Presence: Transcultural Dialogues and Poetic Exchange

(for Unconceivable Things)
 Series of Discussion on Literature, Literary Theory and Anthropology

The aim of this workshop is to connect Literary Theory to Anthropological concepts in order to rethink our approach to Fictional Texts, with a special attention to Brazilian and Hispanic-American Literatures, as an open laboratory of thought experience inside the Humanities and the Arts. Theoretically, we will focus on the non-hermeneutical field which proposes to think what is before or behind our thought as a material presence that touches us, but continually escapes our reasonable apprehension, together with the anthropological and ethnographical fields that challenges our divisions nature/culture, particular/universal, art/non-art, body/mind, human/non-human, by producing a planetary overview. In that direction, our research includes the possibility to think on Artistic Artifacts (poems, songs, dances, theater…), on Modern Fetishes (money, drugs, buildings, museums…) and on Spaces (forests, cities, deserts, gardens…) through a series of notions that are being proposed as “primal matters”  (colors, timbres, nuance, resonance), and also through anthropological concepts such as agency, shamanism, gift, and exchange. For example, a recent movement of thought is dislocating our bodies and minds in a way that could be described as this: at the same time that Western thinkers are proposing “savage” concepts inside a non-hermeneutical and multicultural field, a thought coming from the “savages” is proposing a “domesticated” multinaturalist philosophy (such as presented by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro.) How could we confront these worlds and their reversed positions? The ultimate goal of this movement (and workshop) is to become foreigners inside our own culture and natives of foreigner’s ones, wishing to grasp what remains exterior of our bodies and thoughts and it may be its intense intimacy.

.  Two-monthly meetings to discuss the work of a pre-selected
author, and one encounter per quarter with an invited scholar.

Preliminary Schedule 2010-2011 (to be completed and updated)
Fall. Discussion on "Colors" (Book What Color is the Sacred?  by Michel Taussig)
Winter. Discussion on "Timbres"  
Spring. Discussion on "Landscapes & Languages"