Spiritual Practices, Arts, and Communal Resilience in the Anthropocene Asia

Deadline: 5 December 2022
Contact: Pranab K Mandal, Jadavpur University, India; Mankun Liu, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Email: [email protected]

Panel proposed at the 2023 ASLE + AESS Conference: “Reclaiming the Commons”

July 9-12, 2023 in Portland, Oregon

This panel highlights the role of Asian animist traditions and spiritual practices in the counter-worlding of the Anthropocene. Taking contemporary visual and performing arts as a vantage point of observation, it explores what common grounds are being formed among today’s arts, community resilience, environmental stewardship, and ontological inquiries when artists work with local communities in practicing and politicizing ritual dancing, chanting, rhyming, object-making, trance, healing, and worshiping, among other spiritual traditions. We seek insightful interpretations of such alliance from multiple ontological, sociopolitical, and ecospiritual perspectives—for example, how it enlivens diverse cosmological worlds in Asia and their biocultural manifestations in local ecosystems; what ways of mediation between humans, nonhuman species, potent geographies, and incorporeal beings it offers; how such mediations shape the experience and expressions of more-than-human sociality; and how these processes empower local communities’ political and ethical responses to the Anthropocenic climate change, biocultural extinction, and other forms of slow violence. The panel encourages scholars, art practitioners, activists, and community members from Asia to work collaboratively in bringing spiritual issues into visibility and intelligibility.

The theme of this panel may be addressed in relation to, but not limited by, the following issues:

• Communal, ecological, and cosmopolitical roles of spiritual practices
• Inheritance and transformation of indigenous and folk spiritual traditions
• Intersections between contemporary artistic media and spiritual mediumship
• The spiritual and more-than-human turn of visual and performing arts
• Spiritual practices as means of more-than-human/biosemiotic communication
• Spiritual and artistic mediation of diverse cosmological/ontological worlds
• Spirits, afterlives, and nonlives as historical and political agents of the Anthropocene
• Channeling materiality and spirituality in ecoartistic analyses

Please submit your proposal for a 15-minute presentation (within 300 words) and a brief bio (within 200 words) by 5 December 2022 to be considered for the panel. Submissions and questions can be directed to [email protected].

Posted on September 25, 2022