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The Horizons of Community

The Graduate Students of The Humanities Center are proud to announce a Graduate Student Conference on February 27 and 28, 2015. Keynote speakers will be Boris Groys (Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies, NYU), Joshua Kotin (Assistant Professor, Department of English, Princeton), and Molly Warnock (Assistant Professor, Department of Art History and The Humanities Center, JHU).

"Community is given to us--or we are given and abandoned to the community: a gift to be renewed and communicated, it is not a work to be done or produced."
Jean-Luc Nancy, The Inoperative Community

This conference will explore questions of defining and delimiting the concept of community. Communities coalesce for myriad reasons: physical proximity, political ideology, shared heritage, or congruous passions. The relation between community and its constituent individuals varies greatly from group to group and across time, challenging putative notions of identity and sociality. While community’s root in communis connotes universality, it is based in principles of inclusion and exclusion—unifying traits that distinguish the community from outsiders. The formation and maintenance of community has been a major concern for artists, philosophers, and critical theorists, and this conference will take an interdisciplinary approach to achieve a deeper understanding of community, its horizons, and its very possibility.

We invite discussion on questions of community in literature and the arts, such as artistic communities, collaborative arts, art collectives, and the coterie; the community in philosophy and political philosophy; the community in critical theory, social construction, queer identity and group dynamics; pluralism, nationalism, and the boundaries of heterogeneity and homogeneity.

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