Sultan Moulay Slimane University
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Department of English Studies
Beni Mellal, Morocco
The RLCC Research Laboratory
The Problematic of Difference
10-11 April 2019
Call for Papers
The concept of difference occupies a central position in cultural theory while remaining, to some extent, undertheorized. The undertheorizing of difference stems from the difficulties of approaching this complex issue. Difference is all the more difficult to approach as it stays connected to two of the most challenging concepts in cultural theory: alterity and otherness. When embarking on the theoretical voyage into otherness and alterity, the cultural reader may first look for a few rock-solid landmarks such as Johannes Fabian’s Time and the Other and Emmanuel Levinas’ Time and the Other, before touching on Jacques Derrida’s slippery theory of difference as “différance”, a system of deferral signs. Having as a starting point Ferdinand de Saussure, who regards difference as the foundation on which language rests, Derrida’s Writing and Difference erects itself as a lighthouse standing on the shore of the wide ocean of signification. Derrida’s approach to difference is as appealing as Deleuze’s treatment of the physics and metaphysics of difference in his Difference and Repetition. Added to Habermas’ and Adorno’s views on difference and universality, the approaches of Levinas, Derrida and Deleuze laid the foundations for postmodern thinking about the issue of difference.
The postmodern defence of difference is part of a whole politics which calls for the recognition of difference and the acceptance of the “other”; such politics aims at celebrating rather than obliterating difference within the community. This politics of difference gives voice to minor identities against all hegemonic centralising ideologies. But to what extent can different minor identities manage to avoid embracing essentialist ideologies with hegemonic potentials? This example can be one of the issues raised when approaching the problematic of difference.
The RLCC invites 20-minute papers from across the disciplines, including interdisciplinary work, that address any aspect of difference in cultural studies, such as:
- Difference in cultural theory;
- Difference in theory and theories of difference;
- Colonial/Postcolonial approaches to difference;
- Postcolonial critique of the practices/discourses of difference;
- Gender, race, class and culture differences;
- The representation of difference in language, literature and the visual arts.
A selection of papers will be published after the conference.
Please send proposals of up to 500 words and a short biographical résumé via e-mail (as Word 1997-2003 attachments) to the following professors on behalf of the organizing committee:
Cherki Karkaba at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Mohamed S. Syad at firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for sending proposals is 1st February, 2019. Acceptance of proposals will be sent on 15 February, 2019.
The conference fee is € 50/MAD 550. It includes:
Coffee break refreshment
Hotel El Bassatine***A (within walking distance of the University)
(€42/ MAD462 full board per single person/per night)
Telephone +212 (0) 523 482 247
For more information, please follow the links:
Menara Marrakesh Airport (3hrs drive/taxi ride to the Hotel in Beni Mellal)
Mohamed V Casablanca Airport (3hrs drive/taxi ride to the Hotel in Beni Mellal)
Hotel reservations and rides from airport to Beni Mellal can be made by the organizers upon request.
The organising committee:
Mohamed Sghir Syad
We look forward to your participation