Labyrinths: Navigating Complexity Across the Humanities


Thomson House 3650 Rue McTavish, 3650 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 1Y2, CA

An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference Presented by The McGill English Graduate Student Association

From ancient Greek mythology to cubism, jazz music, and the contemporary puzzle film, labyrinths serve as images for exploring intellectual, affective, and material complexity. This conference will investigate labyrinths from diverse cultural, aesthetic, and theoretical perspectives. Whether literal or figurative, labyrinths are markers of intricacy that can evoke feelings of panic, bewilderment, and failure, or present opportunities for adventure and problem-solving. You might consider the procedural labyrinths that we encounter daily (mass media, bureaucracy, academia), as well as the spatial labyrinths that we inhabit (libraries, hotels, department stores, casinos).

This conference asks: How has our understanding of labyrinths as artistic symbols and social realities changed over time? What kinds of human and nonhuman relationships do they mobilize in different contexts? How do we navigate complexity, dead ends, and repetition, in different fields of study?

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Friday February 15, 6:30pm, Faculty Address by Dr. Peter Gibian, McGill University
"The Labyrinth of Literary Influence: Haunting, Doubling, and Unconcious Plagiarism in the Transmission of a Decadent Aesthetic"

Saturday February 16, 6:30pm, Keynote Speaker by Dr. Cary Wolfe, Rice University
"Biopolitics of (Non)Human Bodies"