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Theories of Life in the 20th and 21st Centuries
Rutgers Interdisciplinary Humanities Conference

"Theories of Life in the 20th and 21st Centuries" brings together
scholars from across the humanities to investigate the centrality of
theories of "life" to twentieth and twenty-first century theory and
cultural production. In fields as diverse as vitalism, feminism,
animal studies, political theory, aesthetics and psychoanalysis,
presenters will highlight how the humanities investigates the
ontological properties and ethical imperatives of life.

Plenary Speaker: Donna V. Jones, UC-Berkeley English: "The Career of
Living Things is Continuous"

Saturday, February 26, 2011
Murray Hall, Plangere Center
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
More Information and free registration at:
9:00 am Coffee and Tea

9:15 Introduction

9:30-11:00 Panel 1: Philosophies and Life: Values, Objects, Methods
moderator, Octavio Gonzalez, Rutgers University English

- "Hunger and Happiness" - Richard Dienst, Rutgers University, English
- ?The Strange Fact of Critical Theory: Medusa, Feminist Poetics, and
the Wonder of Ekphrasis?- Anne Keefe, Rutgers University, English and
Tyson Lewis, Montclair State University, Department of Educational
- ?Life After Death: Freud?s Biogonic Myth?- Benjamin Fong, Columbia
University, Religion
- ?What is a Lichen?: Species, Symbiosis, Reduction? - Derek Woods,
University of British Columbia, English

11:15 -12:45 Panel 2: Vitalist Traditions in Cultural Expression
moderator, Fred Solinger, Rutgers English

- ?The Vitalist Debate in American Literature, 1950-2000?- John
McClure, Rutgers University English
- ?Nietzschean Vitalism in German Musical Modernism?- Jonathan Gentry,
Brown University History -
- ?The Limits of Life in the 20th and 21st Century: The Fetus and the
Refugee?- Heather Latimer, University of Manchester, English and
American Studies
- ?History in the Service of Life: Nietzsche and Deleuze? - Allison M.
Merrick, University of Southampton, Philosophy

12:45-1:45 Lunch

2:00-3:15 Panel 3: Posthuman Ontologies and Subjectivites
moderator, Becca Klaver, Rutgers University, English

- "Life or Lives: The Question of 'Actually Existing Animals' " -
Marianne DeKoven, Rutgers University, English
- ?Life After Humanism?- Rachel Greenwald Smith, Saint Louis University, English
- ?"Artificial Life: Figuring the Robot and the End of the Human(ist)
World? - Bryan Conn, Case Western Reserve University, English

3:30-4:45 Panel 4: The (Bio)Politics of Life: Regulating and Organizing Life
moderator, Candice Amich, Rutgers English

- ?Life at War: Biopower and Feminist Dissensus? - Harriet Davidson,
Rutgers University, English and Women and Gender Studies
- ?Liberated Futures/ Multi-Dimensional Ruptures: Late Marcuse and
Black Critical Theory"- Carter Mathes, Rutgers University, English
- ?When Thought and Life Coincide: Plasticity and Agamben?s
Form-of-Life?- Kelly Kawar, UC-Santa Barbara, English

5:00 - 7:00 Plenary Session: Donna Jones, UC-Berkeley English,
"The Career of Living Things is Continuous" - Introduced by Carter
Mathes, Rutgers University, English

A reception will follow.

For complete schedule, abstracts and registration:
Contact: Philip Longo,, Tyler Bradway,

Conference Location: New Brunswick, USA
Conference Starts: February 26, 2011
Conference Ends: February 27, 2011

CFP Submission Deadline: February 26, 2011

For more information, contact: Tyler Bradway