2009 Generative Anthropology Summer Conference Call for Papers

Deadline: March 1st, 2009

Proposals are invited for papers which investigate, from any disciplinary perspective, the ongoing issue of the transcendent or sacred in modern life.


Possible topics include:

  • the debate over the “new atheism”
  • ancient and medieval origins of modern ideas of transcendence
  • models of transcendence in market society
  • political violence and the "transcendence" of history
  • philosophy of mind, neuroscience, and experiences of transcendence
  • modern literary treatments of transcendence
  • psychological approaches to spiritual experience
  • transcendence and the philosophy of representation
  • signs of transcendence: icon, index, and symbol in philosophy
  • philosophy, anthropology and faith in human transcendence
  • transcendence in conflict with materialist ontologies
  • romanticism and other non-religious strategies of transcendence
  • modern theology, otherworldliness, and transcendence
  • the persistence of mysticism in modernity
  • ethnographic approaches to ritual transcendence
  • “transcendence” in modernity: the history of an idea

    Preference will be given to papers which explicitly engage with Generative Anthropology, but we also welcome submissions by scholars new to but curious about GA. Generative Anthropology is rooted in an hypothesis of the origin of language, the human and culture. A way of thinking modeled by Eric Gans in a series of books including Science and Faith (1990), Originary Thinking (1993), Signs of Paradox (1997) and The Scenic Imagination (2007), it has been taken up by scholars international in range and diverse in disciplines. An introduction as well as detailed information and references can be found at the site of the online journal Anthropoetics and inThe Originary Hypothesis: A Minimal Proposal for Humanistic Inquiry (2007), ed. Adam Katz.

    Ottawa, Canada’s Capital, is an attractive, modern and fully bilingual city, offering a superb suite of national museums and other attractions, including the National Gallery of Canada, The Canadian Museum of Civilization, The War Museum of Canada and the Canadian parliament. Highly international in character, well supplied with dining, entertainment and shopping options, Ottawa is safe, scenic and, in June, pleasingly sultry. It is also an intellectual and research hub, with three universities and many governmental research agencies as well as important international high-tech facilities.

    For more on Ottawa, please click here.

    Abstracts for papers of 20 to 25 minutes should be sent by attachment in MS-Word or Word Perfect to Professor Ian Dennis at idennis@uottawa.ca.

    Deadline: March 1, 2009.