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CIVIS-Workshop for doctoral students “Embodied Cultures and Art in the Intercultural Encounter”

19.04. – 21.04.2022
Date and Venue : April 19th-21st 2022 ; College of Fellows, University of Tübingen, Germany
Application Deadline : 25th of March
Lecturers : Petronella Fourier (University of Stockholm), Abbed Kanoor (University of Tübingen/Collège International de Philosophie, Paris), Niels Weidtmann (University of Tübingen) ; Guest-Lecturer : Lorena Grigoletto (Accademia di Belle Arti di Napoli)

”What, then, is this secret science which he [the painter] has or which he seeks ? That dimension which lets Van Gogh say he must go ‘further on’ ? What is this fundamental of painting, perhaps of all culture ?” asks Merleau-Ponty in “The Eye and the Mind”. The secret science described here is, as such, a desideratum which should be asked for again and again, and it is not philosophy only which should provide answers. If it is true that there is a “fundamental” which finds itself at work not only in painting, but in the whole culture (and in all cultures ?), then it is all the more necessary to ask the question again from an interdisciplinary and even intercultural point of view.
In the attempt to get hold of the “secret science”, Merleau-Ponty hints to the fact that the painter brings her body into the process. According to him, the painter does not simply reproduce her environment but rather gets involved herself in the first place. In her painting she tries to get hold of the process of seeing which emerges from her bodily experiences in and with the environment. If one admits, however, that all human experiences are embodied ones, then one is forced to arrive at the conclusion that all cultural phenomena, as such, are bodily experiences. What is the meaning of body then ? Also, when culture and art are embodied phenomena, one might ask, what is it, that differentiates bodies from one another and that makes a painting distinct from a musical piece, from a sketch or another painting ? Furthermore, how can one speak of “so many bodies”, i.e. of so many cultures and, in this context, of an “inter-corporality” and an “inter-cultural” perspective ?
On the other hand, we might also ask whether there possibly can be something like a non-corporeal phenomenon and, if so, whether this phenomenon could be grasped by art ? What about nature, does it become a bodily phenomenon itself when being painted ?
Questions like these will be addressed in the workshop, not necessarily, however, always providing definitive answers. Rather, we seek to reflect on our own perspectives and reach out for new ideas
together. Insight from all humanistic disciplines is welcome and even needed when one decides to retake the tasks once put into work by Merleau-Ponty.
The workshop is organized under the umbrella of the “CIVIS – A European Civic University” program in which 10 Universities from all over Europe come together to collaborate in research and teaching (besides Tübingen this is Aix/Marseilles, Athens, Brussels, Bucharest, Glasgow, Madrid, Rome, Salzburg and Stockholm). It is part of a series of workshops aiming to establish an academic network of PhD-students who are interested in the general topic of “Intercultural Philosophy and Global Epistemologies”.
The workshop will last for three days. Participants are expected to arrive a day before and to leave the day after the workshop in order to allow for three whole days of work. Besides presentations and seminars by the lecturers all participating PhD students are asked to present part of their research projects related to the topic of the workshop (15-minute presentation followed by discussion).
The workshop is funded by means of CIVIS. Therefore, all participants get a flat-rate allowance to cover their travel costs as well as a per diem. The means are provided by the Erasmus-office of participant’s respective home Universities. They have, however, already been granted ! We will assist you with collecting your money. There is no program fee. The College of Fellows will assist participants in finding inexpensive accommodation.
This workshop is open to doctoral students from all disciplines (master students can be admitted of well-grounded). Applications should supply the following documents :
• Application form
• CV (2 pages max)
• Cover letter expressing motivation to participate
• Paper title and 300-word abstract
Applications should be sent until the 25th of March 2022 to or to our postal address :
College of Fellows Geschwister Scholl Platz 72074 Tübingen
A letter of admission will reach successful applicants by the end of March.