CFP: Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Gateway to the Oeuvre (and Opening to the East?)

Submission deadline: March 31, 2013

Conference date(s):
September 20, 2013 - September 22, 2013

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

University College, Cork
Cork, Ireland

Topic areas


This will be the first conference of the Society to focus, in part, on a single work of Nietzsche’s: his own favourite, Also sprach Zarathustra. Given Nietzsche’s high opinion of this book (‘the profoundest book there is’), it’s surprising how many commentators prefer to avoid discussing it, usually on the grounds that it’s ‘too literary’ and ‘not philosophical’ enough. One question behind the choice of this work as a focus for the conference is thus: ‘How does Nietzsche’s philosophy look when it’s approached through this particular book?’ Preference will be given to papers that treat Zarathustra as a prism for Nietzsche’s other works.

As globalisation proceeds apace, Nietzsche scholarship in Asian countries continues to burgeon, and he becomes an ever more important reference point for those in the West who want to access Asian philosophies. A secondary theme (reflecting the interests of the UCC Philosophy Department) will be the relations of Nietzsche’s philosophy to Asian thought, as they emerge from Zarathustra and/or his other works. The purpose of the conference is thus twofold: to appraise Zarathustra as a centrally (if also eccentrically) philosophical work, and also to assess the value of comparative or intercultural approaches to Nietzsche’s philosophy from Asian perspectives.

The 2013 conference will follow the standard FNS conference format of five parallel sessions and five plenary sessions with well-known speakers in the field.

Plenary speakers:

Keith Ansell-Pearson (University of Warwick)
Bret Davis (Loyola University, Baltimore)
Volker Gerhardt (Humboldt Universität, Berlin)
Kathleen Higgins (University of Texas at Austin)
Paul Loeb (University of Puget Sound)
Graham Parkes (University College Cork)

(Davis and Parkes will do a joint session on Zarathustra and Zen Buddhist thought)

The Friedrich Nietzsche Society welcomes proposals for 30-minute papers on all topics bearing on the conference themes, including the following:

  • Zarathustra as an essentially philosophical work
  • Zarathustra as a gateway into Nietzsche’s entire oeuvre
  • Zarathustra: incipit tragoedia or incipit parodia?
  • The relation between the figure of Zarathustra and Nietzsche
  • Zarathustra: Dionysos or Kant?
  • The figure of woman in Zarathustra
  • Animality in Zarathustra
  • Metaphor and concept in Zarathustra
  • Nietzsche’s unique vocabulary in Zarathustra
  • The problem of communication in Zarathustra
  • Rhetoric and mythology in Zarathustra
  • The composition and structure of Zarathustra
  • Benefits of approaching Nietzsche (and Zarathustra) from an Asian perspective
  • Benefits of approaching Asian thought from a Nietzschean perspective

Papers on other key figures and/or themes in Zarathustra are also welcome. Preference will be given to papers that treat Zarathustra as a prism for Nietzsche’s other works. Abstracts (max. 400 words) should be submitted by March 31 2013. They should be sent as attachments [email protected] with the following in the subject line: FNS2013_ABSTRACT_NAME_AFFILIATION

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