28 January 2010

CFP: Walter Benjamin: Convergences of Aesthetics and Political Theology

An international conference organized by Universidad de Chile, Instituto de Humanidades/Universidad Diego Portales, Goethe Institut, and DAAD, to take place in Santiago de Chile, 20-22 October 2010

Call for papers: "Walter Benjamin: Convergences of Aesthetics and Political Theology"

With his stress on the constellation of art, religion, and politics, Walter Benjamin has become a key thinker for the contemporary debate on the role of religion in the public sphere. Benjamin placed philosophy – the practice of criticism – at the service of art, seeking to release a political and theological potential he called "messianic", far from every theocracy and fundamentalism.

Benjamin's urgent demand for the "politicization of art" as an antidote to the fascist "aesthetization of politics" is well known. The aim of this international conference is to understand and discuss the bridge between the aforementioned demand and the contemporary attempts, by many thinkers influenced by Benjamin, to "politicize theology", now understood as an antidote to the fundamentalist theologization of politics.

Proposals are welcomed for 20-30 minute papers on all topics relevant to the conference theme, including the following: The artwork's aura and its effacement: technical reproducibility or alterity of the absolute?; The crisis of experience; The concept of "profane illumination"; Language and the sacred; The Angel of History and "dialectics at a standstill"; Allegory and melancholy from the Trauerspiel to Baudelaire; Benjamin and the question of sovereignty; The Benjamin-Scholem dialogue; Kabbalah and Messianism; Benjamin and Political Theology

Papers on other relevant topics will also be considered. Conference languages are Spanish and English. The organizers will work with simultaneous translation during plenary sessions.

Please send an abstract of max. 600 words and a short bio to: conferenciabenjamin@gmail.com

Deadline: 15 April 2010

Early submissions are welcome. Notification of acceptance will be sent no later than 30 April 2010.

Confirmed international speakers: Hauke Brunkhorst (University of Flensburg), Gertrud Koch (Free University of Berlin), and Bettina Menke (University of Erfurt)

Conference Committee: Vanessa Lemm, Eduardo Sabrovsky, Miguel Vatter (all Universidad Diego Portales), Horst Nitschack, and Pablo Oyarzún (both Universidad de Chile)

For further information, please contact the organizers at the above e-mail address.

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