IV International Conference of the Spanish Association for Interdisciplinary India Studies AEEII

Corporeal and Spiritual Bodies in India

30th November – 2nd December 2016

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. University of Oviedo, Spain.

No tradition has probably been constructed as more timeless, intrinsically authentic and inherently Indian as Yoga. Yoga has come to be an icon of Indian culture and civilization, linking together, in a seemingly unbroken line, the glory of the past Indus civilization with current times, opening future possibilities to the modern, the postcolonial and the global/glocal Indian. Yoga embodies a double nature that dates back to Yogic Literature, which deals with the body perspective of yoga, as opposed to the perspective of Orientalist scholars who were exclusively concerned with the philosophical, mystic, magic, religious and metaphysical nature of yoga. Yoga then can be linked to physiology, but there are scientific analyses that give relevance to the mystical, esoteric, and profound symbolic value as a means to think and, even more, go beyond thinking. Indian culture seems to be linked to the idea of classical yoga in its transcendental perspective, as opposed to a “modernized” physical yoga which is said to be a product of Western “misunderstanding”.

The IV International Conference of the Spanish Association for Interdisciplinary India Studies, to be held at the University of Oviedo, Spain, is happy to announce the forthcoming conference entitled “Yoga. Corporeal and Spiritual Bodies in India.” Perceptions of yoga have drastically changed from the first half of the 20th century bringing along new debates on yoga within the academia. This conference aims to dissert on the Cartesian mind/body dichotomy yoga involves and how bodies are constructed and seen by and within yoga. The classical definitions of yoga included in the Katha Upaniṣad or the Yoga Yājnavalkya highlight that “yoga is the steady restraining of the senses” [yoga sthirā indriya dhāraṇā], “yoga is the union of the individual soul with the transcendental Self” [saṁyogo yoga jīvātma-paramātmanoḥ] and that “yoga is the coming to standstill of the whirls of consciousness” [yoga citta vṛtti nirodhaḥ]. Taking into account these definitions of yoga it is clear that the difference between subtle and corporeal bodies is fundamental to the Indian Hindu context. Yoga is, therefore, viewed as a holistic philosophy of existence and thinking and offers a wide range of fields of exploration.

The conference will prioritize the following themes:

  • Anthropological perspectives
  • Art: Our bodies and what they mean
  • Bollywood
  • Feminism and body image
  • Linguistic/language perspectives
  • Corporeal and spiritual icons and images
  • Literary perceptions
  • Bodies lost in translation
  • Contemporary perspectives and the marketing of Yoga: socio-political appropriations.
  • Metaphysical and eco-spiritual approaches
  • Corporeal and spiritual dimensions of dance and music

Confirmed speakers

  • María Tausiet, ex-researcher at CSIC and independent scholar
  • Guillermo Rodríguez y Mónica de la Fuente, Casa de la India, Valladolid

Deadlines: Panels, roundtables, individual papers and posters sessions:

Open: 15 February 2016 – Close: 29 April 2016.

Abstracts of 250 words in English or Spanish should include full name of the speaker, institutional affiliation, full title of paper, short biographical note (100 word biodata) and contact details. Proposals should be sent to the conference email: aeeii2016@espora.es. More information at www.aeeii2016.espora.es.

Submissions will be double-blind peer reviewed. Following the conference there will be a cfp for double-blind peer reviewed publication.

Details will be regularly uploaded on the conference web page.

Conference Organisers:

Carmen Escobedo de Tapia y Alejandra Moreno Álvarez, Universidad de Oviedo