Call for Papers | “Representations of the Body”, International conference in Francophone Studies | University of Louisiana @ Lafayette. Call ends November 24, 2022

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The French and Francophone Studies program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette announces a call for presentation and panel proposals (in French or in English) for its annual conference returning to in-person format. The conference theme is related to “Representations of the Body” (conceived in a broad and inclusive sense and incorporating all literary genres, periods, and regions of the French-speaking world). Researchers of all levels (faculty, independent researchers, graduate students) are invited to submit a brief abstract (200 words) to and by November 24, 2022. The committee will respond in December 2022. If a response is needed sooner due to financial reasons, please let us know. The publication of selected papers is planned for the fall 2023 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Études francophones.

Conference theme

The body occupies a particular position within general symbolism of society. It is not only a natural phenomenon; it is also a cultural construction. In this way, it cannot be isolated, as an object of study, from a greater collection of meanings of which it is itself a component. If the body surpasses its simple biological reality and speaks incessantly, of what does it speak? Following a dramatic entrance and exploration within the social sciences, the notion of the body has attracted the interest of new historiography which has examined it from every angle in order to know what it can teach us about ourselves. With the history of the body and the history of emotions (6 volumes codirected by Corbin, Courtine, and Vigarello), the history of the senses, of modesty, of sexuality, feelings of love, bathing, clothing, silence, beauty, nourishment, death, the face, etc. Today, a wide and diverse field of thought examines this central and complex human reality. Within several fields of the humanities and social sciences, from psychology to sociology and anthropology, what does the field of literary studies, with its wide range of related interdisciplinary studies, reveal to us through multiple representations of the body conveyed by literature? It is precisely this question that we hope to explore and illuminate during our conference.

We welcome proposals including (but not limited to) the following themes:

      • Body, sensoriality and perceiving the world
      • Body and the expression of emotions; the suffering body, the body and healing
      • Body and intimate space, the public body, the urban body, the rural body
      • Body and beauty; gendered body and sexuality; the sacred or essentialized body
      • The racial(ized), (de)colonized body; body and identity
      • Body and punishment; censored, depersonalized, victimized bodies
      • The forbidden body, the body and taboos, shamed bodies
      • Body and technique, visual bodies (in films, fine arts, etc.), virtual and digital bodies
      • Body and interdisciplinarity; body and clothing

This event is free and includes all meals. We are unfortunately unable to provide financial support for transportation and lodging. Lafayette is at the heart of Cajun and Creole country (one hour from Baton Rouge, approximately two hours from New Orleans) and at the intersection of many francophone cultures sharing common historical and linguistic roots. Our conference has been intentionally scheduled after Mardi Gras festivities (February 21, 2023) in order to facilitate lodging and travel.;

Contact Info:

Nathan Rabalais, Associate Professor of Francophone Studies

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