CFP Rutgers French Department Graduate Student Conference

Paper proposal deadline: Jan 31

Date of Conference: March 24

 Keynote speaker:

Dr. Nathalie Debrauwere-Miller

Opposing Narratives of Victimhood: Jewish and Arab Muslims in Contemporary France

“La relation à autrui est asymétrique : je ne dois pas attendre de réciprocité.”  Emmanuel Levinas.

An interest in the Other is omnipresent throughout French and Francophone literature and literary theory. From Montaigne’s Les Cannibales to Colette’s Le pur et l’impur, the literary world has long sought to encounter and unmask the Other. Indeed, the history of literature itself could be considered an encounter with the Other, be it other humans, other species, or other “things” altogether.

We would like to reflect upon the animosity between the established norms and the representations of the Other in French literature. Are the Self and the Other complementary or conflicting terms? Can literature write about the Self without writing about the Other? Does literature diffuse false representations of the Other or bring readers closer to radical otherness? We would like to consider the binary between Self and Other at various historical moments in France and throughout the francophone world. Can literature speak for, or perhaps speak to, the Other?

Possible topics for papers could include but are not limited to:

  • Hospitality         
  • The animal other
  • Representations of alterity
  • Open and closed spaces
  • Colonial/Postcolonial otherness
  • Doppelgängers and schizophrenia
  • Representations of gender and sexuality
  • The struggle for literary recognition
  • Writing identity
  •  Jacques Lacan’s ‘Other’ and ‘other’
  • Thing Theory
  •  Levinas’ ethics of the other
  • Travel writing
  • The “bon sauvage” and cultural relativism
  •  Imprisonment
  • Translation
  • Ventriloquism
  • Immigration

This conference will have a panel format. We welcome papers in both French and English. We particularly welcome papers that address multiple art forms and the relationship between them.

Abstracts of approximately 250-500 words should be submitted to the following email address – before the 31st of January. Abstracts should be preceded by a cover page with the following information:

  • Name (last, first)
  • Academic affiliation
  • Title (PhD, Masters candidate, Post-Doc, Visiting Professor, etc.)
  • Title of paper
  • Telephone number
  • Address
  • Email address
  • This information should not appear on your abstract.

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