All posts by Clara Royer

CFP: The Wording of Thoughts: Philosophy From the Standpoint of Its Manuscripts and Archives

The Wording of Thoughts: Philosophy From the Standpoint of Its Manuscripts and Archives—Methodologies, Histories and Horizons

Organizer : Benedetta Zaccarello, CEFRES
When & Where : 7-9 June 2018, Prague
Deadline for applications : 21 January 2018
Language: English
Partners: ITEM, IMEC, Patočka Archives (Czech Academy of Sciences), FHS UK

Please send your proposal (title and 300 word-long abstract) and bio-bibliographical short notice to the following address: benedetta.zaccarello@cefres.cz

Philosophy is written, practiced, lived through: it is the translation of the experience of a thinking subjectivity in a conceptual alphabet and a verbal fabric. The I of philosophy is a chimera whose head tickles the heights of abstract concepts and universal discourses, while its body is grounded in the lived experience. At the hinge between these two realms called for by the speculative effort, stands the verbal material. Its meaning can only be determined taking into account its relationship to its contexts, the writing and reading practices surrounding it, the horizons of significations and even the implicit polemical charge which characterizes every philosophical contention. Likewise, the specificity of each theoretical expression is both the sine qua non condition for the perpetuation of a discipline looking to evolve and transcend its own categories, and the most subjective and personal aspect of a work that traditionally aims at the “neutrality” of abstraction.

The “making of a philosophical text”, including its cultural features and societal contingencies, challenges the representation of the discipline’s history as a series of abstract findings and innovative intuitions that constitute the landmarks of our paradigms. The philosopher who writes is the first inclined to erase the complex intricacies of the negotiations between existence and theory, between conceptual inventiveness and shared vocabulary inherited from a centuries-old tradition. Yet it is obvious that the dynamics of philosophy production and reception are a complex phenomenon whose writing nature is a crucial stake.

As reminded by Derrida reading Paul Valéry, such dimension of the philosopher’s work is constantly and almost physiologically overlooked in the representations of the discipline’s aims. Strong borders seem to delimitate fields renowned to be dissimilar, if not incompatible: philosophy and literature are therefore often seen as rival siblings, and their respective horizons do not take easily into account some elements that turn out to be indispensable to understand—from a dynamic, historical-cultural point of view—the production of theoretical prose. Likewise, and opposite to the tradition of the Romantic period for instance, intellectual work rarely binds philology and philosophy.

For all these reasons, the philosophical manuscript is an odd object that has only recently started to receive proper appraisal. In Europe nevertheless, the creation of archive centers gathering major philosophical data—such as Nietzsche, W. Benjamin or Kierkegaard—has sustained the memory of philosophical writing and enabled such “arches” to cross time waiting for the moment when, partly thanks to the development of digital humanities, these materials could get a much deserved attention. Thanks to the editing of philosophical manuscripts, the information contained by such media beyond the text itself turns out to be manyfold. The ontology that vitalizes and structures the hermeneutical gesture behind the work on manuscripts is indeed different. Such perspective enables to look at the evolution of a theoretical thought as a living and specific adventure, and the history of the discipline a dynamic, manifold and choral process. Still, not all the documents, as dispersed and little known traces of the philosophical practices, can be turned into books and remain hidden to the public eye. But it is beyond doubt that accessing these archives often enables to better understand the appearance, the method, the approach and even the sources, along with the polemical targets and the hints that published books tend to excise or dim.

Often only the specialists working on the critical edition of the works of a thinker-writer, or the archivists in charge of a fund are able to develop knowledge from such materials: working on archives demands time, and it does not match the rhythms imposed today to research and intellectual production. Therefore creativity expressed by researchers as they come up with ad hoc tools to publish or interpret a set of manuscripts has not yet been subjected to a comparative approach aiming at setting common methodological principles. If genetic criticism has developed since the 1970s an important set of tools and philological methodology specific to the study of writers’ manuscripts, little has been done to elaborate guidelines when dealing with philosophical archives.

This conference aims at establishing a dialogue between specialists from various countries and continents who have worked on different corpus so to sketch a few first methodological lines and establish a collaborative pioneer network. The publication of the conference proceedings should be a first cornerstone of this new consortium.
As the history of several philosophical archives and their anchoring in history as such, we hope to shed some light on these places as knowledge sources and field training and to advocate for the inclusion of such materials for a new approach to the history and the exegesis of theory. 

Four panels will be organized:

1 – Archives’ History/Histories. We welcome contributions dealing with the history of philosophical archives as institutions and how they became embedded in the cultural and social landscape of their time. On the other hand, the history of philosophy that can be reached through working on manuscripts shall be tackled.

2Conservation & Edition. The aim is to collect the testimonies of various specialists who have worked as curators and/or editors of philosophical manuscripts to better understand the specific challenges they may have met with each specific theoretical writing.  Issues pertaining to the digitalization of theoretical funds and to the intelligibility of its objects will also be addressed. We welcome papers on paradigmatic cases that can also fit within the 3rd type of propositions below.

3 – Editions & Exegesis: approaches and methodologies. Several contributions and a round table should open common methodological perspectives from the observation of several philosophical corpus. We aim at sketching a guideline applied to philosophical manuscripts, whether from the point of view of interpretation or of publishing.

4 – The Archives of Theory. This last panel aims at collecting propositions dealing with theoretical corpus outside philosophy, sic as literary theory, art history, science history, semiotics… This comparative perspective should bring up the specificities of this type of documents in their relation to the philosophical materials.

Julien Wacquez: Research & CV

The Grammar of Likelihood: The Attachement to Reality of Sci-Fi Practitioners

Research Area 1 – Displacements, “Dépaysements” and Discrepancies: People, Knowledge and Practices

Contact: julien.wacquez@cefres.cz

My PhD deals with our ways of understanding the affinities between science-fiction narratives and scientific activity. Some of such narratives tend to pose problems that need to be solved by scientific activity and that researchers, in some disciplinary fields, actually recourse to sci-fi to produce knowledge or to elaborate new working hypothesis. I am therefore interested in the way sci-fi narratives fill in scientists.

Continue reading Julien Wacquez: Research & CV

Adéla Klinerová : Research & CV

Modern French Architecture in the Context of Czech and East-Central European Nineteenth-Century Architecture 

Research Area 1 – Displacements, “Dépaysements” and Discrepancies: People, Knowledge and Practices

Contact: adela.klinerova@cefres.cz

My PhD deals with the appropriation of French architectural language in modern times in the Czech lands and more largely, in East-Central Europe. It focuses on a singular trend of 19th century historicism pertaining to Neo-Renaissance and eclecticism.

Continue reading Adéla Klinerová : Research & CV

Mathieu Lericq: Research & CV

Troubling Intimacies in Communist Poland Films (1968-1989): the Birth of a Bio-Cinema?

Research Area 2: Norms & Transgressions

Contact: mathieu.lericq@cefres.cz

My research project deals with the presence and values granted to bodies in East-Central European cinema during the Communist era (1968-1989). At the crossroad between aesthetics and anthropology, it aims at showing how the images related to affective, family and sexual relationships became a space where modalities of “resistance” pertaining to civil society could develop. Continue reading Mathieu Lericq: Research & CV

CfA: Two Post-Doctoral Positions at CEFRES – Charles University

TWO POST-DOCTORAL POSITIONS AT CEFRES COFUNDED BY THE CHARLES UNIVERSITY AND CEFRES WITHIN THE FRAME OF SPECIFIC RESEARCH PROJECTS

Deadline for submission: 23 August 2017
Period: 1 January 2018—31 December 2019
Application Language: English only
Address for submission: clararoyer@cefres.cz

Selected post-doctoral researchers will be informed on 2 October 2017. 

Two post-doctoral researchers will be recruited from 1 January 2018 at CEFRES with the support of the Charles University. They will be both affiliated to CEFRES and to a relevant department at Charles University. Each one will work on their individual research and in cooperation with a senior researcher of the center within the frame of a collective research project. Applicants must select one of the projects below.
Both post-doctoral researchers will be recruited on the basis of the quality of the research they conduct and their befitting the research programs they intend to join.
Research project 1: “Archives and Interculturality”
This research project will associate one post-doctoral researcher with CNRS researcher Benedetta Zaccarello.
Description: Candidates should be trained on and familiar with research on autograph manuscripts, notably on archives relevant to philosophy and the history of thought. We encourage applicants whose approach emphasizes the historical, textual and intercultural value of those documents, focusing on multilingual corpus inspired by or dealing with different traditions, both in space and time. An interdisciplinary approach is preferred, as well as some experience in the field of the edition of unpublished texts and in the methodology of genetic criticism.
Applicants may contact Mrs Zaccarello before applying for any relevant questions on their application. Please write at: benedetta.zaccarello@cefres.cz
Research project 2. TANDEM post-doctoral position

A specific competition to recruit a second post-doctoral researcher is open for competition on one out of three possible topics listed below. He/She will work in association with a researcher from the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) within the frame of the TANDEM program.

Topic 1: “Cosmopolitics of Hunt: Bringing Europe into Perspective”

This research project will associate one post-doctoral researcher with CAS researcher Luděk Brož.
Description: Candidates across social sciences and humanities are invited to explore how “wild species” have featured in human lives, and vice versa, in dynamically changing socio-environmental contexts. Successful applicants are expected to develop their own niche of empirical inquiry and, using methodology aligned with their respective disciplines, focus on “wild species” – human relationships as both a topic in its own right, and a strategic viewpoint on other issues of social and academic relevance. The supported candidate should be ready to engage in reflexive interdisciplinary collaboration.
Applicants may contact Mr Brož before applying for any relevant questions on their application. Please write at: broz@eu.cas.cz 

Topic 2: “Denaturalisation and refugees in Europe in the first half of the 20th century”
This research project will associate one post-doctoral researcher with CAS researcher Michal Frankl.
Description: The project aims to develop a comparative perspective on large-scale denaturalisations in Europe in the first half of the 20th century and to probe the intrinsic connection between the status of the citizen and the position of the refugee. The applicant will show interest into research on citizenship, statelessness and/or refugees and should have background in historical and archival research (but an interdisciplinary combination with related disciplines is also possible and encouraged). Within the project s/he will be tasked with assessing existing body of research, working with the PI to develop the project methodology and conducting original research on mass revocations of citizenship and refugee policies. S/he should demonstrate interest in comparative history and explain his/her ability to contribute to a European comparative project (for instance, but not limited to, knowledge of the French and/or other national/regional contexts and languages).
Applicants may contact Mr. Frankl at frankl@mua.cas.cz with questions pertaining to the research project and the application.

Topic 3: “Islamic Activists in Exile: Europe, Middle East and South-Asia”

This research project will associate one post-doctoral researcher with CAS researcher Giedre Sabaseviciute.
Description: Candidates will be expected to contribute to the project on the contemporary exiled Islamic activists in European, Middle Eastern and South-Asian cities. The project aims to research the ways in which the experience of exile affect the trajectories of activism, focusing on how different national context influence their career choices, which vary between the continuation of activism, involvement into different causes, or disengagement. Possible research topics include but are not restricted to 1- circulation of ideas, norms and activism through human networks; 2- patterns of activist network formation; 3- relationship between the exiled activists and their host countries; 4- continuities and ruptures in individual trajectories of activism. Candidates are expected to have conducted their doctoral research in one of the regions covered by the project (The Gulf, Turkey, South-Asia), to be proficient of one of its languages (Turkish, Arabic, Malay), and have an important knowledge of the fieldwork. Interdisciplinary approach is preferred, as well as some experience in ethnographic and biographical research, media studies, and discourse analysis.
Applicants may contact Giedre Sabaseviciute before applying for any relevant questions on their application. Please write to: saba@orient.cas.cz

Application Package

Applicants should provide the following documents:

  • The application form duly filled in: download HERE. The application form includes the description of a research project. The research project must:
    • specify the name of the research project you want to apply to (for ex. “Archives and Intertextuality”) and explain how your research befits it.
    • include an explanation on the methodology and inputs of your own research, as well as a selected bibliography (max. 1 page-long)
    • include outcomes (publications, conferences, and so forth).
  • A letter of reference from the PhD supervisor: download HERE. The letter must include a statement from the PhD supervisor (mentionning topic of the PhD and whether candidate was successful with it, and so forth)
  • A detailed CV
  • A list of publications
  • A copy of the PhD diploma

Application packages must be submitted by 23 August 2017 electronically in an email entitled “YOUR LAST NAME_CEFRES-UK” at: clararoyer@cefres.cz. Please send the application form in both PDF and as a Word-document. Applicants are welcome to contact the PIs of the research projects they apply to.

Eligibility Criteria

  • be high-level researchers from abroad, who defended their PhD no more than 10 years prior to the application deadline in a university outside the Czech Republic
  • conducting a research befitting one of the research projects described above
  • good command of English is mandatory

Framework of the Charles University and CEFRES post-doctoral position

As a partner of CEFRES Platform, Charles University recruits two high-quality post-doctoral research fellows from abroad, to become researchers at CEFRES, within the frame of the Charles University’s International Post-Doc Research Fund. The gross monthly salary is 32 000 CZK and a fixed-term contract will be signed between each post-doctoral researcher and CEFRES. UK-CEFRES post-doctoral researchers will be affiliated to both CEFRES and a relevant department of one of the faculties in social sciences and humanities of the Charles University according to their main discipline.
They are expected to:
  • contribute through their own research to the research project they apply to
  • take part in the scientific life of CEFRES
  • submit a yearly report on their research to the director of CEFRES
  • come to live in Prague from 1 January 2018.

Calls for applications will be published on Charles University’s website on 1 July 2017. CEFRES will be amongst the hosting institutions of the University Post-Doc Research Fund.