CFP: The War on the Human

Faculty of English Language and Literature

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


Hellenic Association for American Studies (HELAAS)

Call for Papers

International Conference

The War on the Human:

Human as Right, Human as Limit and the Task of the Humanities

Athens, 27-29 November 2014

The Faculty of English Language and Literature, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece in cooperation with the Hellenic Association for American Studies (HELAAS), invites scholars to submit proposals for the international conference to be held in Athens between 27-29 November 2014.

What is human in the twenty-first century? On what grounds and to what end is the very validity of the term human questioned and challenged at present? The resilience of the perspectives shaped through the antihumanist and poststructuralist discourses as well as the versatility of currently emerging interdisciplinary gnoseologies identified as posthumanism constitute parameters which testify, first and foremost, the complexity and urgency of the issue. Taking the lead from Edward Said and heeding closely to his vehement and persistent call for a dynamic reaction to the contemporary phenomenon of forgetting the human blatantly manifested in the continuous growth of racist, sexist, economic, cultural, and all other discriminatory practices—, this international conference aspires to bring into focus the imperative that the human is essentially redefined and unremittingly reclaimed as “anthropos, i.e. an uneven, complex, and differential being. This is a scope of interest which instructively emphasizes the task of the humanities for the present moment; a historical juncture of intense and consequential precariousness on literally all levels.

The vast and ever-growing number of exiles, refugees, and immigrants, the increasing number of citizens losing basic labor rights, the marginalization of the poor, the economic and political impoverishment of citizens of the industrialized societies, the onslaught of neoliberal practices against democratic rights, the rise of fascism, are some of the preeminent characteristics of the current economic, cultural and political crisis that make the focus of the humanities on the human and the articulation and examination of her/his differential and uneven temporality more timely than ever.

Topics for panels and individual papers might include but are by no means limited to the following:

  • Antihumanism, Postructuralism and Posthumanism: Seeking New Genealogies, New Archaeologies
  • Literary Reconfigurations of the Human: Dominant and Alternative Perspectives
  • Human Rights/ Human Limits and Multicultural Translations
  • Human Rights/ Human Boundaries and Strategies of Containment: Literary Responses
  • Radical Narratives on / of the Human
  • Posthumanist Ethics and Ecocriticism in Literature and the Arts
  • Representations / Assessments of Biopolitical Violence
  • Literary Insights into Austerity Politics and Democratic Rights
  • Theoretical and Historical Perspectives on Neoliberal Appropriations of the Human

Deadline for abstract / panel submissions: 31 June 2014

(Abstract: 250-300 words followed by a paragraph-long bio)

For any inquiries and abstract/panel submissions, please send your email to the members of the organizing committee.

Organizing committee:

Dr. Theodora Tsimpouki, Professor, Faculty of English Language and Literature, University of Athens email:

Dr. Asimina Karavanta, Assistant Professor, Faculty of English Language and Literature, University of Athens email:

Dr. Konstantinos Blatanis, Lecturer, Faculty of English Language and Literature, University of Athens email: