International Conference Attraction, Symbiosis and Rejection: Identity and Otherness in Early Modern Britain

The members of the Research Project Muslims, Spaniards and Jews in Early Modern English Texts organize the International Conference Attraction, Symbiosis and Rejection: Identity and Otherness in Early Modern Britain that will be held at the University of Jaén (Spain) on February 15-17, 2012.

The construction of the self and of the collective self within which the individual is inserted, depends as much on the inner perception of the social or individual subject as on the perception of the social or individual Other as a contrasting touchstone. This commonly accepted and perhaps somewhat truistic declaration constitutes the grounding for the present conference. We conceive identity as a process of semantization led both through narratives of identification and of difference. In this particular domain it is clear that identities were to a large extent constructed and circulated in sixteenth and seventeenth century England by means of and through a diversity of texts, creating either fictional or argumentative identities. These identities, which are linked to the construction of Englishness and to whom we can collectively categorize as religious and ethnic Others (meaning aliens, strangers and foreigners), are considered to be fluid entities and envelop a variety of different semiospheres (in cultural semiotic and Lotmanian terms) which form a part of ideological (i.e. religious, economic, political and ethnic/racial) discourses. We believe that these diverse literary (and consequently ideological) discourses in circulation in early modern England should show the complexity involved in this form of narrating otherness, which does not always tilt towards the extreme of rejection, but produces examples of attraction and symbiosis as well.

Keynote speakers:

Professor Rüdiger Ahrens, Universität Würzburg
Professor Pilar Cuder Domínguez, Universidad de Huelva
Professor John Drakakis, University Stirling
Professor Zenón Luis Martínez, Universidad de Huelva
Professor Andrew Monnickendan, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
Professor Jüri Talvet, Tartu University
Professor Daniel Vitkus, State University of Florida
Professor Ali Zaidi, State University of New York-Canton

A selection of papers will be published after the conference.

Organizing Committee:

Dr. Jesús López-Peláez Casellas
Dr. Yolanda Caballero Aceituno
Primavera Cuder M.A.
Dr. Eroulla Demetriou Demetriou
Dr. Luciano García García
Dr. José Ruiz Mas
Dr. María de la Cinta Zunino Garrido

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