Grad Student Conferences

Imaging the Ineffable: Representation and Reality in Religion and Film

Friday March 29th, 5pm to Sunday, March 31st, 2pm

The Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University invites you to the 2013 Mellon Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Student Conference on the topic of imaging the ineffable in religion and film. The paradox of showing what cannot be shown is a perennial issue in the fields of both Religion and Film Studies. In one of the most celebrated passages of Buddhist scripture, for instance, the sage Vimalakirti is asked to expound on the ultimate meaning of the Buddha’s teachings. Famously, Vimalakirti responds with silence, for the Buddha’s teachings are beyond words. In the same vein, the celebrated film critic and theorist Stanley Cavell argued that the unique feature of the filmic medium lies in its ability to show us what isn’t there; that is, to make absence present. This conference focuses on the intersection of religion and film in their aspirations to challenge the limits of signification.

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This conference is made possible by the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • Click here to download a program for this event.