Archives par mot-clé : censure / censorship

Appel: Bad Literature/La Mauvaise littérature

Appel/CFP

Bad Literature/La Mauvaise littérature

Bad Literature
A Graduate Student Conference Hosted by the Yale University Department of French
January 31 – February 1, 2014

(la version française suit)
“I have known people who have actually read all, or almost all, the guaranteed Hundred Best Books. God save us from reading nothing but the best.” (Robertson Davies)
“What should we read?” As students and scholars of literature, we are expected to answer this question. There are of course the (relatively) obvious answers: works of the canon, whose aesthetic, moral, political, or even historical merits have been established, at least for the time being. These are the “good” books. And then, there is everything else. The guilty pleasures. The unfortunate literary experiments. The popular bestsellers, often opposed – but by whom, how and why? – to aesthetically-valued works of literature. Personal favorites, too, that one often cannot defend on higher grounds than those of sentiment. There are also the subversive books – the libertine novels, the politically contentious or philosophically problematic ones – those that get banned or censored. Whether with respect to aesthetic, political, social, or moral norms, these are the “bad” books, those that shouldn’t be read – even though they are, often more so than the good ones.
Or shouldn’t they – be read, be studied? Yale’s 2014 French Graduate student conference will be devoted to addressing this central question. While it is true that there always seems to be at least a norm against which we measure books, it is also true that norms change – but how? And why? What is the relationship between good and bad literature? Is there something that can be learned – by writers, critics, or casual readers – from works of allegedly questionable aesthetic and literary qualities? Is there an enjoyment of the text that is inextricable to the idea of it being “bad”? What can contentious or criticized books tell us about their modes of production and of reception? These are only a few of the questions we hope will arise from bringing to the fore forgotten, discarded, vilified, ridiculed, and sometimes eventually rehabilitated works of literature.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Works of literature whose aesthetic assessment has changed over time
  • Works of literature considered to be politically or morally dangerous
  • Unknown works by revered authors
  • The literary tastes of fictional characters: the representation of reading and its value
  • Canon formation, the reception of canonical works
  • Erotic or Harlequin novels
  • Forgotten bestsellers, forgotten genres
  • Popular literature, popular genres
  • Theories of aesthetics
  • The creation of literary norms
  • Banned books and censorship
  • Subversive literature
  • The libertine novel
  • The influence of “bad” literature on respected works
  • Reading and pleasure
  • Allegedly failed works
  • The influence of gender, sexuality, and identity politics on the reception of works of literature.
  • The relationship between literature, reading practices, and school (or the university)

We invite submissions for papers focusing on French and Francophone works of literature and film. Presentations may be in French or English and should not exceed fifteen minutes.

Please send abstracts of 250 words by email to yalefrenchgradconference2014@gmail.com by November 1, 2013. Proposals should include your paper title, name, contact information, and institutional/departmental affiliation.

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La mauvaise littérature
Conférence organisée par les étudiants de cycle supérieur du département de français de l’Université Yale
Du 31 janvier au 1e février 2014

«I have known people who have actually read all, or almost all, the guaranteed Hundred Best Books. God save us from reading nothing but the best.» (Robertson Davies)

« Quels sont les livres à lire ? » – question épineuse à laquelle peu d’étudiants de lettres échapperont dans leur vie. Ceci dit, les réponses classiques, prudentes, ne manquent pas : suffit de nommer une quelconque œuvre canonique, dont les mérites esthétiques, moraux, politiques ou historiques ont été établis – mais comment et à quel point, voilà une toute autre question. Ces livres, ce sont les « bons » livres. Il y en a néanmoins une myriade d’autres qui échappent à ce genre de réponse. Les plaisirs coupables. Les expériences littéraires malencontreuses. Les succès de librairie, souvent dénigrés au profit de ces chefs d’œuvres littéraires aux vertus esthétiques prétendument indéniables. Il y a aussi de ces livres aimés pour des raisons qui ne semblent pas dépasser l’affection pure et simple. Puis viennent les livres séditieux – les romans libertins, ceux qui provoquent des révolutions ou alimentent de dangereux débats philosophiques –, ceux qui tombent sous le couperet de la censure. Que ce soit en fonction d’une norme esthétique, politique, sociale ou encore éthique, ceux-là sont tous de « mauvais » livres, des livres à ne pas lire – même s’ils le sont, souvent plus et plus volontiers que leurs honorables et honorées contreparties.

Or, est-il vrai que nous ne devrions pas les lire, les étudier ? C’est à cette question que sera dédiée la conférence organisée cette année par les étudiants de cycle supérieur du département de français de l’Université Yale. Même en acceptant l’idée qu’il nous faille toujours au moins une norme en vertu de laquelle évaluer la valeur d’une œuvre littéraire, il faut aussi reconnaître que les normes changent et varient – mais comment ? Et pourquoi ? Quels sont les rapports entre bonne et mauvaise littérature ? Y a-t-il quelque chose qu’un écrivain, qu’un lecteur, qu’un critique puisse tirer d’un livre aux qualités littéraires contestées ? Y a-t-il un plaisir du texte inextricablement lié à l’idée que ce dernier soit « mauvais » ? Que peuvent nous apprendre les livres critiqués ou subversifs à propos de leur mode de production et de consommation ? Voilà seulement quelques-unes des questions que nous espérons voir émerger durant les quelques jours que nous dédierons à l’étude de livres oubliés, rejetés, censurés, ridiculisés et parfois heureusement réhabilités.

Parmi les sujets possibles, on trouve entre autres :

  • L’évolution de la réception et de la valeur attribuée à une certaine œuvre littéraire
  • Les œuvres littéraires considérées dangereuses, que ce soit d’un point de vue politique ou moral
  • Les œuvres méconnues ou oubliées d’auteurs canoniques
  • La représentation littéraire de la lecture, de ses normes et de sa valeur (question des goûts et habitudes de lecture de personnages littéraires)
  • L’invention du canon, la réception d’œuvres canoniques
  • Les livres Harlequin, érotiques ou pornographiques
  • Les bestsellers ou genres oubliés
  • L’esthétique, la théorie littéraire
  • La création des normes littéraires
  • La littérature subversive
  • Le roman libertin
  • L’influence de la « mauvaise » littérature sur la « bonne »
  • La lecture et le plaisir
  • Les soi-disant livres « ratés »
  • L’influence des identités sexuelles, culturelles, ethniques ou autres sur la réception d’œuvres littéraires
  • La relation entre la littérature, la lecture et le milieu scolaire ou académique

Les propositions de communication peuvent être écrites en français ou en anglais, ne devraient pas dépasser 250 mots et devraient traiter, au moins dans une perspective comparatiste, d’œuvres littéraires et cinématographiques françaises ou francophones. Elles doivent être envoyées à yalefrenchgradconference2014@gmail.com d’ici le 1e novembre 2013 et doivent contenir le titre de la présentation, le nom, l’adresse électronique et le département de leur auteur.

Call for papers : "Researching Music Censorship", Copenhaguen, 6-8 June 2013

Call for papers : Researching Music Censorship,

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

June 6th to 8th, 2013

Confirmed speakers Martin Cloonan, University of Glasgow, Deborah Kapchan, New York University, Martin Stokes, King’s College, London, & Ursula Hemetek, University of Vienna.

Music censorship is a relatively new area of research and as a scholarly field of study it is a disputed issue. This is so because it involves a large range of intertwined components and because in discourses over censorship it is generally difficult to pinpoint the relation between cause and effect. The immanent versatility of the concept – as well as its practical dimensions – calls for a multidisciplinary approach. Further it has proven vitally important to understand the process as a political and social phenomenon resting on various aspects like race, gender, religion and class and the intricate power relations involved in the concept/phenomenon of freedom of expression in relation to music and musicians and to an overarching relation between human rights and musical performance in its broadest sense. Thus, research on music and censorship involve attention to different types of actors such as states, NGOs, corporations, religious organisations and social movements, as well as musicians, composers and the music business, i.e. record companies, concerts agents and broadcasters/distributors. Finally, in the present perspective the study of music censorship also involves aesthetic reflections on the use of musical sound.

The Researching Music Censorship network, which is funded by the Nordic research agency, NordForsk, has for more than three years examined and discussed these questions with Nordic and International researchers. The original objectives of this project stated: « The aim of the network is (will be) to promote and encourage the scholarly study of music censorship, and to research the role of music in relation to human rights and artistic freedom of expression in its broadest sense. »

A number of seminars, meetings and workshops hosted by the participating institutions have focussed on discussing and examining music censorship in relation to the topics “Music and Violence” (Copenhagen May 2011), “Gender and Race” (Lund September 2011), “Theory and Ethics; censorship and self censorship” (Oslo April 2012) and “Religion and the Market” (Järvenpää October 2012) Through in depth discussions and research papers dealing with the academic perspectives of research into freedom of expression and the particularity of music in this context, the network has gained new insight into the intricate conditions of the role of music in the nexus between negotiations on power play and aesthetic ‘production’.

This conference seeks to present some of the most significant results of the network activities, while also opening the field to new perspectives on the study of music censorship and freedom of expression. It aspires to highlight the complexities of the issues and concepts involved, to encourage a contextualised understanding of music censorship and to address the academic challenges that are included.

The conference will examine:

  1. The way in which the study of censorship is strongly related to the various social, political and aesthetic discourses that are found in the cases studied: leading to a notion of ‘Censorship in context’ (John Street, 2012).
  2. How the concept of censorship in music is balancing a thin line of differing juridical rules, which are neither consistent and logical nor universal, but highly relying on political and social action.
  3. The theoretical and scholarly implications of the concept ‘advocacy’ in relation to the work on music censorship and other kinds of limitations of freedom of expression
  4. The acknowledgement that in principle all kinds of music and sound can be and can be subjects to limitations and silencing.

Themes of the conference:

THEME ONE: Conceptualising Music Censorship

One of the central aims of the Researching Music Censorship network has been to offer fruitful critique upon the often uncomplicated and simplified definitions of the concept of music censorship in popular discourse. Papers dealing with the concept of music censorship, new perspectives of theories and methodologies of restrictions and regulations in musical expression are invited, as well as perspectives for the understanding of the interplay of music and power.

THEME TWO: Ethics, self censorship and law

Since causes for music censorship are often claimed in the basis of morals and/or law and often addressing quite sensitive issues, the conference seeks to examine the complex merger of judicial legislation, human rights prerogatives and ethical considerations. Papers based on studies of law and human rights are accordingly welcomed as are those addressing ethical understandings of cultural and musical freedom of expression.

THEME THREE: Markets

It has been suggested that censorship takes place when the market forces promote and/or reject certain musics. It has just as strongly been argued that this kind of market control is not censorship, but rather a result of a process of selection based on artistic choice or aesthetics.  Papers are invited aiming at discussing the particular regulatory processes at work in relation to markets of music distribution in its broadest sense.

THEME FOUR: Examining global, regional, and local frameworks for music censorship

Papers are invited discussing historical as well as contemporary music censorship, aiming at furthering understanding of music in everyday life, in the discourses between public and private spaces, as well as in war and conflicts. This could include case studies from all over the world and address historical as well as contemporary music censorship.

THEME Five: Religion and tradition.

Religious views, both theologically motivated and culturally founded, historically play a central role when music is restricted and censored. Religious discourses are embedded in everything from moral rules of families to the blasphemy laws of states. It also has the possibility to mobilize powerful disciplinary narratives. Yet, music is crucial to the rituals, cultural life, and theology of any given religion and is celebrated as a means of meditation and contemplation of transcendent realities.

The conference will be the last event of the present Nordforsk funded project period, and it will also address and present the possibilities for a continuation of the research into possible new structures.

The format of the conference will include keynotes addresses and invited speakers, individual papers, panels and poster presentations. We welcome proposals for all these formants and encourage joint papers as well as alternative forms of presentations including screenings of footage/films, music performances and/or testimonies.

Since the start of the network special attention has been given to PhD scholars. Four seminars have been offered in relation to the meetings and workshops of the larger network. Accordingly, we encourage PhD students working in field related to censorship, freedom of expression and human right in music to attend the conference.

The conference will be held in University of Copenhagen, Southern Campus site room 24.0.49. There will be no conference fee, but non-members of the network are kindly asked to pay for their own travel and accommodation. The organisers will assist all participants in getting accommodation in Copenhagen.

A publication based on selected papers from the conference is being planned.

Please send your proposal abstract (250 words) + name, short biography (5 lines) and contact information to kirkegd@hum.ku.dk

Deadline for call for papers is February 6th 2013.

Organizing committee:

  • Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
  • Jan Sverre Knudsen, Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway
  • Jonas Otterbeck, Lund University, Sweden
  • Annemette Kirkegaard, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

The network is funded by NordForsk and more information on past activities can be

accessed at: www.rmc.ku.dk