Personhood, Possession and Place: Embodiment and Emplacement in Special Contexts

Personhood, Possession and Place: Embodiment and Emplacement in Special Contexts

Tuesday, May 28-Wednesday, May 29
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This conference explores the social, cognitive, philosophical, and religious dynamics of personhood. Participants will explore alterations of subjectivity, altered states of embodiment and emplacement, and cross-disciplinary theories of transient selves. We welcome proposals for full panels and individual papers from graduate students of any discipline on topics that touch upon the ways in which people understand personhood and the possibilities of its creation, transformation, and loss.

Possible topics:
-What can altered states of embodiment (spirit possession, charismatic practices, healing, prophecy, etc.) and emplacement (living in diaspora, traversing heavenly or hellish realms, visitations, borderlands, etc.) tell us about notions of subjectivity?
-How might a being exist in multiple places or multiple beings occupy the same space? What does the destruction or loss of a place mean for the possibility of articulating a self or recognizing oneself? How might places have personalities or powers? What makes a person at one time numerically identical to a person at another time?

Please email proposals, including name and institutional affiliation, of no more than 300 words, to by March 25, 2013. Notifications will be made by April 1.

Keynote speakers: Thomas Csordas is professor of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego and is the author of Body/Meaning/Healing. He is currently researching contemporary exorcisms. David Hershenov is chair of the philosophy department at the University at Buffalo and works on metaphysics, bioethics, and religion, especially as related to identity. Tanya Luhrmann is professor of anthropology at Stanford University and is the author of When God Talks Back. She is conducting ongoing research into theory of mind and unusual sensory experiences.

Sponsored by Dept. of Religious Studies, the Dept. of Philosophy, and the IHC Graduate Collaborative Award.