From rising seas, water scarcity, and accelerated migration flows, to environmental disasters and geopolitical shifts that reshape physical and ethnic maps; from the automation of life and the resurgence of social movements across international borders, to our fluctuating existence through a multiplicity of virtual and cyber spheres where notions of privacy, civility, and morality dissolve; and from scientific breakthroughs that dilute well-established beliefs, to accelerated technological developments that outpace regulation and adjustment, a sense of “fluidity” describes our experience of life. How do the Humanities respond to our unsettling sense of reality and to our divided interpretation of it? How to adapt to the inconstancy of our time when identities, gender, temporalities, borders, and disciplines have become fluid? Is art’s fundamental humanizing role being transformed? Has the educational curriculum become fluid as well? Has our approach to history, philosophy, and religion changed in light of the perceived dilution of the dominance of Western culture over an ever more fluid otherness? How will the Humanities guide the discussion about the meaning and purpose of life in the 21st century? The 2019 Virginia Humanities Conference invites proposals for papers, panel sessions, and performances that explore the concept of fluidity within the Humanities. Participation is open to national and international humanists. We wish to examine aspects of human experience whose fluid quality modifies our beliefs and behavior.
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