Call for Papers
The last two decades have witnessed an expansion of the concept of alterity. Animal studies, artificial intelligence, ecocriticsm, etc. have drafted new forms of critique to accommodate the agency of non-human subjects. At the heart of this practice is an interrogation of the criteria defining our human-ness, and a challenge to the basic premises of the humanities.
What can the cultures and histories of East and Central Europe and Eurasia reveal about confrontations with radical alterity? Do human-authored concepts such as the anthropocene and object-oriented ontology write histories of the social (and its demise) that unconsciously retain the signature of Western master narratives? If so, what can we harvest from the cultural legacy of East and Central Europe to turn and face these blind spots?
This issue of Ulbandus will consider interplays between the animal, the plant, the machine, inorganic matter and the human as entanglements that undermine the mind-body dichotomy and categories of class, race, gender, and age. In the East and Central European context, are posthumanism and humanism binaries, a continuum, or two extremes that meet?
We invite papers that relate both critically and enthusiastically to this conceptual turn. What are the ethical stakes of postulating a humanities without humans? We encourage contributors to explore tensions between the removal of the human subject and the total anthropomorphism of the nonhuman world: when does the extra-human turn out to be all too human?
Ulbandus is catalogued on JSTOR and the MLA International Bibliography. It is edited and published by the graduate students at Columbia University’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Since its founding, Ulbandus has published outstanding work from graduate students and established scholars. Ulbandus welcomes submissions of relevant new translations, original art, and reviews of relevant and recent books in the field as well as traditional scholarly articles from any discipline.
Images: 10.46 (above) and 19.06 (left), (details), Nina Simonović, 2015