The organizers of a two-day summer symposium in Berlin on the study of confession are seeking scholars working on adjacent topics to join them in developing new critical approaches on the topic. Submissions are due by March 15, 2022.
The symposium will explore the current state and future directions of the “confessing animal,” as Michel Foucault’s famous diagnosis from The History of Sexuality (1976/78) goes. Foucault was notably suspicious of what he saw as a ritual of voluntary self-subjugation, both in its ancient Christian and contemporary Freudian manifestations.
The organizers especially welcome comparative and interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives broadening our understanding of what constitutes “confession” in different 21st century contexts. Proposals for papers, to be presented either in workshop or panel discussion format, may wish to address the following areas:
- Confession in literature: contemporary poetry, essay, memoir, autofiction and autotheory, narrative nonfiction
- Confession in performance and media: true crime, podcasts, vlogs and blogs, video games, social media, stand-up comedy, spoken word, performance art
- Confession in society: social justice movements (e.g., Me Too, Black Lives Matter), identity politics (e.g., LGBTQI+), institutional and incumbent confession (e.g., churches, governments, corporations)
Junior researchers, including master’s students, are encouraged to submit an abstract, asking what it means to confess in the twenty-first century.
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