Call for Papers
This conference seeks to foster an interdisciplinary exchange between anthropologists, sociologists, historians, indologists, scholars of religion, philosophers, philologists and linguists. And, also, yoga practitioners and members of the general public interested in attending.
The intention is to facilitate a leisurely and collegial two-day interdisciplinary conference, which is thematically anchored around the broad theme of yoga as movement, particularly in relation to the imaginative consumption of tourism and pilgrimage within the multi-trillion-dollar global wellness industry (which defines wellness as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being).
Building upon a 'serious leisure perspective' (SLP), participants are free to discuss how movement can be understood as that which occurs on and off the yoga mat. This includes the imaginative movement that occurs in meditation, the physical movement to and within one’s local yoga studio, or travel to exotic, distant lands. Aspects of which are inherent in the creation and consumption yoga-inflected lifestyles.
We will also explore how the subjective, embodied experience of the yoga practitioner is mediated through internal movements of aspiration, expectation, and imagination. This includes textual-historical and ethnographic analysis of how imaginative interiorisation is used to traverse an internal sacred-scape, such as a mānasa-tīrtha (mind-passage), a process that is arguably as important as physical movement through time and space.
This development and management of imaginary landscapes, where the imagined -scape is interpolated onto a physical place, may hold more epistemological and ontological importance than the physical location one finds themselves in (See McCartney 2017).
This notion of ‘movement’ allows for the exploration of how the pursuit of self-improvement and purification may consequently produce different types of environmental and social 'pollution'; and how participation in the global yoga tribe might potentially reify both, global and local, social and economic networks and hierarchies. Thus, 'movement', also relates to cultural conflict related to the social-political issues of manipulating cultural narratives, cultural appropriation, 'white-washing', and the building of cultural nationalisms. Therefore, there is space within the conference for us to discuss the steps required to practically decolonise yoga, both from the colonial and post-colonial/neo-liberal masters.
If you would like to read more about the ideas inspiring this conference, click here.
Thank you, for your interest in this conference.
Patrick McCartney, PhD
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
For more information about the conference, submitting proposals, registering, payment, location, and other travel-related information, click below
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