2017 GASC Call for Papers
11th Annual Generative Anthropology Summer Conference

Pre-human, Human, Post-human:

Generative Anthropology and Mimetic Theory in Conversation with Cognitive Studies

Stockholm, Sweden

June 8-10, 2017  


Plenary Speakers:

William Flesch, Eric Gans, Peter Gärdenfors  

The Generative Anthropology Society and Conference (GASC) is pleased to announce its 11th annual summer conference. The first one in Europe, it will be held at the University of Stockholm, Sweden, not far from the center of the city and very easy to reach by public transportation. Stockholm is a historic and very beautiful city with many attractions, and early June is the best time to visit.

This conference will initiate a dialogue between Generative Anthropology, mimetic theory, and cognitive science. Some philosophers of cognitive science agree with Generative Anthropology that the development of language marked the appearance of symbolic thinking. While cognitive scientists argue that this capacity has enabled advanced forms of cooperation, Generative Anthropology and mimetic theory emphasize the emergence of ethics as a response to mimetic violence. The cognitive and anthropological perspectives, however, converge in their recognition of a specifically human cultural consciousness on a scene of representation, making dialogue urgent and valuable, with the potential to generate new ways of thinking about human interactions, violence and conflict resolution, as well as diverse cultural expressions and aesthetic forms.

What might be seen as the anthropocentrism uniting cognitive science, on the one hand, and Generative Anthropology and mimetic theory, on the other, need not exclude dialogue with those theories of the post-human that have critiqued the effort to distinguish and therefore privilege the human as an anthropocentric denial of other forms of subjectivity. Such views point to our anthropocentric blindness as a cause of political and environmental crises, but the anthropocentrism addressed by such critiques may simply represent insufficiently “scenic” understandings of the human. Both sides in this debate might benefit from testing their views against one another. Seeking an ever broader and more productive conversation, we invite papers that engage with GA on both sides of the debate. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

·       The  anthropology of symbolic thinking

·       The evolution or history of cultural and aesthetic forms

     Evolutionary game theory

     Mimetic theory (René Girard)

     Narratology, including cognitive narratology and affective narratology

·       Literature on the scene of representation

     Animal Studies, Ecocriticism, Posthumanism, Affect theory, Neo-vitalism

     Object-oriented ontology

     Sociolinguistics and anthropological linguistics, Sociology of language


Please submit short proposals for 20-minute papers in either Word or PDF format to marina.ludwigs@english.su.se by April 1, 2017.

Students are invited to apply for GASC Student Award (value approx. $US 500). See http://www.anthropoetics.ucla.edu/GASC/GASC2017/index.htm for details.