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ICEBFC 2018 : Play, Masks and Make-believe: Exploring Boundaries of Fictional Contexts


When Sep 22, 2018 - Sep 22, 2018
Where London, UK
Submission Deadline Jun 10, 2018
Categories    literary studies   history   anthropology   sociology

Call For Papers

This international conference is organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research.

Through the centuries, humans have often shaped their social life by fictional moments and by taking part in fictional events: carnivals, representations, role plays, society plays, structured and semi-structured collective and singular moments where strictly coded contexts organize specific worlds and cultural dimensions. Play, in its wide acception and in its nature of artificial and coded mechanism, reflects historically the symbolic work by which human societies have elaborated, explained and organized the world. Play, fiction, representation and human performance are crucial moments in which categories such as reckoning, planning, ability, strategy, but also turbolence, improvisation, discard and change, are concerned. By organizing fictional moments, plays, rituals and collective experiences, humans bet on the meaning of their social groups. In play and representation, as liminal moments, social groups define relationships, roles, functions and identities. Inside representational and fictional performances, 'normal' time is suspended and a new space of experience is defined. Liminal situations produce the possibility of changes, of new and different symbolic experiences.

By exploring the nature of play and of fictional moments of representation, this conference aims to shape a deeper look into different aspects of an anthropology of performance. A focus will be put on how different discourses, disciplines and art forms interact in the definition of a dynamics of social representations where human experience can be analyzed and discussed.

Proposals are welcome from different research fields such as Literary Studies, Film Studies, History of Theatre, Psychoanalys, Anthropology, Art History, Philosophy, Historiography and Sociology. Papers are invited on topics related, but not limited, to:

Theatre, historical perspectives on representation, representations in time
Ritual forms of representation
Masks and masquerades
Cultural history of representation
Sacred representations
Representation in society, representation as social act
Anthropology of performance: meaning and social aspects of representation
Symbolic meanings in representations

Provisional panels:

Rituals of representation
Cinema, masks and make-believe
Representations in society
Real and virtual worlds
Play, masks and the anthropological gaze
Play, fiction and masks in literature
Historical perspectives on representation
Masks, illusion and identity
Time and space in representation

Paper proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 10 June 2018 to:

Please download paper proposal form.

Registration fee – 100 GBP

Provisional conference venue: Birkbeck, University of London, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 7HX, UK

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