Archives par mot-clé : genres populaires

CFP: « The ethics and poetics of genre literature » (20 septembre)

« The ethics and poetics of genre literature »

International Conference Organized by EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone), Université Paul Valéry- Montpellier 3, March 15-16 2013.

With the support of the Société de Stylistique Anglaise (SSA).

This interdisciplinary international conference, the second section of the project ‘Ethics & Rhetoric’ within EMMA’s line of research ‘Ethics of Alterity’, will focus on language and ethics in literary genres that depict encounters with alterity.

The situations in which the subject is faced with different or alien beings will be studied namely in novels belonging to the genre of utopia/dystopia, science fiction, fantasy, etc., as the so-called ‘genre literature’ embodies a heuristic model that dramatises and exacerbates encounters with alterity, featuring exotic, subhuman or posthuman beings that defy human knowledge (in SF and fantasy especially). Genre literature has often been regarded as an entertaining or escapist field that does not lend itself to ethical and poetical reflections, limiting itself to a hollow and servile repetition of the genre codes. Nevertheless, theoreticians of these genres that have not been sufficiently studied highlight their defamiliarizing power through which things can be « seen ». This process of defamiliarization is often associated with the stylistic, poetic and ethical force inherent in fiction, but in its attempt at meta-conceptualizing the relationship between language and reality, genre literature seems to problematize and enhance these phenomena by making them more easily perceivable. Thus not resting content with merely questioning the mechanism of estrangement, genre literature explores the confines of readability and the break-point between the readerly and the writerly.

In their desire to represent the Other in all its complexity, writers are indeed confronted with an ethical and poetical aporia: how to describe what escapes Humanity in Human language? In the eyes of its critics, Science Fiction (SF) seems to lean towards the side of the readerly. On the border between total defamiliarization and cognition (Darko Suvin speaks of ‘cognitive estrangement’), SF seems to embody a genre that cannot afford to lose its readers. That may be the reason why extra-terrestrial languages are often filtered by English—crushing down linguistic difference under the weight of a single language that everybody can understand—as in Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle in which the creole form of English is ironed out through translation. How to represent a world in which the classical pronominal references (she/he) are not relevant anymore since ontology no longer relies on binary distinctions (as in The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin)? Yet certain SF or dystopia writers do manage to stretch out language and readability in their description of an alien situation (Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker might be the best example here). But fantasy can perhaps be construed as the most subversive genre in that matter as it wallows in undecidability and interpretative wavering. In its attempt to reconcile the inexpressible, what is without a name, and the speakable or visible, according to Rosemary Jackson, fantasy delimits a zone of non-signification where the Other cannot be reduced to the self. Should we thus conclude that reaching the breaking point of intelligibility can guarantee the birth of the other in its radical alterity?

Todorov brought to light the difficulty of apprehending alterity in schemes other than the ones we are familiar with, questioning the possibility of mapping the other’s radical difference. The narratives about the Aztecs are among the first illustrations of this tendency to project pre-conceived expectations onto the other: ‘One would seek to transpose it into a familiar cognitive scheme in order to make it understandable and thereby at least partially acceptable’ (Tzvetan Todorov, Les Morales de l’histoire, Paris, Grasset, 1991, p. 41, our translation). Can reducing alterity to the categories of the same or resorting to the other as a foil to reinforce the self (the other being then everything the self is not) be said to be part of the more conservative trend in SF as opposed to more subversive trends of the genre (what Broderick calls allographers along Terry Dowling’s coinage ‘xenographies’) or of fantasy?

Are we condemned to a certain ethno- or anthropo-centrism—an accusation that is launched against the socio-constructionists that contend that our beliefs, desires or intentions are mediated by shared social and normative conventions that have been learnt and internalized in the specific discourse community we belong to—or can the other be ‘known’ to a certain extent while preserving its radical difference? Do tropes have a heuristic power able to change our conception of the world and of others? Is there such a thing as ‘rhetorical ethics’ that could give us access to the other? If, according to Broderick, zeugma and syllepses are characteristic of the poetics of SF, what relationships do these tropes of fusion entertain between self and other? How effective are other figures of speech in their depiction of the Other? Can they be said to be a product of an all-powerful Reason reducing alterity to the same? In La Raison classificatoire, for example, Patrick Tort indeed recalls that the two major classifying systems of human thoughts rely on metaphor and metonymy. Or, on the other hand, can tropes be said to ensure a speculative and prospective exploration, producing ‘scandalous or non-sense effects’ (Rosolato) that are capable of upsetting the classifications through which we have been trained to perceive the world? Can stylistic problems like focalisation or reported speech—that are often a privileged way to access the other’s conceptual schemes—be seen as anthropocentric blows dealt to alterity? Can the other be sketched out through lexical and syntactic inventiveness without its portrait being entirely tamed or harnessed?

The focus on this conference will thus be on the linguistic and poetic means writers resort to in their description of others (rather than be merely thematic). The point is to bring under scrutiny how fiction succeeds (or fails) in its discursive mapping of otherness and what the dialogue it imagines with the other teaches us on language and the human self. What will be explored are the limits of language and the linguistic strategies that are displayed by genre literature to get around this predicament.

This interdisciplinary international conference wishes to attract both literary critics, linguists and stylisticians working on the literature of the English-speaking countries from the 19th to the 21st centuries.

The following themes could be addressed but they are in no way restrictive:

linguistic representation of alterity
tropological ethics
stylistics and genre
intelligibility and linguistic experimentation
the speakable / unspeakable
representation of cognitive structures through focalisation, reported speech, pronominal identification, etc.

Deadline for submission: September 20 2012
Notification of acceptance: November 30 2012
Proposals of around 300 words to be sent to both Maylis Rospide (maylis.rospide@univ-montp3.fr) and Sandrine Sorlin (sandrine.sorlin@univ-montp3.fr)
Language of the conference: English
Selected papers will be considered for publication

Guest speakers:

Jean-Jacques Lecercle (Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense) Peter Stockwell (University of Nottingham, UK)

Advisory Board:

Catherine Bernard (Paris Diderot), Monique de Mattia-Viviès (Aix-Marseille), Catherine Emmott (Glasgow), Jacqueline Fromonot (Paris 8), Jean-Michel Ganteau (Montpellier 3), Lesley Jeffries (Huddersfield), Manuel Jobert (Lyon 3), Catherine Paulin (Besançon), Frédéric Regard (Paris IV Sorbonne), Mick Short (Lancaster), Paul Simpson (Belfast).

Parution/ressources: Marginalia 73

Parution

Marginalia 73

Bulletin bibliographique des études sur les littératures et les films de genre

www.scribd.com/marginalia

Chers correspondants,

Voici donc le premier Marginalia totalement virtuel (plus de version imprimée plus d’abonnements). Résultat: il a dix pages

de plus et toutes les rubriques sont présentes,  y compris la littérature jeunesse trop longtemps négligée par faute

d’espace. Dorénavant, chaque numéro aura un nombre de pages variable et si l’occasion se présente, je n’exclus pas la

possibilité de publier un numéro supplémentaire si l’actualité s’y prête. Comme toujours, le bulletin sera mis en ligne sur mes sites habituels où paraîtront aussi bientôt de volumineuses bibliographies sur le polar africain. A suivre…

Dear friends,

This is Marginalia 73. This is the first issue entirely virtual (no more printed version, no more subscriptions). It has 10 more

pages and all sections are covered. Now, every issue will have a variable pages count and if possible, il shall publish one

more issue a year. This issue will be online soon. And check my websites for some bibliographies on african mystery and detective stories (in french and in english).

Best, and please excuse my frenglish !

Norbert Spehner

éditeur de Marginalia, le bulletin bibliographique des études sur les littératures et les films de genre

www.scribd.com/marginalia

Lisez ses articles,chroniques et critiques de polars dans La Presse, les revues Alibis, Solaris, Entre les Lignes et Le Libraire

I Congreso Internacional de Literatura Trivial y de Entretenimiento Sevilla (26 a 29 de Junio de 2012)

I Congreso Internacional de Literatura Trivial y de Entretenimiento
Sevilla, 26 a 29 de Junio de 2012

Se invita a investigadores, docentes, escritores y aficionados de la Literatura Trivial y de Entretenimiento a participar en
el encuentro que tendrá lugar en la Facultad de Filología de la Universidad de Sevilla los días 26, 27, 28 y 29 de junio
de 2012. El Congreso pretende animar a reflexionar, desde una perspectiva multidiciplinar (en la que tienen cabida
tanto las distintas filologías, la traducción literaria, la literatura comparada o los estudios sociales, entre otras ramas de
conocimiento) sobre cualquier cuestión relacionada con alguno de estos géneros hasta ahora marginados de la
atención científica.

Programme téléchargeable ici: Programa congreso



Journée d'études "Mystères urbains France/Québec" (6 juin 2012, Univ. Laval)

Journée d’études “Mystères urbains France/Québec”

journee-d-etudes-mysteres-urbains-france-quebec

Organisée par le RIRRA 21

Mercredi 6 juin 2012 – Université Laval, Québec

Salle du conseil de la Faculté des lettres – Pavillon Charles-De Koninck 3244

Programme

8h30 – Accueil des participants

9h00 – Marie-Ève Thérenty (Université de Montpellier 3) : Mot d’ouverture de la journée d’études

9h30-12h30 SÉANCE 1 – PRÉSIDENT : PAUL ARON

Micheline Cambron (Université de Montréal) « Mystères et variance des textes populaires : la contingence des supports »

Nicolas Gauthier (Université de Waterloo), « Le cas des Mystères du Palais-Royal de Louis-François Raban »

Yoan Vérilhac (Université de Nîmes), « Les mystères des Mystères de Montréal d’Henri-Emile Chevalier »

12H30-14H00 – DÎNER

14h30-16h00 SÉANCE 2 – PRÉSIDENT : DOMINIQUE KALIFA

Marie-Astrid Charlier (Université de Montpellier 3), « Mystères de papier mâché. Montréal selon Hector Berthelot »

Alexandre Gagnon (Université de Montréal), « Crimes littéraires, transactions discursives et généricités : Les Mystères de Montréal et le récit national »

Matthieu Letourneux, « Un genre médiatique international, des séries culturelles locales : le mystère urbain québécois »

Helle Waahlberg (Université de Montpellier),  « “Founded on Facts”, les mystères urbains et leurs rapports aux “faits” »

Ressources: Pulpgen.

Pulpgen

http://pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/index.html

Pulpgen propose un très grand nombre de reproductions de nouvelles issus de pulps américains au format pdf. Les illustrations ont été conservées, mais le texte a été converti dans un format permettant les recherches rapides. Une telle base de donnée représente une ressource exceptionnelle pour le chercheur s’intéressant à la littérature populaire du XXe siècle et aux grands genres médiatiques.

Présentation par le responsable du site:

Welcome to the Online Pulps site. The purpose of this site is to provide a wide selection of stories from the pulps. Here you will find stories from nearly every genre…detective, science ficton, adventure, romance, western, weird menace, sports, aviation, and even finance!

This site was started in February, 2002 and has grown larger than I would ever have thought possible. One of the down sides to this is that it has become difficult to maintain. In addition to basic maintanence to the site, there is a lot of administrative work behind the scenes such as scheduling updates and tracking all of the stories that are in the works. At this time (9/10/2003), there are 295 stories online and 49 more in various states of readiness.

http://pulpgen.com/pulp/

CFP: (Re)Locating the Frontier: International Western Films (publication) (15 août 2012)

(Re)Locating the Frontier

International Western Films (publication)

Cinematic representations of the North American West, from the silent era to the present, have played an important role in one of the United States’ core cinematic genres and in the viewing lives of generations of North Americans. The Western tradition, however, with its well-worn tropes, readily identifiable characters, iconic landscapes, and evocative soundtracks, is not limited to the United States. Western, or Western-inspired films have played a part in the output of numerous national film traditions, including Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Considerations of these films, however, have been decidedly U.S.-centric, with discussions of international Westerns typically limited to a small number of Eurowesterns and their directors.

This collection of essays seeks to broaden the scholarly conversation about Westerns by considering films beyond the Hollywood and Spaghetti Western traditions. The editors seek contributions that address a wide range of international Westerns, including their significance, meanings, and reception in their the national industries which gave them form. How do Westerns not made in the U.S. use the genre for their own purposes? Through what innovations or adaptations is that achieved? In what ways do these films challenge or support the idea of national literatures and cinemas? How do their narratives negotiate nation, narrative, genre, and their intersection?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

• El Topo and the Mexican Weird West
• Filming The Devil’s Backbone: The Border Frontier
• Genre Mash-ups in Asian Westerns: Dynamite Warrior
• The Good, the Bad, and the Samurai Tradition
• Sounds of the Frontier: Eurowestern Soundtracks
• Eurowestern Film Cycles: Django Rides
• Exploring the Ostern: White Sun of the Desert
• Karl May on Screen: The German Frontier Tradition
• Her Majesty’s West: Carry On, Cowboy
• Sholay and Frontier Independence
• The “Northern”: Hollywood North, or Something Else?

Please note: Essays dealing with the Spaghetti Western tradition should approach it from a fresh perspective, not yet represented in the substantial scholarly literature.

Acceptance will be contingent upon the contributors’ ability to meet these deadlines, and to deliver professional-quality work.

Publication timetable:

Aug 15, 2012 – Deadline for Abstracts

September 30, 2012 – Notification of Acceptance Decisions

Feb 1, 2013 – Chapter Drafts Due

April 30, 2013 – Chapter Revisions Due

May 30, 2013 – Final Revisions Due

July 1, 2013 – Delivery to Publisher

Please submit your abstracts of 500-1000 words and a brief (1-page) CV via email to both of the editors by August 15, 2012:

Cynthia J. Miller – cynthia_miller@emerson.edu
A. Bowdoin Van Riper – bvanriper@bellsouth.net

Le romantisme « frénétique » Histoire d’une appellation générique et d’un genre dans la critique de 1821 à 2010 (27 juin 2012)

Le romantisme « frénétique »

Histoire d’une appellation générique et d’un genre dans la critique de 1821 à 2010

Émilie Pezard soutient sa thèse de doctorat intitulée Le romantisme « frénétique » : histoire d’une appellation générique et d’un genre dans la critique de 1821 à 2010. La soutenance a lieu à l’Université Paris-IV, salle J636, le 27 juin 2012 à 14h. La thèse a été menée sous la direction de Bertrand Marchal, et le jury est composé de José-Luis Diaz (Université Paris-VII), Anthony Glinoer (Université de Sherbrooke), Françoise Mélonio (Université Paris-IV) et Daniel Sangsue (Université de Neuchâtel).

RÉSUMÉ

L’appellation « genre frénétique », créée par Charles Nodier en 1821, fait aujourd’hui partie intégrante du vocabulaire des études sur le romantisme. Le genre qu’elle désigne donne cependant lieu à des définitions divergentes, tant au niveau des auteurs qui l’exemplifient qu’au niveau des caractéristiques qui le décrivent. Cette thèse retrace l’histoire du genre frénétique tel qu’il a été défini par la critique, de 1821 à 2010, à partir d’une étude des emplois de l’appellation générique dans un corpus de près de 630 textes critiques.

Dans les années 1820 et 1830, la notion du frénétique revêt une visée polémique dans le cadre du débat sur le romantisme. Alors que Nodier inventait le genre frénétique pour le distinguer du romantisme, de nombreux critiques assimilent au contraire, totalement ou partiellement, les deux notions, l’appellation permettant de décrire le romantisme dans ses dimensions violente et excessive. Après plusieurs décennies où le genre disparaît des lectures du romantisme, le genre « frénétique » est à nouveau convoqué au début du xxe siècle et connaît un succès croissant, qui a pour corollaire une complexification des définitions. Manifestation d’une révolte métaphysique ou transposition littéraire d’un èthos, le « frénétique », qu’il soit jugé favorablement ou non, permet aussi généralement de rendre compte de la vogue, à l’époque romantique, d’un genre horrifique et outrancier, héritier du roman gothique anglais. Ce dernier genre, formé par les romans de Radcliffe, Lewis et Maturin, constitue cependant un corpus hétérogène déterminant deux lignées génériques qui méritent d’être distinguées, le roman noir et le frénétique.

Parution: Christian Chelebourg, Les Ecofictions. Mythologies de la fin du monde

Christian Chelebourg, Les Ecofictions. Mythologies de la fin du monde

Bruxelles : Les Impressions Nouvelles, coll. “Réflexions faites”, 2012.

256 p.

Prix 19,50EUR

EAN 9782874491405.

Présentation de l’éditeur :

“Les écofictions. Mythologies de la fin du monde” est un essai qui relève à la fois des études de l’imaginaire et, partant,  des études écocritiques. Mais c’est aussi un livre hautement politique, dans la postérité des Mythologies de Roland Barthes.

Une écofiction n’est pas seulement une fiction (littéraire ou cinématographique) sur l’écologie, c’est avant tout et surtout une fiction sur le désastre écologique que tout le monde prédit.  Pollution, réchauffement climatique, catastrophes naturelles, épidémies, manipulations génétiques font partie de notre quotidien, engendrant une culpabilité et des angoisses dont nous avons de plus en plus de mal à nous défaire. Les fictions, littérature et cinéma en tête, exploitent ces nouvelles peurs, réactivant d’anciens mythes et créant de nouveaux.

À la lumière de plus de deux cents romans, films, bandes dessinées, documentaires, essais ou publicités, Christian Chelebourg démonte pour notre plus grand plaisir les mécanismes de ces écofictions qui nous divertissent autant qu’elles nous effraient, qui nous invitent à méditer sur notre fragilité autant qu’elles nous persuadent de notre puissance.

Parmi les oeuvres étudiées, on trouve:

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Home
Michael Bay, Armageddon
Jan de Bont, Twister
Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later…
James Cameron, Avatar
Chris Carter, X-Files
Wes Craven, La Colline a des yeux
Robin Cook, Virus
Michael Crichton, État d’urgence
Roger Donaldson, Le Pic de Dante
Roland Emmerich, 2012
Alastair Fothergill, Un Jour sur terre
Terry Gilliam, L’Armée des douze singes
Al Gore, Une Vérité qui dérange
Nicolas Hulot, Le Syndrome du Titanic
Francis Lawrence, Je suis une légende
Mimi Ledder, Deep Impact
James McTeigue, V pour Vendetta
Hayao Miyazaki, Princesse Mononoké
Andrew Niccol, Bienvenue à Gattaca
Alex Proyas, Prédictions
Sam Raimi, Spider-Man 3
Kim Stanley Robinson, 50° au-dessous de zéro
Jean-Christophe Rufin, Le Parfum d’Adam
Steven Soderbergh, Contagion
Steven Spielberg, La Guerre des mondes
Andrew Stanton, Wall-E
Andy & Larry Wachowski, Matrix
Alexander Witt, Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Albert Camus, La Peste
Stephen King, The Stand
Jean-François Gosselin, La Fin du Monde – 21 décembre 2012
Hergé, L’Étoile mystérieuse

Christian Chelebourg est Professeur de Littérature à l’Université de Nancy 2 et directeur du Centre d’Études Littéraires Jean Mourot. Spécialiste de l’imaginaire, il s’est intéressé aux romanciers populaires du XIXe siècle avant de se consacrer à la Littérature de jeunesse contemporaine et aux fictions à destination du grand public. Il est principalement l’auteur de Jules Verne, l’oeil et le ventre (Minard, 1999), L’Imaginaire littéraire (A. Colin, « Fac », 2000) et Le Surnaturel – Poétique et écriture (A. Colin, « U », 2006).

Call for paper Undead in the West II: They Just Keep Coming (Publication)

Call for paper

Undead in the West II: They Just Keep Coming (Publication)

The frontier has long been framed as a landscape of life and death, but few scholarly works have ventured into the realm where the two become one, to explore portrayals of the Undead in the West – the zombies, vampires, mummies, and others that have lumbered, crept, shambled, and swooped into the Western from other genres. This sub-genre, while largely a post-1990 phenomenon, traces it roots to much deeper hybrid traditions of Westerns and horror or science fiction, and yet, also shows ties to the recent Western renaissance.

This volume, a companion to our forthcoming Undead in the West: Vampires, Zombies, Mummies and Ghosts on the Cinematic Frontier, will focus on the blending of the Western genre and the undead in media other than film: comics, graphic novels, gaming, new media, and literature. Scholarly explorations of material culture and fandom will also be considered.

Some questions to consider:

– What happens when traditional frontier figures, settings, symbols, and ideologies encounter these characters that defy the laws of nature?
– How are Western archetypes subverted or accentuated when confronted by the undead?
– How do zombies, vampires, and the like, affect our understandings and interpretations of the West, and vice-versa? Might these hybrid Westerns function as the new anti-Western, or do the undead facilitate a return to tradition?
– In what ways do undead Westerns consciously use the undead elements of the plot to comment on the nature of traditional Western heroes and villains?
– In what ways do these genre mash-ups revitalize the Western for a new generation of audiences and fans?

Please send your 500-word abstract to both co-editors, Cindy Miller (cynthia_miller@emerson.edu) and Bow Van Riper (bvanriper@bellsouth.net).

Publication timetable:

June 15, 2012 – Deadline for Abstracts
July 15, 2012 – Notification of Acceptance Decisions
Dec. 1, 2012 – Chapter Drafts Due
March 15, 2013 – Chapter Revisions Due
April 15, 2013 – Final Revisions Due
May 1, 2013 – Delivery to Publisher

Acceptance will be contingent upon the contributors’ ability to meet these deadlines, and to deliver professional-quality work.

Call for papers, The ethics and poetics of genre literature, Montpellier

The ethics and poetics of genre literature
Université Paul Valéry- Montpellier 3, France  –  15-16 March 2013
Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2012

An international conference organized by EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone) with the support of the Société de Stylistique Anglaise (SSA).

This interdisciplinary international conference, the second  section of the project ‘Ethics & Rhetoric’ within EMMA’s line of research ‘Ethics of Alterity’, will focus on language and ethics in literary genres that depict encounters with alterity.

The situations in which the subject is faced with different or alien beings will be studied namely in novels belonging to the genre of utopia/dystopia, science fiction, fantasy, etc., as the so-called ‘genre literature’ embodies a heuristic model that dramatises and exacerbates encounters with alterity, featuring exotic, subhuman or posthuman beings that defy human knowledge (in SF and fantasy especially). Genre literature has often been regarded as an entertaining or escapist field that does not lend itself to ethical and poetical reflections, limiting itself to a hollow and servile repetition of the genre codes.

Nevertheless, theoreticians of these genres that have not been sufficiently studied highlight their defamiliarizing power through which things can be ‘seen’. This process of defamiliarization is often associated with the stylistic, poetic and ethical force inherent in fiction, but in its attempt at meta-conceptualizing the relationship between language and reality, genre literature seems to problematize and enhance these phenomena by making them more easily perceivable. Thus not resting content with merely questioning the mechanism of estrangement, genre literature explores the confines of readability and the break-point between the readerly and the writerly.

In their desire to represent the Other in all its complexity, writers are indeed confronted with an ethical and poetical aporia: how to describe what escapes Humanity in Human language? In the eyes of its critics, Science Fiction (SF) seems to lean towards the side of the readerly. On the border between total defamiliarization and cognition (Darko Suvin speaks of ‘cognitive estrangement’), SF seems to embody a genre that cannot afford to lose its readers. That may be the reason why extra-terrestrial languages are often filtered by English — crushing down linguistic difference under the weight of a single language that everybody can understand — as in Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle in which the creole form of English is ironed out through translation. How to represent a world in which the classical pronominal references (she/he) are not relevant anymore since ontology no longer relies on binary distinctions (as in The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin)? Yet certain SF or dystopia writers do manage to stretch out language and readability in their description of an alien situation (Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker might be the best example here). But fantasy can perhaps be construed as the most subversive genre in that matter as it wallows in undecidability and interpretative wavering. In its attempt to reconcile the inexpressible, what is without a name, and the speakable or visible, according to Rosemary Jackson, fantasy delimits a zone of non-signification where the Other cannot be reduced to the self. Should we thus conclude that reaching the breaking point of intelligibility can guarantee the birth of the other in its radical alterity?

Todorov brought to light the difficulty of apprehending alterity in schemes other than the ones we are familiar with, questioning the possibility of mapping the other’s radical difference. The narratives about the Aztecs are among the first illustrations of this tendency to project pre-conceived expectations onto the other: ‘One would seek to transpose it into a familiar cognitive scheme in order to make it understandable and thereby at least partially acceptable’ (Tzvetan Todorov, Les Morales de l’histoire, Paris, Grasset, 1991, p. 41, our translation). Can reducing alterity to the categories of the same or resorting to the other as a foil to reinforce the self (the other being then everything the self is not) be said to be part of the more conservative trend in SF as opposed to more subversive trends of the genre (what Broderick calls allographers along Terry Dowling’s coinage ‘xenographies’) or of fantasy?

Are we condemned to a certain ethno — or anthropo-centrism — an accusation that is launched against the socio-constructionists that contend that our beliefs, desires or intentions are mediated by shared social and normative conventions that have been learnt and internalized in the specific discourse community we belong to — or can the other be ‘known’ to a certain extent while preserving its radical difference? Do tropes have a heuristic power able to change our conception of the world and of others? Is there such a thing as ‘rhetorical ethics’ that could give us access to the other? If, according to Broderick, zeugma and syllepses are characteristic of the poetics of SF, what relationships do these tropes of fusion entertain between self and other? How effective are other figures of speech in their depiction of the Other? Can they be said to be a product of an all-powerful Reason reducing alterity to the same? In La Raison classificatoire, for example, Patrick Tort indeed recalls that the two major classifying systems of human thoughts rely on metaphor and metonymy. Or, on the other hand, can tropes be said to ensure a speculative and prospective exploration, producing ‘scandalous or non-sense effects’ (Rosolato) that are capable of upsetting the classifications through which we have been trained to perceive the world? Can stylistic problems like focalisation or reported speech — that are often a privileged way to access the other’s conceptual schemes — be seen as anthropocentric blows dealt to alterity? Can the other be sketched out through lexical and syntactic inventiveness without its portrait being entirely tamed or harnessed?

The focus on this conference will thus be on the linguistic and poetic means writers resort to in their description of others (rather than be merely thematic). The point is to bring under scrutiny how fiction succeeds (or fails) in its discursive mapping of otherness and what the dialogue it imagines with the other teaches us on language and the human self. What will be explored are the limits of language and the linguistic strategies that are displayed by genre literature to get around this predicament.

This interdisciplinary international conference wishes to attract both literary critics, linguists and stylisticians working on the literature of the English-speaking countries from the 19th to the 21st centuries.

The following themes could be addressed but they are in no way restrictive:

  • linguistic representation of alterity
  • tropological ethics
  • stylistics and genre
  • intelligibility and linguistic experimentation
  • the speakable / unspeakable
  • representation of cognitive structures through focalisation, reported speech, pronominal identification, etc.

Deadline for submission: September 15 2012
Notification of acceptance: November 30 2012

Proposals of around 300 words to be sent to both:

  • Maylis Rospide <maylis.rospide@univ-montp3.fr>
  • Sandrine Sorlin <sandrine.sorlin@univ-montp3.fr>

Language of the conference: English

Source : The European Society for the Study of English