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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Call for Papers: Savage Thoughts: Interdisciplinarity and the Challenge of Claude Levi-Strauss

Savage Thoughts
Interdisciplinarity and the Challenge of Claude Lévi-Strauss

Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas
McGill University, Montréal
24-26 September 2010

Keynote Guests:
Professor Marcel Hénaff, Department of Literature, University of
California San Diego
Professor Boris Wiseman, Dept of English, Germanic and Romance
Studies, University of Copenhagen


Claude Lévi-Strauss was one of the great interdisciplinary writers of
the twentieth century whose influence has been felt far beyond his
home discipline of anthropology. His inquiry illuminated the
borderlands between primitive and non-primitive, self and other, myth
and history, human and animal, art and nature, and the dichotomies
that give structure to culture. At the same time his method troubled
those borders and dichotomies, through the bricolage he adopted that
illuminated connections amongst literature, art, psychology, music,
religion, and law.

Our call for 'savage thoughts' seeks out new work influenced by this
inquiry and these methods, and reflections on Levi-Strauss' legacy
across the whole range of the humanities and beyond, including-

1) Recent interdisciplinary research in the
reception, critique, and development, of Lévi-Strauss' work. How have
these inquiries been transformed in recent years? Are the children of
Lévi-Strauss as savage as he?

2) Consideration of Lévi-Strauss' larger intellectual
influence, explicit or otherwise, right across the humanities. Perhaps
there is something savage at the heart of interdisciplinary thought
itself-refusing to be tamed by the intellectual borders of a
discipline, it forages at will. Where has Lévi-Strauss' method spawned
such wildness and hybridity?

3) Looking beyond the academy to consider how
Lévi-Strauss' ideas have embedded themselves in the culture, values,
social organization, and framework of modern society. What is the
public life and impact of these ideas? In what ways has our world been
altered by his mode of apprehending it?

Conference organizers invite papers that address the borderlands
between a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to
Anthropology, Architecture, Art History, Communications, Development
Studies, Education, Film Studies, History, Human Geography, Law,
Linguistics, Literature, Musicology, Philosophy, Political Science,
Psychology, Religious Studies, Semiotics, and Sociology. Proposals
for single papers in English or French as well as for complete panels
are welcome. In either instance, abstracts for 15-20 minute papers
should be c.200 words, and accompanied by a brief (2-page) CV.
Proposals for complete panels should also include a short explanation
of the panel theme. Please send proposals as electronic files (in
.doc, .docx, or .pdf format) to<> no later
than 30 March 2010.

Conference website:<>
Conference registration will open 15 April 2010.
(For more information on the conference and registration fees see the

The Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas at McGill
University is committed to understanding how the arts (literature,
painting, film, theatre, music, industrial and artistic design,
architecture) and new ideas come into being in a range of settings
(schools, the law courts, markets, the Web, the book trade, state
institutions) and in relation to social, cultural, and institutional
practices. It also strives to understand how art and ideas are able to
transform the private world of the individual, the greater world of
public matters, and the interactivity between the two.

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