ATOPIA 9: greffe/graft/graphium

ATOPIA 9: greffe/graft/graphium

ATOPIA - polylogic e-zine
Vom - Bis
01.05.2006 -
Emanuel Alloa

Call for Papers for ATOPIA 9


Since its inception, ATOPIA has been practicing translations from one language into another, from one culture into another, and from one discipline into another. In this edition, we would like to determine the effects of such a process of translation which in each case enacts a transplant from one “corpus” into another. greffe/graft/graphium is the title for this undertaking that interrogates the marks left by such transpositions. In botanical terminology, “grafting” indicates the splicing of foreign tissue into the very structure of a plant, thereby producing a hybrid. This procedure appears to be an elemental feature of any culture. In literature, quoting is a kind a grafting – a greffe in French – that leads back to the fundamental incisiveness of scripture, its “graphium”.

But these transcriptions are not mere metaphors. They leave scars on both the original and the new body which thereby testify to the vulnerability of the body and to the insecurity of identities. As a perpetual thorn inside the flesh, the graft lastingly reminds us of a foreign presence within ourselves which can never ultimately be normalized. Like the rotting apple lodged in Gregor’s side in Kafka’s Metamorphosis, this alien presence is embedded in the very body of the self. If the other can become incorporated into the self, and in turn the self depends on this presence of the other for self-definition, then the graft reveals the failing of the self/other-distinction. In a general economy of grafting, the self and the other are dissolved into a third, hybrid type.

This hybrid type produced by micro- and macroscopic graftings shall be interrogated from within the fields of medicine, philosophy, history, literature, politics, arts. Please send a brief proposal in English, German, Italian, French or Spanish before January 15, 2006 including a short biography. For more informations, please refer to the General Guidelines. The papers will be published as ATOPIA no. 9 in May 2006.