of a pre-political assembly (bayanihan, majelis, pertemuan) characterize and facilitate the human state of affairs of pre-colonial Indo-Malayans before they were displaced through conquests and modernization. Fighting for their own philosophies, religious articulations, and dynamics of human relations, these synergies declare their socio-structural import even when conquistadors assimilate them into the reducciones and religious missionaries absorb them into parochialism. Their claims and declarations, however, were regarded as heresies and as filibusterisms. Accordingly, at the outset of postmodernism and globalization, the plight of these synergies continues as they are taken as nuisance and as naïve sources humanist positions. In the second part, I highlight the crises in the social sciences as they lamely operate on pure scientific rationality. With the insights of Habermas, I foreground the often neglected “heretical” synergies as sources of significant dimensions for critical theory. Habermas’s essays on reason, God, and modernity—as compiled by Eduardo Mendieta—render a surprisingly “religious” slant in methodical atheism. The “religion” that Habermas accommodates, however, is that which is not tainted with onto-theology. I take this provision as, likewise, reclaiming pre-institutional religion and politics—which maintains non-metaphysical rationality—to be considered for a nuanced and enhanced social discourse and research. It is a tall order for a Habermasian social scientist to accommodate the apparent “idiosyncrasies” of bayanihan governance, majelis morality, and pertemuan religion. Nevertheless, taking them seriously and sustaining their critical role provide a stronger ground for social building. In the third part, I raise the studies that address the appropriation of indigenous humanism for social critique and construction. Epifanio San Juan (2009) thematizes the lives of diasporic or immigrant Filipinos. With him I reflect on the pre-colonial Filipino sense of relational singularity, which springs from bayanihan, to account for a humanism of being displaced and integrated into a new community. Robertus Wijanarko (2008) revisits Indonesian humanism to retrieve indigenous existential meaning from increasingly simplified mechanics of human interaction and community, as in “global village.” I offer a re-affirmation of the kejawin, a holistic Javanese belief-system that stands against Islamization and Europeanization. Swapan Kumar Bhattacharjee (2008) looks into the creative humanism of the Bengali intellectual revolutionary, Baba Amte. This study raises an indigenous ethical approach that addresses a wide range of social issues in India from rural health problems to women’s struggle for freedom. I would conclude that these humanisms that are held and continuously asserted by indigenous synergies considerably offer the critique that social discourse finds wanting in scientific rationality.

Peter Brier, California State University, Los Angeles
George Eliot and the Talmud Man: The Humanist Roots of a National Vision

The renowned English novelist George Eliot (1819-1880) befriended a prominent Jewish orientalist, Emanuel Oscar Deutsch (1837-1873) in the mid 1860’s. Eliot had long before rejected the evangelical Christian beliefs of her youth but identified with the “religion of humanity,” a term originating with Auguste Comte (1798-1857). Eliot’s religious humanism was shaped by her translation (1854, The Essence of Christianity) of Ludwig Feuerbach’s Das Wesen des Christentums (1841). For Feuerbach,writes Nancy Henry, “the essence of Christianity should be find in human relations” and not in divine deities, “a notion that George Eliot would emphasize repeatedly in her fiction….”

Deutsch published an essay on the Talmud in a prominent Victorian journal in 1867. His presentation of the Talmud as a blueprint of national survival driven by liberal, aesthetic and humanistic principles shocked British readers who were accustomed to think of the Talmud as superstitious. ritualistic, and mired in legalistic and scholastic argument - - not to mention scatological and blasphemous digressions. Eliot admired Deutsch’s vindication of the ethical foundations of Jewish religious culture and took Deutsch’s vision of the historical importance of that culture as a refracting mirror to the entire worlds of antiquity and the Middle Ages one step further. Deutsch wanted to bring the Talmud into the mainstream of Western thought and thereby revive a sense of national destiny for the Jews as a people with a unique cultural and geopolitical past, Palestine embodied that idea, but he had no vision of the Jews returning to Palestine to establish a modern nation state. It was George Eliot who, in her last major novel, Daniel Deronda (1876), brought the Jews back home twenty years before they dared to suggest the idea to themselves.

Eliot’s concern over British imperialistic materialism and the resulting vulgarization of British ethics and culture motivated an alternative vision, an idea of a modern state rooted in a humanistically grounded tradition. Their history could propel the Jews into a durable national immanence whereas a weakened Christianity and a policy of imperial domination could only take the British down a dangerous spiral of moral and political decline.

Michael Calabrese, California State University, Los Angeles
Human Learning and Salvation in Pre-Reformation Literature in England

For my paper, I intend to explore how the English theologian John Wycliffe and the poet William Langland, author of Piers Plowman, depict the potential of human learning (scholarly, clerical, humanist) to help man reach salvation. In the pre-reformation, a time when church institutions and hierarchies are questioned and the educated were often using their learning for corruption and greed, how did “reformist” vernacular authors like Langland negotiate the difficult issues of education, free will, and grace? Simply put, is the learned man closer to being saved? Or is the ignorant closer to God in the simplicity of his prayer and contrition? I will also, in this context, explore how these authors examine the limits of what man can do without God in reference to what we would call “social policy”; how much should men rely on other men and how much on God in order to better one’s lot in life? So, all in all, I will explore these two borders between God and man--these two relationships that, first, test the limits of human potential in relation to Divine will and, second, explore both social salvation here and the ultimate salvation on Judgment Day.

Hema Chari, California State University, Los Angeles
The Haunting Ghosts from Bandung: The Politics of Secularism and Fundamentalism Revisited.

In 1955, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime-Minster of India, passionately stated in his speech to the Bandung Conference Political Committee that “I belong to neither and I propose to belong to neither whatever happens in the world. If we have to stand alone, we will stand by ourselves, whatever happens (and India has stood alone without any aid against a mighty Empire, the British Empire) and we propose to face all consequences” (1). Nehru, of course, was speaking of India’s non-aligned politics, of its need to stand alone, and profess its non-allegiance to the superpowers involved in the cold war factions; India was not going to be pitted by the super democratic power against the communist regime or vice-versa. Nehru’s government, he alleged, was founded on secular principles of democracy in which the nation-state would not allow religion to intervene with its democratic practices.

In this famous speech to the Bandung conference, Nehru also spoke about disarmament and about the need to pursue peace in a non-secular, non-fundamentalist globe: “Today in the world, I do submit, not only because of the presence of these two colossuses but also because of the coming of the atomic and hydrogen-bomb age, the whole concept of war, of peace, of politics, has changed. We are thinking and acting in terms of a past age. No matter what generals and soldiers learned in the past, it is useless in this atomic age” (2). The worst nightmare haunting 1955 was the mushroom cloud that decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the horror that it would come back to further annihilate the rest of the world, especially the third world countries that did not declare their complete allegiances to one of the super powers. Concentrating on the horrors of war and annihilation, Nehru continues, “[t]oday, a war . . . is bound to lead to a big war. Even if tactical atomic weapons . . . are used, the next step would be the use of the big atomic bomb. . . . Annihilation will result not only in the countries engaged in war . . . it will destroy everything. That is the position. It is not an academic position; it is not a position of discussing ideologies; nor is it a position of discussing past history. It is looking at the world as it is today” (3). According to Spivak, however, “[t]he initial attempt in the Bandung conference (1955), to establish a third way, neither with the Eastern nor within the Western bloc in the World-System, in response to the seemingly New World Order established after World War II, was not accompanied by commensurate intellectual effort” (375).

In this paper, I want to “look at the world as it is today,” at what has happened to the world today 55 years after the first Bandung conference. The first Bandung conference pledged to decolonize and co-exist peacefully in the global village. Today, however, in the post cold war era, the global village, I would argue, is not only run by international institutions that control global finance in alliance with those that control global production and global trade, but global superpowers are creating a world not based on peace and peaceful coexistence, which were the main principles of the Bandung conference in 1955. I further argue that globalization has facilitated global security, war on terror, and globalization of fundamentalism, and, to a large extent, globalization has eroded secular practices and the ideology of secularism. My paper further investigates how issues of globalization, especially development and economic globalization, have contributed so effectively to fundamentalism and fundamentalist movements across the globe. Taking into account, Salman Rushdie’s Shalimar the Clown and Monica Ali’s Brick Lane, I argue that global transnational capitalism has a direct impact on religious violence and on fundamentalism, especially on the global divisions of the discourses of the “secular” and “fundamentalist.” The globalization of fundamentalism as a discourse of non-western societies, and secularism as western society’s belief system, effectively erodes the everyday, lived experience of ordinary women as portrayed in these two texts.

My paper concludes with Spivak’s analysis of the “invisible” women’s labor in the global market (376). My conclusion demonstrates how due to the contemporary, global, cultural wars of religious fundamentalism and secularism being pitted against each other, both the “native” and “migrant” woman-laborer is made invisible as the 50th anniversary of the Bandung conference silently passed by. Interestingly enough, though, as we “look at the world as it is today,” we notice with deep irony and deep fear that the former President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has joined hands with the former President of the United States, George Bush, in his war against terror. The ultimate ghosts of Bandung, 1955, the two superpowers of the cold war era, have not only returned and joined forces but continue to haunt the contemporary world more forcefully as they wage global war against terror in their attempt to annihilate the globalization of terrorism even as these superpowers effectively put into motion the global terrorist networks.

Choi Chatterjee, California State University, Los Angeles
Everyday Life in Transnational Perspective: Consumption, Consumerism, and Party Favors, 1917-1939

Over the years, historians have produced many excellent studies on the diplomatic, economic, and intellectual connections between Russia and the US, and recently the field has been re-energized by the end of the Cold War, and the opening of the Soviet era archives. But rather than scrutinize American travel accounts for their historical accuracy in representing conditions in the Soviet Union, or probe the ideological inclinations of the travelers, as other scholars have done, I will focus on one aspect of American literature that has been consistently overlooked in the secondary literature; on American experiences within the material culture and the socialist system of distribution from 1917 to the onset of the Second World War in 1939. While writing this essay, I have been strongly influenced by both postcolonial and postsocialist scholarship that has fundamentally re-theorized the trope of the cultural encounter in the modern world, and forced us to re-think the ways in which the “West” constructs other peoples, and produces knowledge about their cultures. But postcolonial scholarship has for the most part been concerned with the forms of Western intellectual representations of the Orient, and less with the actual conditions of the physical encounter itself, or in the concrete historical conditions in which the Western travelers formed their systems of knowledge about others.

In contrast, I argue that American representations of the Soviet Union were fundamentally shaped by both American pre-conceptions about what should constitute the material conditions of modernity, as well as the physical experiences of visiting Americans who found it difficult to countenance the blatant disregard for the consumer that they believed to be deeply embedded in the socialist system. Americans travelers criticized the chronic shortages of material goods, and the poor quality of food products and consumer goods. Ultimately, even pro-Soviet Americans, those passionately committed to the Bolshevik future, had to filter the utopia of their dreams through the fine mesh of what they perceived to be aberrational “everyday life” in a socialist society. In the process Americans established an intellectual infrastructure complete with negative rhetorical devices and tropes about life in the Soviet Union, all of which affected the global perception of socialism.

In this essay I analyze the experiences of American travelers within what they perceived as the “abnormal conditions” of everyday life in the Soviet Union. Since bodily experiences are necessarily interpreted through prevailing cultural codes, American travelers brought with them a host of cultural assumptions about what should constitute the material culture of modernity. In this essay there are three ways in which I approach the realm of the everyday nature of travel: I look at the pre-knowledge of these travelers, their very American understanding of what constitutes bodily comfort, norms of shopping and consumption, acceptable standards of the hospitality industries, services, and modes of travel. In the second part of the essay I look at the travel knowledge that was engendered, and at the skills that Americans acquired in the Soviet Union while negotiating the terrain of Soviet socialism. I also consider the intimate social relationships that were created on the basis of these material transactions. In the third part I analyze the moral vocabulary, the metaphors, and the images that were used to package and describe the material culture of the Soviet Union and its reception in the rest of the world.

Ana Carolina da Costa e Fonseca, Health Sciences University at Porto Alegre, Brazil
A Dialogue with Nietzsche on the Concept of Responsibility

A theory of responsibility requires that the conditions under which someone can be held responsible — the internal conditions of responsibility — be discussed. There are also external conditions that stem from how the various institutions organize a society and establish themselves as a source of moral values, consequently establishing the manner in which humans should behave to be considered responsible. The reading of Nietzsche's work shows us two fundamental changes in the concept of responsibility. The first alteration makes the concept of responsibility more widespread because it is then demanded not only in the external environment, not only for others beyond the self, but also by the agent itself. Nietzsche demands that human beings become creator of their own values and that they evaluate their own conduct morally, and as such, he declares that human beings are responsible for both the values they create and follow. The second alteration restricts the sphere of application of responsibility due to a new conception of human beings. Traditionally, human beings are seen by philosophy as rational animals, who should, at least in some situations, impose control over their actions through reason. Nietzsche, on the other hand, describes man as a being whose fundamental faculties, instinct and reason, are in constant conflict, with a tendency for instincts to predominate over reason. By recognizing that there is a part of human beings, which varies from person to person, which is unknown to us, over which there is no control and is determined biologically and psychologically, Nietzsche reduces the sphere of the external demands that stem from the concept of responsibility. The requirement for behavior according to the externally determined values without effective adherence to the values contained in this sphere are equivalent to the weakening of the internal sphere of the requirement for responsible behavior and results in a process of deresponsibilitization. This is not to affirm that absolute subjectification would result in the dissolution of the concept of responsibility. To the contrary, the absence of subjectification constitutes the concept of non-responsibility. The perception of a double movement, one which expands while at the same time reduces the concept of moral responsibility, as well as the perception of the growing non-responsibilitization of human beings in the world come from the ideas present in Nietzsche’s work, yet he does not represent them in this way. The philosopher wove threads without saying that a labyrinth should be used. I use them as a guide through the labyrinth of the concept of moral responsibility. There is no axiological neutrality in the conception of human beings nor in that of responsibility. To consider human beings or institutions as a primordial source of values comes from, according to Nietzsche, a certain conception of morality. Understanding the dimensions (internal or external) in which responsibility can be demanded and fulfilled will contribute to the discussion of the topic “Humanism and institutions: toward a theory of responsibility”.

Daniel H. Fernald, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Yongin, South Korea
White Collar Migrants: Foreign Teachers in Korea

South Korea has long relied on mostly young recent college graduates from the Anglosphere to teach English at its ubiquitous hagwons, or private institutes, which form a core supplement to the required education at elementary and secondary schools. As hagwons open and close, these white collar migrant workers are frequently forced to move about the country in search of work. Effectively ghettoized culturally, and stigmatized by the Anglosphere’s perception of them as second-tier white collar workers, their options are severely limited. They are outsiders in the native Confucian culture, and are not respected as educators by peers in their home countries.

Pay is meager, and workplace abuse (mostly related to contractual violations, and only very rarely physical) is widespread. Indeed, so many complaints have been substantiated that the US Embassy in Seoul is on record as discouraging Americans from seeking education-related employment in Korea, even at government-run schools. Both cultural and market reasons for this treatment are described.

On the other hand, some Koreans, including hagwon owners, complain that these itinerant teachers are often lazy, dissolute, and underqualified, with tendencies toward drug use and sexual libertinism. Spikes in crime—especially of a sexual nature—are frequently blamed, both directly and indirectly, on foreigners. As the proverbial “other” in a foreign land, the plight of this mostly caucasian permanent underclass inverts the typical power dynamic seen in the US, Canada, and elsewhere.

Sartre’s insights on alterity and objectification as well as those of Foucault on social structures as means of social control are used to help explain this dynamic. On a more practical, applied level, actual case studies and polling data gathered by the presenter from the target population in South Korea round out the discussion.

Zlatan Filipovic, University of Gothenberg, Sweden
Not Human Enough

The humanity of man, Levinas argues in Humanism of the Other, is not defined by rationality or subjectivism of freedom, it is found instead in absolute humility and subjection of my freedom to the vulnerability of others. Indeed, for Levinas, the subject itself is constituted as singular or unique by an assignation of responsibility it cannot escape. The fact that no one can respond to the distress of others in my stead is what so imperially consigns me to my idenitity.

The critique of humanism that is implicit in Levinas does not testify so much to its failure as to the hypocrisy of the humanist projects based on reason, integrity, autonomy and the dignity of the subject, its naive rights of freedom and self-assertion often appropriated by the discourses of exploitation and used as a shameless pretext for virile imperialism and colonial aggression. Instead, for Levians, humanism has not risen to the true height of its ideals, of what it means to be human. It is the status and the menaing of this ideal that this paper will question. For to be human is to be called to goodness such that the other counts more than myself. Freedom of the subject, ‘is not the source of all right and meaning,’ as Levians writes in Ethics and Infinity. It is rather the possibility of self-sacrifice and being for the other. Being called to goodness is being sobered up to a responsibility that for Levians is manifested as the-one-for-the-other, even as ‘substitution unto death.’ To be human is to call into question the prejudice of my freedom and my self-righteousness. It is to discover onself in passivity. The other person’s vulnerability, his mortality, comes as the effraction of my being, of my rights, and exposes the injustice of my selfish will. True humanness seems, in fact, to demand more than my capacity. I am thus never responsible enough, I am never human enough. The presence of the other person, the unabated pathos of his need and vulnerability, revelas me to my own shame, to a kind of self-effacement and absolute discretion of my own presence. There is a supplication to a freedom that precedes mine and to respond to it is to be human.

This paper will point towards a certain insufficiency of humanism and the inheritance of its concept in the context of Levinas’s writing as an expression a post-Enlightenment critique both of the notions of freedom and autonomy that are put in question in the responsibility for the other but also in terms of its pre-critical naivité about ‘the human nature’ and the metaphysics of the unified subject. Self-relation is broken in Levinas by infinite incumbent responsibilities that devolve on the subject like an insolvent debt one can never settle in good conscience. The self with all its resources is in a permanent deficit.

Bruno Gandlgruber, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa, Mexico City
Potentials and Limitations of Social Corporate Responsibility: An Institutional Perspective

From its origins there have always been specific, moving limits to the confidence in markets and in the invisible hands of its coordination in economic thinking, particularly as expressed in the persistence of different kinds of externalities that lead to diverse market and distributive failures. For liberal economists externalities have been the main reason to accept government intervention in order to guide certain market processes with taxes and other regulative measures that reinstate or simulate a “real” market solution.

Nowadays, in the wake of massive corporate failure during the financial crisis and in ecological disasters, the behavior of private companies is widely becoming object of public scrutiny from ONGs and other social networks that claim compliance with ethical standards and community-oriented responsibility. The umbrella term for these phenomena is corporate social responsibility (CSR).

There are different explanations for the logic of this kind of self-regulation mechanisms, that go from sheer window-dressing (“doing well by doing good”) and marketing-based distraction from severe ethical problems, pass through corporate philanthropy and reach to the need for a shift in corporate strategy and philosophy towards a sustainable long-term perspectives of firm development embedded in governance practices that include stakeholder interest in a wider sense.

The proposal to be presented in this event will be guided by a number of reflections and arguments related to specific problems of the process of social-institution-building in the context of CSR. In the first place we have to clarify the motives of individuals and organizations to behave in a socially responsible manner as (at least partly) opposed to the pursuit of individual interest (utility and profit in the economic context). Basically we can find an intrinsic moral motivation, material incentives and social and self image or signaling motives (Tirole).

The second question we shall address is related to the institutional arrangements built around CSR like different catalogs of norms and standards (f.e. UN Global Compact or ISO 26000) and their impact on corporate behavior. Does the construction of standards and the access to information (rating agencies) lead to compromise and change?

In the third place it is important to address different scenarios that we can distinguish when we compare different countries with different values and democratic cultures. The institutional settings that characterize countries like Mexico show a different understanding of SCR than in the US, reflecting differences in the social culture of responsibility and accountability related to different varieties and stages of “capitalism” (Hodgson, Heidbrink).

Razaak M. Ghani, Latrobe University, Victoria, Australia
Humanitarianism vs Civility: Agency and Community Responses towards internally displaced people affected by violent civil conflict in Sri Lanka

There has been much scholarly interest in the role of humanitarian aid in the wake of intra-state conflicts during the past few decades. Of the estimated 108 violent conflicts reported globally between 1980 and 2000, more than 80% were intra-state (civil) conflicts which were violent in nature (Colletta and Cullen: 2000). The Sri Lankan conflict between the Sinhalese Buddhist majority and the Tamil Hindu minority is considered as one of the most violent intra-state conflicts in the modern era. It cost more than 100,000 lives and has internally displaced nearly 600,000 people over the last three decades. It ended in the middle of 2009 when Tamil rebel fighters were defeated by government forces. A large number of those displaced by the conflict, however, have lived for almost two decades in state administered welfare and refugee camps supported by humanitarian agencies including the United Nations and Western charity organizations.

This paper is based on field work carried out in Sri Lanka among groups of internally displaced persons living in refugee camps and welfare centers. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with a wide range of local groups and agencies assisting these ‘victims of war’ to identify the best options for humanitarian assistance. The findings highlight a crisis of humanitarianism in the context of highly politicized civil wars. This paper argues that there is a need to understand the value of civility and civic engagement in assisting war victims rather than using top-down, politicized humanitarian agendas. It explores the nexus between humanitarianism, civility and politics (power) in serving people affected by wars.

People fleeing from war zones in fear of being caught in the fighting were welcomed and cared for by local groups and faith organizations (temples, churches and mosques). There was an array of civic involvements in assisting thousands of displaced persons from different ethnic groups. While political groups, agencies and government work on their respective political agendas, the communities who sought refuge and those communities who received refugees (displaced people) shared their resources, living spaces and even their personal belongings under violent conflict situation. This is the fundamental aspect of civility and it is all about kindness, consideration, sensitivity, caring, giving and nurturing. It is vital to the peaceful, harmonious and cohesive existence of individuals, groups and organizations.

There are two key observations from the field that this paper highlights to support the above argument for civility based actions to support war victims. Firstly, the people who sought refuge have been unevenly treated by humanitarian agencies in delivering assistance because of a lack of understanding of the political dimensions of humanitarianism and a relative ignorance of local perspectives. Secondly, there is a disinclination on the part of displaced persons to return to their original homes after the war, even under the best of conditions that State and humanitarian agency sponsored resettlement programs offer. This is because many who lived as displaced persons for a prolonged period in camps and welfare centers found more social security and a perceived sense of civility in their current localities. Similar observations have been made by researchers in other countries (Afghanistan, Colombia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi), where there are immense challenges to the current humanitarian approaches which are gradually moving away from the basic notion of civility.

Based on the findings, this research calls for more culturally sensitive approaches to improve the outcome of humanitarian actions and a need for civility based strategies for social harmony and the sustainable coexistence of groups of different faiths and ethnicities.
Rune Graulund, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Mobility at Large: Globalization, Textuality, Travel Writing

The talk will draw on the recent developments in globalization studies and postcolonial theory to explore how contemporary travel writers from across the globe raise questions about cultural difference and belonging. Contemporary travel writing by writers from, say, India, Canada, Europe, US and elsewhere invoke and transform the genre to inscribe their travels and personal experiences of migration, mobility, cosmopolitanism or displacement. These writers, I will suggest, employ a range of innovative textual strategies to work through questions of movement and personal identity, rather than seeking to reflect or represent the complex interlocutions of space, place, travel and subjectivity.

These innovative travel texts are linked in several ways. First, they reflect on the fluid and multiple movements of globalization itself: how cultures travel through globalization and how globalization impacts travel. Second, they enquire into the nature of postcoloniality and how globalization is related to new forms of Empire, power and control. Third, they enquire into the complex relationship between belonging, travel and self-representation and, finally, they challenge the boundaries of generic classification. Although these writers depict mobility and often with representations of a displaced subjectivity, there is a self-consciousness as they parlay their material into unique textual forms. Crossing the borders of genre, then, becomes a formal inflection of their shared emphases on mobility, displacement and self-representation.

Having said that, any grouping of such texts must remain sensitive to the fact that they resist categorization. One must not oversimplify or be prescriptive about the links between and among these works. Nor would one want to rigidly impose connections between generic disruption and the representation of a minority subjectivity in contemporary travel writing. It is important, therefore, to remain sensitive to the specific historical moments in which the writer is travelling and conceptualizing the self. Taken together, though, these contemporary travel texts can be read as challenges to the theory of the enlightenment subject because their writings of travel, movement and displacement construct subjectivities that are multiple, performative and in flux, while still granting the significance of an identity politics asserted through a particular subject position. In this, the specificity of historical determinacy and the diversity of multivalence generate a tension between fixity and flux. This tension arises out of the writer’s move between a desire to locate one’s self into place – often through reflections on the experience of travel – and a simultaneous recognition that the complex nodes of belonging (and not belonging) are tied up in ethnic, racial, national, cultural and gendered subjectivities.

To articulate these tensions, innovative travel texts often privilege literary form as the very place where the travel writer finds him or her self. The autobiographical narrative and the journey of the self do not replace the writer, as they do in 19th century travel texts, but the postcolonial travel text is an extension of the writer. This distinction emphasizes the ongoing sense of discovery linked to the idea of the subject as performative and in process. These innovative works of travel, then, foreground the tensions at work between the content of the journey described and the linguistic and formal aspects of the texts, between the fragments of the travelling subject (with his or her cultural background, ethnicity and genealogy) and the text, the site where these various aspects are in the process of being articulated in writing. Rather than admitting gaps between the self, travel and writing, these travel texts capture the writer’s efforts to articulate him or her self through the writing process. The text itself travels as the text itself comes to life.

Anthony Hutchison, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
The Collapsible Space Between Us: Humanist Literary Critique in Richard Rorty and Dave Eggers

This paper will begin by offering a commentary on the emphasis on literature and literary studies that increasingly shaped philosopher Richard Rorty’s thought from the late 1980s until his death in 2007. These literary excursions can be understood as complementary components of what Richard Bernstein, in a 2008 tribute, described as the “deep humanism” that characterised Rorty’s philosophy.

Less well highlighted is the cold war provenance of this project which has perhaps been obscured by the playful postmodern philosophical persona cultivated by Rorty particularly in the decade or so after the success of Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979). It is also striking that so much of the fiction Rorty chose to write on in the latter part if his career—Orwell, Kundera, Trilling—can be interpreted as part of a tradition of “anti-totalitarian” literature that emerged in Europe and the United States during the Cold War era. Even Rorty’s interpretation of Lolita, it might be noted, is an allegorical one that situates Nabokov’s novel in this broader geo-political context.

It was precisely this fusion of postmodern philosophy and “old-fashioned cold war liberalism”, nonetheless, that troubled Bernstein in a sharp exchange between the two philosophers in 1987. The paper will examine this tension in Rorty between a philosophical neo-pragmatism position underwritten by “anti-humanist” accounts of subjectivity and language (Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Derrida) and a bourgeois “humanist” politics with its origins in the mid-century liberal anti-communism of John Dewey and the New York intellectuals.

The paper will conclude by reflecting on the ways that this “neo-pragmatist” combination of postmodern understandings of human subjectivity and liberal humanism continues to find noteworthy expression in contemporary American literature. It is evident, in particular, in recent works by Dave Eggers such as What is the What (2006) and Zeitoun (2009) that examine new globalized contexts for reconsidering ideas about modernity, humanism and critique. These are works that take what we might describe as “neo-totalitarian” contexts and experiences—respectively, that of an Atlanta-based Sudanese refugee who has escaped war and genocide and a Syrian-American stranded in New Orleans in the immediate wake of Hurricane Katrina—as their subject matter.

Kile Jones, Claremont School of Theology
Atheism and Religious Pluralism: Navigating between Freedom of and Freedom from Religion

What happens to atheism in a liberal democracy when religious beliefs are respected? And more importantly, how can atheism show its respect for the right to believe as one wishes while considering such beliefs contemptuous? Much work done on religious pluralism elevates religion to a place of sanctity and often confuses the right to believe with respect for any and all beliefs. If you do not respect someone’s religious beliefs in a pluralistic society you are often seen as intolerant, even if you respect the right for the person to believe so. This article attempts to locate a place where one can respect the right for people to freely hold and express their religious beliefs while allowing for persons to consider such beliefs false, misguided, and hazardous. It examines the ways atheism may relate to totalizing beliefs, religious pluralism, and liberal theology and tries to find a balance between freedom of and freedom from religion. The problem is that in the West, as with the majority of places around the globe, religion, not unbelief, holds the power of public approval. Atheists are the minority, and the ‘dominant programs’ are religious groups doing what they can to create converts. The point I wish to make is that given the current state of the world, freedom from religion, not freedom of religion should be the pressing issue and if the moral burden of proof were to lie anywhere it would be on the side of religion.

Andrew Keener, North Carolina State University
Silence, Solitude, and Self: Pavese’s Postwar Modernity

Modernity unravels the past, but can it unravel the individual, too? In his cycle of short stories and poetry, Ciau Masino (1932), Cesare Pavese says yes. His two protagonists, representations of his own misanthropic self, fade within postwar Italian cultural standards to demonstrate a lack of social capital in human interactions. The result is a loss of communication, gender conflict, and self-separation. These are the consequences of modernity; the headstrong individual, so championed in the literature of the Renaissance, is now a shadow. No longer building kingdoms or manipulating courtiers, the modern individual is a social fragment, and the family, an Italian institution, withers into silence.

The same holds true today, argue Susan Madsen and Scott Hammond in The Complexification of Work-Family Conflict Theory (2005). As we click and drag ourselves deeper into the age of computers, we experience conflicts in self-identity and gender roles, as well as displacement between the home and office environment. These are the same conflicts that Masin and Masino, Pavese’s dual protagonists, quietly struggle with. Though they come from different ends of the social spectrum, they are both immobilized by issues of society, gender, and self, and seek solace in two places: solitude and silence.

In Ciau Masino, the nostalgia for childhood and hometown is disrupted by the social turmoil of modernity. Regional dialects and linguistic identity are thrown out in favor of a national language; women smoke cigarettes and read radical literature; employment is scarce and unfulfilling. Pavese’s desperate response to such chaos is an eternal effort; Masin and Masino demonstrate that today’s modernity is tomorrow’s nostalgia, and the individual will inevitably struggle with change.

Reza Khorasani, Baqir al -Olum University, Iran
The Confrontation of the West and Modernity with Political Islam in the Contemporary Period

The present paper is to analytically study the confrontation of the West with the political Islam discourse in the contemporary period. The main question is which factors caused the reactivation of political Islam discourse in the Islamic world and what is the role of modern values and norms in this reactivation. To answer the question, the paper first elaborates on the concept of political Islam and its attitude towards modernity. In fact, the political Islam discourse, unlike Islamic fundamentalism and traditionalism, does not completely reject the West and modernity, but tries to show Islam is compatible with modern society. Although it is critical towards and rejects Western secularism, political Islam is to create a kind of modern Islamic society on the basis of the positive achievements of modernity. The second part of the paper focuses on approaches to the contemporary reactivation of political Islam. Thus, the paper studies the role of external factors such as the hegemony of Western culture, Western political hegemony, and internal factors such anti-religious policies and Islamic rulers. Due to the increasing extension of modern norms in the Islamic world, on the one hand, and due to developments which lead Islam and modernity towards more complexity, the writer tries analyze their confrontation in the present situation. In the third part, the paper critically studies the reasons behind the West’s fear of political Islam and the modern West’s reactions to and practical strategies for political Islam in the West and the Islamic World geography. Finally, the paper comes to the conclusion that the conflicts between modernity and Islam in the present era are based on civilizational and identificational elements and signs. The key for mutual understanding or any antagonism relies on the true conception of epistemological and identificational foundations. In this way, the ways for solving historical problems and antagonisms may be paved. According the author of the paper, Western and Islamic intellectuals, as well as political decision-makers still do not have a true and deep understanding of one another’s epistemological foundations, which lead to serious problems in practice.

Oliver Kozlarek, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, México
Towards a Humanist Turn in the Social Sciences

In some of the most important debates in the social and cultural sciences today there may be signs of an important reorientation. I would like to call this tendency the "humanist turn".

I will argue that the "humanist turn" is also still a "cultural turn". It acknowledges that human behaviour produces meaning and sense and is consequently tied to culture. The intention of the humanist turn is not to go behind the cultural turn, rather to build on it. It searches for interculturally acceptable answers to the question what it means to be human.

The humanist turn does not propose a simple return to the Western or any other tradition of humanism. Although traditions are important to be remembered and may give important impulses to the current humanist turn, it is my contention that a contemporary humanism will only be convincing if it inspires itself in as many humanist traditions as possible. An important task for the humanist turn lies in putting all the different traditions of humanism in a fruitful dialog. It is committed to "intercultural humanism".

Humanism is not an intellectual exercise in articulating universal values in an uninterested manner. At least during the 20th Century humanism has been a staunch—although at times desperate—ally of critical theories. It is my contention that humanism provides normative orientation and critical judgement in our contemporary global modernity and proposes a way to deal with the crisis that our modernity is provoking. These crisis cannot be reduced to only one set of problems that emerge in only one realm of human activity, for instance in the economy as has been thought under a certain influence of marxism for a long time. Instead of approaching the multi-faceted problems that the highly complex modern societies are facing from only one vantage point, a critique oriented in a new kind of humanism allows for a recognition of the multifarious needs that human beings have and develop, and of how our societies fail to satisfy them.

Humanism, modernity and critique are thus inseperable. However, modernity—or at least a certain understanding of it—is at the same time oblivious of import aspects of the human life. "Modern Man" has been concieved of very rarely in its totality. It has been seen as Man, excluding women, as the homo faber, excluding the consuming aspect of human life, as a homo economicus, excluding the possibility of a successful life that is not dedicated exclusively to profit maximizing activities, or as the homo rationalis, excluding those aspects of human lifes that are not driven by ends and the search for means to achieve them. All these understandings of the human being are both, partial and totalizing. They highlight only one trait of what it means to be human, giving it at the same time the status of a normative guiding principle.

The reason for this tendency to reduce human life to only one of its features is hardly seperable from the needs that capitalist societies generate. It is the active, aggressive, rational and profit hungry man who fitted these needs best. But instead of articulating a critique of these conditions by proposing an alternative kind of society, a critique may also part from a different, more complete idea about what it means to be human. This would not require a return to any kind of premodern conception but a turn toward a process of modernization understood as a "progress" of becoming human.

Jacob Lillemose, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Trying to Save the Human from/by Technology. Revisiting the Question of Technology in the Context of the Personal Computer.

In “The Question Concerning Technology”, Martin Heidegger argues that only by philosophically questioning technology can man escape being enslaved by instrumentalised reasoning. This paper takes its point of departure in Heidegger’s argument and its claim for human agency in the technological epoch. The paper asks how we can revisit this argument in relation to contemporary computer technology more than half a century after Heidegger? More specifically, how can the actual production and use of technology be employed in “the question of technology”? Furthermore, does it still make sense to direct the question at man’s ontological relationship with technology at a time when technology has not only advanced beyond the industrial machine but also become more diversified? Might the question not rather be directed at man’s social and cultural relationships to technology? I am going to outline what I believe constitute two different humanist approaches to computer technology.

The first approach is presented by so-called “user-centred design,” an approach to technology in which human experience is employed as an integral part of the development and modelling of technological objects. We see this exemplified, for instance, in Graphical User Interface as in artefacts containing embedded computer processors. The general conviction expressed by this approach is that basing design on human experiences will enable users to have a more intuitive, flexible and creative relationship to computers.

The second approach is found in the context of free and open source software as in the emergence of operating systems that incorporate social and sometimes even explicitly political ideas. I will discuss the approach through two examples: first the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, which has its name from an African word for “humanity towards others”; second the art project dyne:bolic by Italian hacker jaromil, which is based on Rastafarian philosophy. Beyond technical questions of engineering and utilitarian principles, Ubuntu and dyne:bolic envision operating systems as expressions of human life.

The two approaches offer very different answers to “the question concerning technology,” with two very diverging perspectives for the notion of a free relation to technology. The former points to the development of consumer products, while the latter points to an involvement with the politics and economies of technological culture. Rather than foregrounding one on behalf of the other, the paper will suggest that maybe the question concerning technology is no longer about a “free relation”, but about critical ideas of the uses of technology - ideas that are resistant to instrumentalisation of the mind and inventive in terms of its social significance.

Lesley Lopez, California State University, Northridge
It’s a Different Kind of Family: Non-biological social groups presented as chosen families in Grey’s Anatomy and Bones

This is an examination of the shift in family portrayals in primetime television programs from traditional biological groups to unconventional social groups that function as family. Focusing on popular adult prime-time series, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Fox’s Bones, will illustrate how core character groups are being understood by the audience as socially constructed chosen families.

This paper is divided into five sections. The introduction presents the importance of family in television primetime and the changing landscape, as well as introducing the focus programs of this paper. The second section defines function, structural, and process theories of family communication prior to presenting a new theoretical framework to be able to identify and analyze chosen families. The chosen family theory states that a chosen family is a self-identified group that arises out of circumstantial situations, often replicating a hierarchical model and functioning to negotiate individual emotional and physical needs for the success of the individuals as part of the group. The third section analyzes both programs within the five points of the chosen family theory, using examples from individual episodes and overarching themes of the seasons. The episodes of each program studied for this paper included those available on DVD, seasons 1-6 of Grey’s Anatomy and 1-5 of Bones.In the fourth section arguments against these non-conventional families are examined in light of the research presented. Finally the paper concludes with an emphasis on the new kind of family that is proving popular in television, being reflective of the modern reality of family life.

The importance of this research lies in the reflective nature of television as a real-time medium for presenting socially changing perceptions of family. The popularity of such television shows, and the readily accepted familial composition of the character groups by the audience, proves an expanding social understanding of family in the modern world.
Ewa Luczak, University of Warsaw, Poland
Frank Yerby’s Case with Eugenics: Popular Literature and Humanism

Seeking antecedents to the anti-foundationalist critique of humanism in the 1970s and 1980s, one could turn to the anti-humanist discourse of evolution. The evolutionary theory of man has greatly determined his sense of agency and freedom positioning him as a biological entity at the mercy of forces whose direction he is unable to control. Eugenics, defined as a “science of better breeding,” fashioned its own version of biological determinacy: it insisted on the primacy of heredity in shaping the human being. Curiously enough, being basically inimical to the principles of equality and brotherhood (and frequently posing itself in opposition to them in the American context), it still lavishly resorted to other concepts from the rhetoric of Enlightenment. It freely incorporated the notion of progress, and the betterment of human society, posing as a true manifestation of the victory of human reason. Even though eugenics was discredited by science in the 1940s as a result of the abhorrent practices of Nazism, it nonetheless persisted in the minds and imagination of “scientifically-oriented” Southern racists.

Frank Yerby is among those writers of American popular fiction who challenged the anti-humanist discourse of eugenics of the 1940s. His phenomenally popular Foxes of Harrow offers a scathing critique of eugenics and advocates its own version of humanism. Being an African American writer, however, Frank Yerby was acutely aware of the pitfalls of a simplistic and uncritical humanism which identified itself with the Western, European discourse of Enlightenment. As a result, he attempted to redefine what he saw as a set of false assumptions without undermining the concept of man altogether. This paper looks into Yerby’s novel as a way to open discussion around the strained relationship between eugenics, humanism and popular literature.

Hongmei Qu, Jilin University, China
Marxian Humanism: From the Historical Viewpoint

My aim in this paper is to reinterpret Marx’s humanist theory from the historical viewpoint originated from Marx’s theory of Historical Materialism. After a serious examination on the history of interpreting Marx’s moral theory, I find that research on Marx’s moral theory entangled with research on the theory of historical materialism all the time. Moreover, with our understanding on historical materialism getting deeper and deeper, the idea to solve the puzzle between Humanism and Marxism as a science is getting clearer and clearer.

By rereading Marx’s literature, I state that Marx achieves a revolutionary change in philosophical principle and a great turning in examining relation of materialism and humanism in the year of 1845. In the Paris Manuscripts, Marx interprets historical phenomena with the theory of human nature. But in the German Ideology, Marx interprets man and his activity on the basis of human subsistence. What Marx achieves is a new philosophical viewpoint on human subsistence, which is expressed in the theory of historical materialism.

By analyzing the theoretical logic of Marxian thought, I realize that both the apparently scientific theory and the latently philosophical principle are important in it. Before Marx, all kinds of materialists and idealists share the same idea in conception of history, that is, the final aim of historical change can be found out only in the changeable consciousness of human beings. However, Marx tells us the real basis of history, which is the directly material production for human life. Marx asserts that the pursuit for subsistence plays the most important role in life with the finding of law in historical development. Marx believes that social law owes to human subsistence and is caused by the latter. Therefore, Marx’s conception of history is not only the law of social development, but also the philosophical principle of human subsistence. From the historical viewpoint, the ideas of Materialism and humanism unite in history, in which the ideality of human values and the reality of man’s subsistence fuse together, and also the necessity of historical law and the aim of human live come into one thing.

Andrew Renahan, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec
An Essay on Postmodern Culture: A Consideration of “Values and Commitments.”

In Steven Connor’s volume, Postmodernist Culture, he takes the literary theorist Ihab Hassan to task for failing to meet the challenge of rethinking “the role of criticism within an expanded and complex postmodern sphere of values and commitments”. (Connor 1989, 234) This rebuke is casually laid out in the midst of Connor’s warning against Hassan’s desire to enshrine a postmodernist system of literary criticism in place of the modernist paradigm. Connor’s objection rests with Hassan’s belief that a postmodernist critical theory could be constituted in a “new universal frame.” (ibid) The object of Connor’s concern, the concept of a unitary system, is a common target of postmodernist critique. What is uncommon are the grounds upon which Connor indicts Hassan’s project as untenable and, crucially, irresponsible. Beyond merely attacking Hassan through a post-structuralist argument insisting on the impossibility of a closed “universal” system, Connor finds fault with Hassan’s avoidance of a seeming moral or ethical responsibility. Connor is intuiting that there exists a set of “values and commitments” native to the body of western thought and practices that are corralled, often contentiously, under the term postmodernism. This assertion represents a salient point in my own research into the amorphous topic of postmodern culture. I have returned to this passage in Connor’s work several times to consider toward what exact “values and commitments” Connor intends that Hassan orient his project. Unfortunately, and perhaps conveniently for Connor, he provides no coda of postmodernist standards to elucidate the basis of his moral condemnation of Hassan’s “universalizing” pretentions.

Despite Connor’s lack of lucidity, I contend that his statement nevertheless opens up an important plane of discourse. In the absence of a defined set of “commitments and values” in Connor’s own critique, I will endeavor in the course of this essay to establish the character of the set of responsibilities that attends to the fluid category of postmodernism in the west. Toward this end I will examine the manifestation of postmodern practices in the visual arts, architecture and literature. Through a diffuse analysis I will assemble a limited, yet coherent, framework for understanding the ethos of postmodernist practices and theories. A central element in my analysis will be the articulation of the historical tension between postmodernist and modernist “values”. This dialectic is crucial to my project as it evinces how postmodernism and modernism exceed the strict bounds of temporal periodization. This is important as a central tenet of my argument posits that these categories represent competing perspectives in the west pertaining to notions of history, meaning and power.

Miriam Reyes Tovar, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Deterritorialization as a Way to Understand the Concept of Border and the Idea of Identity in Migration

The paper aims to understand the notion of borders and the idea of identity processes in migration drawing on the concept of deterritorialization that Deleuze and Gauttari proposed. I assume that these categories are central to understand modern societies. The paper also wants to address the construction and meaning of social spaces looking at processes of territorialilization, and the importance geosymbols have for individuals and communities. These theoretical reflections should help to explain the perception of landscape by migrants. I conclude that migration is not only understandable in terms of the translocalization of people, but that it also implies material and symbolic assets and physical territorial changes. Moreover, it produces a constant deterritorialization and re-territorialization of perceptions, feelings and memories, exceeding the physical boundaries of nation-state. Thus, establishing a concept of border beyond the conventional limits, allows for an understanding of new territorial organizations and reaffirmation of identity among migrants in their new places.

Dennis Rohatyn, University of San Diego
The Future of Humanism: Despair, Transcendence, Hope

In “The Essence of Christianity” [1841], Feuerbach glibly and glumly concluded that ‘all theology is anthropology.’ But what if the converse is true? What if all anthropology is theology? If religion is only a projected humanism, is humanism religion manqué? Likewise, if “man is a useless passion,” is it because as Sartre opined in Being and Nothingness [1943] of an abortive attempt to become God,” or because even an incarnated God is superhuman? Every definition of ‘humanism’ runs afoul of this problem, not for semantic reasons or due to logic alone, but thanks to the incurable disease (or curse) of transcendence, which (as Dostoievsky knew) is the one thing we cannot transcend. A philosophy of immanence (such as Spinoza or Goethe and Whitman propound) is itself a disguised form of transcendence, while the ‘secular humanism’ that arose during the Renaissance (and still flourishes today) is an idol of the scientific and intellectual tribe, which worships power, progress, and profit. Its heroes (Erasmus, Pico, Bruno) deserve a better fate, as did Pope, Swift and Voltaire. But they were overwhelmed by forces beyond their control, deities of class and capital that mocked their own attempt to create heaven on earth, instead of turning it into hell.

Now, after the downfall of Communism, the verdict of history seems clear, yet it is not. We have merely traded one form of bureaucratic tyranny (and technocracy) for another.But, like the duck quacking in the wolf’s stomach, we hear a voice squeaking from afar,which belies all the testimony of Auschwitz, Armenia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Hiroshima. It is the unquenchable holy human spirit, which refuses to give up even when all is lost. To put it another way, you can’t kill God, no matter how hard or how often you try; for doing so merely shows how much you need and depend on God, and can’t live without.

In an age of denial, this is hard to fathom. But (contrary to appearances) the Copernican Revolution has yet to happen, for we still think that the world revolves around us, and in a way we are right: for to be is to be conceived, and the universe alone is inconceivable, which is why we are so lost in it. The result is alienation, anomie, angst, homelessness. Hence we match science with narcissism, mastery of space-time with inward brooding. But cognitive despair is merely a symptom, not an underlying cause, much less a cure.True atheism means not caring whether God exists; but no one can stop caring, thinking, or being preoccupied, which, to paraphrase Hamlet, makes actors and writers of us all. The nihilism of the post-modern age cannot believe in anything, even unbelief; but the faith of nihilism is witness against itself, which surpasses all earthly misunderstanding. As Beckett proves in “Waiting for Godot” (1953) humanity is self-refuting, and reducible to absurdity. But so is death, and so too is art. Which leaves only hope: which is eternal.

Bidhan Chandra Roy, California State University, Los Angeles
An Uneven Global Modernity: Re-imagining Class Identities in South Asian Diasporic Fiction

According to Marx modern capitalism has increasingly bifurcated society by dividing it into the ‘two great hostile camps’ of the ‘Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.’ Within this formulation, classes are objective categories in which the bourgeoisie control the means of production and are able to profit from it, thereby forcing economic dependence upon the proletariat. Yet this seemingly objective conception of class is complicated by Marx because of the idea of class consciousness: the recognition of the common interests that a particular class shares. This subjective dimension of class raises all sorts of complications in how we conceive of class in society and has caused numerous debates in social and critical theory following Marx. In recent years, globalization and the current global financial crisis have caused much debate over whether Marx’s conceptions of class remain tenable today. This paper proposes that South Asian diasporic fiction offers a useful way of thinking through this debate by offering a rich source for exploring how the different scales of economic globalization operate in the affective realm and the implications of this for class identity. It explores a number of questions, such as: How are fictional South Asian diasporic characters able to connect the concreteness of their experience of global inequality to the abstractness of the global economy? What role does empathy, dignity, kinship, guilt or other emotional aspects of identity play in making such connections? To what extent do the experiences of diaspora in globalized world signal that traditional class identities have been eroded? And what possibilities does diasporic subjectivity represent for the articulation of new transnational class identities? By exploring these questions, this paper shows how South Asian diasporic fiction extends a view of class identities beyond national boundaries that have traditionally defined the praxis of class politics. At the same time, it also demonstrates how diaspora and globalization produce numerous inflections to traditional class identities that render mapping global inequality to a global class-consciousness a challenging task.

Rami Schwartz, Founder of 
UCube: The Tridimensional Language of Humanism

UCube is the simplest, most advanced model to understand humanism. Ucube ( is a pedagogical model of instruction that is emergent and innovative and can be applied successfully in the fields of the humanities and the social sciences. It is a theoretical innovation in the field of social theory with applications to all human disciplines and social sciences such as politics, economics, as well as philosophical and humanist thought.

Ucube was developed by Rami Schwartz and Yuri Serbolov who devised a model with sound philosophical, mathematical, geometrical and physical basis to explain, diagnose and predict in Mexico’s chaotic reality. And this model is based upon the fact that we live in a tridimensional world and everything in it has three dimensions, no more and no less.

Tridimensional space is the minimum common denominator for everything in this world, from color to music, from politics to poetry. Everything created by humans is in tune with the tridimensional space and this model decodes this. In doing so, the model discovers the dynamic unity of reality or the dots that connect all under the sky, Einstein’s theories with the I-Ching, Aristotle and Coca Cola, sports and finance and Ortega and Gasset.

Throughout the ages, man has attempted to discover how is it that everything is connected, we can sense there is a common denominator to all things created by men and nature, however these connections are not always evident, they cannot be seen and thus we have to imagine them. However we can imagine four legged fish or unicorns and that doesn’t mean they exist. Ucube provides a verifiable tool that allows us to imagine plausible thoughts and with them, view what philosophers throughout the ages have attempted to see, the causal relationships that governs our

UCube proves that man is tridimensional because it is composed of three essences, body, mind and soul* and everything we create can be decomposed in these essences. Politics, economics, music, poetry, color, sound, all are in tune with these three essences and Ucube explains why and how politics are connected with music, economics with color and poetry with war. All the above are human creations and therefore all are in tune with the tridimensional reality, the only one we know.

This makes Ucube a very useful tool to rethink humanity and the humanist thought. Ucube has the ability to unify different ideologies, religions and views under a single, non political, ideological or religious framework, one based on the simplest concept of all which is space, more specifically, tridimensional space, the only one we know. Humanity and humanism have to be in tune with this tridimensional space and so UCube is the simplest, most advanced model to understand humanism.

Suvadip Sinha , University of Western Ontario, Canada
The Fallacious Overlap: Machine, Modernity, and Pre-capitalist Fetishism in Ritwik Ghatak’s Ajantrik

In his first commercially released film Ajantrik (The Pathetic Fallacy, 1958), Indian filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak, who was a Marxist in his political belief but had a turbulent relation with organized politics of Communist Party of India, depicts an obsessive relationship between a lonely taxi-driver, Bimal, and his ramshackle car, Jagaddal. Made during the decade of long 1950s in post-colonial India, this film is situated against the backdrop of the recently decolonized nation’s movement towards developmental modernity. While spectres of such modernity—the factories, the railways, the bridges—appear recurrently, Bimal’s unflinching faithfulness towards his tattered car, which at times becomes animated, exhibits that Ghatak uses one of the most prominent products of capitalist modernity—the automobile—to carve out a possibility of subverting certain assumptions of Western modernity. Instead of subscribing to the modernity’s treatment of technology as a vehicle of “instrumental rationality,” or its dominant vision of machines as monstrous beings, Ghatak, this paper first argues through works like Bruno Latour’s Science in Action (1987) and We Have Never Been Modern (1993), transgresses the subject/object, owner/owned dualism by showing an ontogenetic connection between the human and the object. Although the car gradually loses all its practical value—the use- and exchange-value, Bimal remains stubbornly oblivious to the suggestions, advices and gibes of people around him and refuses to replace the car. This paper, furthermore, makes one more related argument: by drawing comparison between the unruly table in the first chapter of Marx’s Capital and Jagaddal, I argue that Bimal’s eccentricity is symptomatic of a residual humanism in the universe of commodity capitalism. Although his attachment with his car can ostensibly be understood as commodity fetishism, I contend that Ghatak deploys a political aesthetic to conceptualize a relationship of “pre-capitalist fetishism” (Taussig 1980) that is not enacted through an abstraction of the history of labour. Instead of reducing the man-object relationship to a level of “phantom objectivity,” Ajantrik’s peculiar narrative of fetishism, accentuated by the appearance of primitive communities on screen, delineates a drive for returning to the lost antiquity.

Héctor Raúl Solís Gadea, Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México
Hannah Arendt and Humanism

Arendt’s political philosophy, and her analyses of political-historical episodes, could be interpreted as an effort to keep the humanist project alive in a century filled with attempts against human civilization, freedom and the spirit of politics. Her vision of politics tried to preserve a connection between the matters of public issues and the necessity of giving an answer to the main concerns of existence: the purpose of birth and death, the meaning of the relation between active life and contemplative life, the implications that speech and the being among men have for freedom. Could it be that the fundamental question offered by Arendt is, how can this connections be made possible in modernity? With which categories can the miscarriages of modernity be understood in a way that politics keep being a practice that aims for the conquering of freedom rather than turning into a mere practice of administration and domination and control over human beings? Is it still valid to consider politics as a mean to achieve the humanist project? Or, on the contrary, do politics lead to exactly the opposite, which is, to divide men amongst themselves and from the public space, in a way that they become defenseless against lie and the use of violence?

This paper is an attempt to offer an interpretation of some of the elements of Arendt’s thinking that could maybe be useful to elaborate a humanist social theory, or a humanist social science. In this logic, we can find some key elements: 1) Her emphasis in birth and the beginning; 2) Her concept of action as directed to the building of a world and the way she conceives work and labor as ways in which what is essentially human is not accomplished; 3) The precaution of Arendt from the social sciences and their tendency to see history as objective processes, that is, outlined separately of human wills, and their undertaking of finding “objective explanations” and not practices of understanding that imply the reconciliation of human beings with the world; 4) Her criticism towards modernity, given the advance of the social understood as a functional metabolism that reduces politics to an administrative practice; 5) The matter of mutual promises and constitutionalism: the acknowledgement that the source of legality cannot be an ultramundane element rather something immanent; 6) Her effort to tell the difference between violence and power and to build a notion of politics centered in the acting in concert and the search for freedom.

Finally, this paper would attempt to asses Arendt, in terms of if her considerations are sufficient to keep the humanist project alive today, and which aspects were left pointed out by her that would probably suggest possible future lines of work.

Alison Taufer, California State University, Los Angeles
Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Tirso de Molina’s El condenado por desconfiado: A Question of Contrition

While both Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Tirso de Molina’s El condenado por desconfiado have been analyzed in terms of the sixteenth century debate over predestination, the debate over attrition and contrition, which took place at the same time, perhaps provides a more helpful paradigm for understanding the texts and the fate of the texts’ protagonists. Attrition is acknowledging wrongdoing for fear of the consequences of sin. Contrition is the sincere sorrow that results from sinning against God. The Council of Trent established that attrition was enough for repentance: "If any man assert that attrition . . . is not a true and a profitable sorrow; that it does not prepare the soul for grace, but that it makes a man a hypocrite, yea, even a greater sinner, let him be anathema". (Canon v, Sess. XIV) However, both Marlow’s and Tirso de Molina’s dramas suggest the very opposite, that only contrition results in repentance and salvation. Attrition is not enough.

Somogy Varga, Universities of Copenhagen and Osnabrück, Denmark
Culture Industry Reloaded

The famous ´Culture Industry´ chapter in Horkheimer and Adornos work Dialectic of Enlightment was fuelled by a kind of radical criticism of aesthetic products and production that has practically disappeared since. There were of course some sound reasons for this: both the emerging sociology of consumption and cultural studies dealing with popular culture have correctly emphasized the subversive dimensions in consumption. Also, and rightly so, the intellectual climate became increasingly hostile to the unappealing latent paternalism underlying the Dialectic.

Nevertheless, within the last decade or so, there is a growing amount of evidence that exactly those subversive strategies have turned into means of capitalistic aggregation and expansion. If this is the case, and I think it is, then the situation calls for a renewal of our critical apparatus. This is why, in my paper, I will propose a ´reloading´ of the Cultural Industry in a manner that both matches the present situation and avoids the pitfalls of paternalism.

Theresia de Vroom, Marymount Institute for Faith, Culture and the Arts
Playing the Goddesses and Playing Chess: Ritual and Reason in Prospero’s Tempest

This paper will focus on two well-known episodes in The Tempest: the masque of the three goddesses, which Prospero conceives for his daughter, and her subsequent game of chess with Ferdinand. By enacting a ritualized and feminine “blessing” for Miranda, Prospero is able to turn tragedy into comedy, revenge into forgiveness, and finally, ritual into reason. By “playing the goddesses” Prospero heroically sets his daughter free—but not without a price—for as a result, the scholar/magus is forced to realize the limitations of his “art” and consequently embrace his own very human mortality.

Frank Weiner, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Dialectics of Humanism and Animality

Philosophy is really there to redeem what lies in an animal’s gaze – Theodore Adorno
A central tension in 20th century metaphysics and phenomenology exists between the ideas of humanism and animality. On one hand there is Heidegger’s metaphysical rejection of humanism and on the other Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological embrace of humanism. What stands at the root of this rejection and embrace? Heidegger’s primacy of the essence of Being under the call to language made other questions, including the question of humanism, of secondary importance. Merleau-Ponty’s privileging of the existence of perception, in particular the priority given to the sense of depth, redirected philosophy towards a reconsideration of humanism. The question of depth seen in this context suggests there may be a dialectic between a metaphysics of depth and a phenomenology of depth. Metaphysics seeks the animality of depth at the risk of bracketing out its’ humanism. Conversely phenomenology seeks the humanism of depth at the risk of bracketing out its’ animality. Heller-Roazen has written, “[E]ven when human nature and animal nature have been most strenuously distinguished, a region in which they cannot be told apart has continued to recur.” Perhaps depth is part of this indistinguishable region of crossing.

Martin Heidegger in his “Letter on Humanism” articulated a complex tension between animality and humanism. In the letter he turns the letters of humanism against themselves. He writes that humanism does not set the humanitas of man high enough and allows man to forget a responsibility to shepherd Being. Heidegger writes of humanisms failure to see the proper dignity of man and its’ misinterpretation of the Greek idea of animal rationale — “that rising presence that can make appear what is present.” Is man the animal that can make the rising presence of depth appear present? Heidegger’s letter is a questioning of what he views as humanisms brazen rejection of the fundamental animality residing in human beings. This rejection is in part due to humanisms privileging the political over the metaphysical. In the absence of metaphysical considerations animality no longer remains a primary defining quality of the human whether this be rational or political. For Heidegger any humanism that does not see questions of being as primary is not humanism. He reminds us that we are the animal that confronts face-to-face. In our face-to-face existence we have a capacity to think and this call to reason is the perception of what is and what ought to be. This intelligible and sensible milieu is perception and provides a way to construct a dialectics between a metaphysical animality of depth and a phenomenological humanism of depth – what could be termed the bios of depth. Depth may be a bridge between the bios theoretikos (vita contemplativa) and the bios politikos (vita activa) – a distinction at the heart of the thought of Hannah Arendt.

Animality may be innate in all beings however humanism is primarily acquired through education and may not be innate. It may be reasonable to posit that one is born an animal and becomes a humanist. The weakness of humanism is its’ incapacity to remember and face animality and its’ monsters. It is not a case of the superiority of humanism over animality but rather the possibility that humanism is a re-visioning of the primal visioning of animality. Animality is a first draft of perception followed by a second draft – humanism. These two drafts constitute a still developing parallelism of perception rather than a unity. The crossing of the two parallel tracks of perception may reside in the individual willing to confront the inherent spatiality of a life face-to-face with others.

In The Troubadour of Knowledge Michel Serres seeks a phenomenal reconciliation between the right-handed and left-handed. One turns the other into a cadaver of sorts through incipient neglect simply dragging the other behind. In the mistaken and absolute division of right and left the possibility of a carnal universality is rejected through the elimination of one or the other primary directions. If humanism is on the ‘right’ and animality on the ‘left’ there might there be a region or chiasmic crossing of these two directions of perception? This chiasma is the threshold between the bodies and brains of animality and humanism. Merleau-Ponty leaves the door open to the importance of depth as the most existential dimension of space – a door that we seem to be slowly closing like the lid on a coffin. This leaves open a question – is there life after depth?

The Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series
California State University, Los Angeles

Dr. Jeanine “Gigi” Gaucher-Morales

The Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series has been established by the Morales Family Lecture Series Endowment in memory of the late Dr. Jeanine (Gigi) Gaucher-Morales, who passed away on May 20, 2007. Born in Paris, France, Dr. Gaucher-Morales was a professor emerita of French and Spanish at Cal State L.A. She taught from 1965 till 2005, thus devoting four decades of her academic life to Cal State L.A., where her friends, students, and colleagues knew her as Gigi.

During her long and productive tenure at this campus, Gigi taught generations of students the literature and culture of France, of the Anglophone world, and of Latin America, including the Caribbean. With her husband, Dr. Alfredo O. Morales, also professor emeritus of Spanish, she co-founded, directed, and served as advisor of Teatro Universitario en Español for almost 25 years, bringing to Cal State L.A. annual theater productions based on plays stemming from different traditions and languages, such as the Maya (Los enemigos), Colonial Mexico (Aguila Real), Spanish (Bodas de sangre), French (The Little Prince), and English (Under the Bridge). In addition, Gigi was the founder at Cal State L.A. of Pi Delta Phi, the national French honor society. She was recognized and honored by the French government for her contributions to the knowledge of French civilization in Latin America and the United States. Gigi was also honored by her peers at Cal State L.A. with the 1991-1992 Outstanding Professor Award.

On March 7, 1997, Gigi was recognized by the Council of the City of Los Angeles, State of California, with a resolution that in part reads as follows: “be it resolved that by the adoption of this resolution, the Los Angeles City Council does hereby commend Dr. Jeanine “Gigi” Gaucher-Morales valued Professor of Spanish and French at California State University, Los Angeles for her vision and her gift to the people of Los Angeles and for contributing to the richness of multi-cultural arts in Los Angeles.”

Every spring quarter, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lectures will honor Gigi’s academic ideals as a teacher, colleague, and mentor. The lectures will respond to Gigi’s diverse yet interconnected interests in civilizations of the world such as Mesoamerica and that of the Andes, Latin America, Asia, and Francophone America, from Canada to Haiti. Gigi embodied the highest academic standards and a range of academic fields that were truly global and interdisciplinary. The Memorial Lectures shall serve as a forum for distinguished guest speakers who engage vital topics of our age in a world setting, thus offering students, staff, and faculty at Cal State L.A. an opportunity to be critically exposed to different areas of study and artistic traditions that constitute the highest cultural aspirations of humanity. In the Spring 2011, the Gigi Caucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series, and the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, will sponsor a two-day conference titled “Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Her Work, Colonial Mexico, and Spain's Golden Age.”  For more information, see the following Call for Papers:

2012 Conference on Carlos Fuentes:  Ancient Mexico, Modernity, and the Literary Avant-Garde:

Video archive, Department of English, Cal State L.A.