Event/Encounter Workshop

What: Intellectual encounters between modern Western and non-Western cultures have long been framed as ‘comparison’ or ‘crossing of horizons.’  Built into such comparisons and crossings, however, is the implicit structuring privilege of Western traditions and perspectives. The unsurprising result has been, and continues to be, a non-encounter. This happens because of an othering theo-philosophical framework which then transports meaning from one language/culture to another. While some recent philosophies have critiqued these structures of power, they remain based on negativity and lack. This leads the study of religion/culture to deny encounter by arrogating to itself the very definition of what thinking is, or what a concept is that might breach these boundaries. This colloquium will explore ways to rethink encounter between concepts from different cultural traditions by reconsidering the temporality in which encounter occurs, referring, inter alia, to Deleuze’s notion of the event, the temporality of his unique iteration of the concept. To do so, the colloquium will use a broadly conversational format: speakers will briefly outline a position toward this conundrum of ‘true’ encounter, which will both serve as springboard and direction for a larger discussion. In preparing remarks, the participants are asked to imagine themselves speaking from a mode of conceptual diaspora or liminal space from which to pivot plurivectorally, rather than carry content that proves too unwieldy to travel.

Location and Date: University of Michigan, June 2, 2016

Link: Event/Encounter Workshop


Arvind-Pal S. Mandair
Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures 

Tara Singh & Balwant Kaur Chattha, Gurbax Singh & Kirpal Kaur Brar Professor of Sikh Studies

Philosophy/Religion/Postcolonial Theory/Sikh Studies/South Asian Studies

Email: amandair@umich.edu
Office: 202 South Thayer Street
Office 6016
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608

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