Article

20 May 2016

The Enlightenment from a Non-Western Perspective - Conference, Sofia

Category: Conferences, Lectures, Meeting, Research projects, News, Cultural history, Historical Policy, 19th century, 16th - 18th century

 

 

 

23, 24, 25 May, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, New Conference Hall 


The Enlightenment is an intellectual and philosophical high point of European historical development. It created powerful ideas and ideals – such as freedom, moral law, empowered, autonomous citizenship, fraternity and equality, representative democracy and tolerance, along with the ideas of progress and rational governmentality of society. At the same time, however, it also legitimized the Eurocentric domination of the world, serving as universal justification for all imperial conquests, for the destruction of local traditions, for ruthless technologization and exploitation of various non-European cultures and the forceful export of “civilization,” and “modernity”.


The Enlightenment is an intellectual and philosophical high point of European historical development. It created powerful ideas and ideals – such as freedom, moral law, empowered, autonomous citizenship, fraternity and equality, representative democracy and tolerance, along with the ideas of progress and rational governmentality of society. At the same time, however, it also legitimized the Eurocentric domination of the world, serving as universal justification for all imperial conquests, for the destruction of local traditions, for ruthless technologization and exploitation of various non-European cultures and the forceful export of “civilization,” and “modernity”.


Today, the general consequences of the Enlightenment seem to be ambiguous: spread of literacy, scientific and economic progress, rule of law, emancipation movements along with centuries of colonial rule, violent political changes, disastrous world and local wars. The Enlightenment ideas have inspired several revolutions – political, philosophical and technological. They are the normative basis of democracy, yet of free market, technology and capitalism, too; they legitimize colonization, yet also anti-colonial and anti-capitalist resistance movements. Philosophers, writers and public figures of the Enlightenment, along with agents of mass education and literacy, spread across the world the standards of human dignity, sovereignty and emancipation, which are still enshrined in the legal and moral order of the “global present”. However, their dark doubles – eurocentrism, nationalism, racism, xenophobia, patriarchalism – are rooted in the very same intellectual, moral and political project and continue to shape our present as well.


All this shows that the Enlightenment is still very much a topical, controversial issue that has important political and intellectual implications; it raises questions and doubts – is Modernity a finished or still an unfinished project? In this strict sense, thinking about the Enlightenment and Modernity means not only thinking about our own origin; it means justifying our present and designing our future.


This conference aims not only to rethink those already known and inevitable contradictions, but also to de-Europeanize the history of the Enlightenment and its contemporary condition: to offer new perspectives from the “peripheries” which will, as we hope, re-examine the ambivalent legacy of the Enlightenment in a new heuristic way.

Program:

23 May



11:00 – 12:00 Official opening of the conference
Introduction: Dimiter Denkov, Alexander Kiossev, Christopher Britt, Satofumi Kawamura
 
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch 
 
13:00 Registration
13:30 – 14:00 Sarah Burton, Goldsmiths College
„Periphery” and the Dominant Symbolic: Challenging the Legitimacy of Western Knowledge
14:00 – 14:30 Ihor Andriichuk, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Marginal Enlightenment: Critique of Non-European Reason
14:30 – 15:00 Edith Velázquez Hernández, University of Guanajuato
Beatitude, Bliss and Knowledge of God: the Spiritual Background of Enlightenment
15:00 – 15:30 Discussion
 
15:30 – 16:00 Break
16:00 – 16:30 Andrej Mitic, University of Nis
Space Oddity? Rethinking (anti)modernism in Southeastern Europe meso-regional context
16:30 – 17:00 Ireri Armenta Delgado, University of Guanajuato
Post-colonial Modernity: Teaching English in the Periphery
17:00 – 17:30 Macarena Marey, University of Buenos Aires
A Defence of the Kantian Enlightenment from a Peripheral Perspective (and Almost without Apology)
17:30 – 18.00 Discussion

24 May

9:00 – 9:30 Satofumi Kawamura, The University of Tokyo Centre for Philosophy
The Principle of Medium: Kyoto School and the Wartime Ideology of Overcoming Modernity
9:30 – 10:00 Miglena Nikolchina, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
Discreet Charms of the Enlightenment: Voltaire’s Candid and Tzvetan Stoyanov’s Budi Budev
10:00 – 10:30 Sana Sakihama, The University of Tokyo Centre for Philosophy
Political Philosophy of Ifa Fuyu
10:30 – 11:00 Discussion
 
11:00 – 11:30 Break
 
11:30 – 12:00 Saúl Ramírez Jiménez, University of Guanajuato
Mexican Modernization Process
12:00 – 12:30 Gergana Petrova, University of Guanajuato
From the Mexican Youth Athenaeum towards the age of new darkness
12:30 – 13.00 Discussion
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch 
 
14:00 – 14:30 Dimitar Denkov, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
Mapping the Enlightenment: Kant’s Geography
14:30 – 15:00 Dessislava Lilova, independent scholar
Europe and Russia in the Bulgarian Imagined Geographies: Mapping the Border
15:00 – 15:30 Alexander Kiossev, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
A Personal Trajectory in a Geocultural Field: Life Path between Real and Imagined Cultural Spaces
15.30 – 16.00  Discussion

25 May

 
9:00 – 9:30 Alina Novik, European University at St. Petersburg
 Enlightenment Entertainment: Optical Spectacles in 19th Century Russia and their Influence on Public Education
9:30 – 10:00 Nataliya Mikhailova, European University at St. Petersburg
Russian Printed Ephemera as a “Visual Encyclopedia” at the Turn Of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
10:00 – 10:30 Yana Agafonova, European University at St. Petersburg
The Concept of Enlightenment in Special Books for Peasants in Prerevolutionary Russian Society:Textual and Visual Aspects
10:30 – 11:00 Discussion
 
11:00 – 11:30 Break
 
11:30 – 12:00 Eduardo Subirats, New York University
Prometheus’s Descent of Golgotha as Sisyphus
12:00 – 12:30 Christopher Britt, George Washington University
Providential Enlightenment
12:30 – 13:00 Paul Fenn, Founder and president of Local Power In.
Technical Enlightenment
13:00 – 13:30 Discussion
 
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch 
 
14:30 – 15:00 Martin Ossikovski, University of National and World Economy, Sofia
Freedom of Speech and its Dark Medieval ‘Prison’
15:00 – 15:30 Ognyan Kovachev, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
Bridging the Peripheries: Literary Mystification and Identity Construction in the Scottish Songs of Ossian and the Bulgarian Veda Slovena
15:30 – 16:00 Discussion
 
16:00 – 16:30 Break
 
16.30 – 17.00 Valeria Korablyova, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
EuroMaidan as Ukraine’s “Acculturation to Modernity”: a Precedent or a Repetition?
 17:00 – 17:30 Rasa Pranskevičiūtė, Vytautas Magnus University & Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
Environmental Communalism, Nature-based Spirituality and Utopia in the Post-Soviet Region: Sociocultural Alternatives of Anastasians
17:30 – 18:00 Discussion

23 MAY 

Aula Magna, Main building of the Sofia University

New Conference Hall, Main building of the Sofia University

Section 1 The Fate of Ideas and Metaphors: What Happens to Enlightenment Ideology in the „Peripheries”?

 

24 MAY

New Conference Hall, Main building of the Sofia University

Section 2 Debates and Case studies

Section 3 Enlightenment and the Asymmetries of the Imagined Geographies

 

25 MAY

New Conference Hall, Main building of the Sofia University

Section 4 Enlightenment and Popular Culture

Section 5 Enlightenment in the Age of Destruction: а Quartet

Sеction 6 Varia

 

 

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