Call for Papers: Workshop Gender and Silence in Leuven

HUSHED (HI)STORIES OF POWER AND RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF MODERNITY.

LEUVEN, 7 NOVEMBER 2014 9-16h
Abstract deadline: 1 July 2014

Key-note address: MARIE BUSCATTO (Univ. Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Can silence articulate gender? It seems so insubstantial and eerie – the mere absence of sound. It is easy to forget that silence can consist of an active practice, which is being carried out consciously by numerous actors in the past as well as the present. Active silence has been enforced (“mulier taceat in ecclesia”), used as a means of protest (Turkey’s ‘standing man’s protests) and has been designated as an attribute of dignity or calm. In all those guises, active silence serves as a way to signal the non-speaker’s relation to power, and to underline the corporeal and performative nature of the distribution of (acoustic) authority: female silence in church signaled respect for religious discipline, the ‘standing man’ shows resilience in the face of violence, and dignified silence is a privilege reserved for adults.

This workshop aims to explore the ambiguous relation between practices of silence and gendered identities. Rather than assuming an association between voice and power, and silence and obedience, it seeks to encourage a nuanced analysis of the different ways in which silence has been mobilized or can be mobilized in shaping gendered bodies and behaviors. In teasing out hushed (hi)stories, participants are invited to focus on the perspective of the active non- speaker.

We welcome papers that address issues including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Gendered modes of contemplative silence (monastic or otherwise), discourses and practices of silence and gender in religion and devotion
  • Active silence in contexts of protest, and its gendered meanings and implications
  • Silence as protection (e.g. rapevictims, practices of ‘passing’)
  • Silence and compliance (enforced silence, institutional silence)
  • Representations of gender and silence in literature, art, theatre, (audiovisual) media…
  • Silence and gender in music

Abstracts and papers can be sent in Dutch, English or French. We require participants to hold their oral presentation in English during the workshop.

Interested participants can send an abstract of max.300 words and a short biographical outline by 1 July to josephine.hoegaerts@arts.kuleuven.be

More information in this pdf file

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