Open call for proposals: In Other Tongues

19 Nov Open call for proposals: In Other Tongues

In Other Tongues: creating metaphysics, embodying language

June 7-9 2017 [Residential Short Course June 10-14]

Venue: Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EA, UK

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS 22.00 GMT January 5, 2017 and Schumacher College invite you to submit a proposal for participation in the forthcoming summit In Other Tongues to be held June 7-9 2017 at Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EL, UK.  This event is part of Schumacher College’s Arts & Ecology programme and is produced by, a family of artists and organisations focussing on the contemporary arts and the world around us.

The summit is followed by a residential short course at Dartington, from June 10-14.


Our understanding of the world around us has been a constantly-shifting thing. We have always sought to explain natural phenomena we can’t understand and to use myth, ritual and religion to add structure and narrative to this most complex and puzzling place. More recently, as our scientific understanding of the world evolved and its tenets ever more culturally dominant, we fought to dismiss superstition and myth, confident in our new knowledges and delighted with our infinite ability to understand the ineffable.

Artists never entirely succumbed; some doubtless eschewed enchantment and sentiment –– deliberately ‘courting meaninglessness’ (Gablik 1991) and consciously devoid of soul; but art almost always works with visceral knowledge. The best, the most profound art and science help us touch, taste, feel and smell new understanding.

Ultimately however we rely on stories ever-told to provide a spiritual baseline. The enchanted world dismissed, eviscerated from the Modernist worldview is hungered after and sought out: in different ways, in different languages, in different understandings. Re-discovering ancient knowledges that are still within our bones can only lead to new empathies and translations of other tongues, reinvigorating our connection to the world and everything that lives here with us and alongside us.



There will be two keynote addresses and an opening night performance. These are still all to be confirmed.

Possible Topics

Not intended to proscriptive or prescriptive, this list of topics suggests areas we are likely to explore. However we are open to all relevant ideas, from the philosophical to the most practical and pragmatic:

  • Interspecies language and theory
  • Song, cry and voice – utterance and performance
  • Language and understanding
  • Morality and ethics
  • Mourning, death and loss
  • Consciousness studies
  • Listening and non-human language
  • Non-human cognition and philosophy of mind
  • Mycaenae and forms of communication
  • Indigineity
  • Ritual, myth and metaphor
  • Post-Batesonian understandings of the world
  • Animals and play, interspecies gaming
  • Fairies, monsters, daemons, and gods: how we understood the world
  • Other understandings of natural phenomena
  • Ecolinguistics and human/animal relationships
  • Poiesis and other-than-human poetic gesture
  • Zoomorphism and anthropomorphism

Types of submission

Submit any ideas that inspire you and which you think may have a place during this event. There will be limited slots available, so please inspire us. We would particularly welcome proposals from artists, writers and other makers as well as panels or interviews or other discursive formats.

Please bear in mind that the event takes place in a particular environment: Dartington is a 900-acre mixed estate that includes modern and ancient woodland, riverside with swimming, open pasture, formal gardens, and other outdoor sites where people can meet and work in groups. We particular encourage proposals that take advantage of this context.

We are looking for submissions that utilise the following formats. Note that in each case we will add time for Q&A, but please think about how interaction with the audience can be built into your offer. Formats might be:

  • academic paper presentations lasting no more than 20 minutes (with 10 minutes for Q&A)
  • panel discussions, live interviews, and other discursive formats, lasting 55 minutes. There is potential to broadcast these live.
  • presentation of artwork, indoor or outdoor
  • walking and other outdoor activities, particularly ones that engage with theoretical or philosophical thought in addition to their creative content
  • workshops, lasting 90 minutes (please indicate how many participants you can support)
  • if you are geographically distant and choosing not to travel you can indicate your willingness to present via video or Skype. If your proposal is accepted you will be asked to register as a Presenter.

The deadline for submissions is 22.00 GMT on Thursday January 5, 2017. We are requesting 250-word abstracts or outlines, which must be submitted through the event website at We are unable to accept any submissions after the deadline.

For more detailed information please visit

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