Annual Conference Globalization and Literature

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World-Consciousness and the Unconscious of Globalization

Annual Conference of the DFG Research Training Group Globalization in cooperation with the Bavarian American Academy

31.05.2018 - 02.06.2018

The 6th Annual International Conference of the DFG-funded Research Training Group Globalization and Literature: Representations, Transformations, Interventions will take place from May 31 to June 2, 2018. This year’s theme will be "World-Consciousness and the Unconscious of Globalization". We invite participants to examine the modes and conditions of World-Consciousness and to address questions pertaining to the Unconscious of Globalization.

Keynote Speaker: Jean-Claude Milner (Paris)

Conference Abstract

On the one hand, World-Consciousness can be understood in a Humboldtian sense as the accumulation of knowledge of the interconnectedness and interdependency of all processes and phenomena on a global scale. On the other hand, the prevalent Eurocentrism of global consciousness is the result of the systematization of knowledge during the Enlightenment as a specifically European enterprise. Since this predominant understanding of the world as a whole arguably conceals the reality of hegemony, violence and humiliation, the conference seeks to address the Unconscious of Globalization and the ways in which World-Consciousness effectively hinders the emergence of hidden dimensions of globalization.

The framework of psychoanalysis is only one of the possible ways to understand and describe the relationship between World-Consciousness and the Unconscious of Globalization. The conference invites participants to explore this posited relationship from a variety of approaches and conceptual frameworks such as, for example, Edward Said’s concept of contrapuntal reading. Special emphasis will be put on the role of literature in the emergence of these connections and phenomena.

In what way does literature participate in the constitution of World-Consciousness and how does it reflect the aforementioned ambiguities? Can literature give voice to suppressed or invisible aspects of the way the world as a whole is perceived? Does that which cannot be admitted in prominent versions of World-Consciousness resonate in literary texts and can literature therefore be considered as an adequate archive to be consulted with questions about the Unconscious of Globalization? Is the interpretation of literary texts and the focus on the Unconscious a way of redefining the structures of knowledge and power that they produce, and that produce them?

These are only some of the issues we propose to discuss in the conference and we invite participants to ask further questions.


For further information: program, speakers & talks or the download of the conference poster (121 KB).