To erase means to obliterate a mark inscribed on a surface, to destroy completely or to wipe out from thought or memory. The semantic range of the word mirrors its wide application within literary and cultural studies. From Medieval and Renaissance poems on time’s destructive power to Blanchot’s writings on death and negativity, literature in French has explored erasure as a force to combat or embrace, a strategy for literary innovation or an object of philosophical inquiry. Recently, work in the fields of memory discourse, trauma studies, and postcolonial studies has shown the significance of erasure on a cultural level. Erasure is also important in the production, dissemination and interpretation of texts: for different reasons, authors, editors and censors delete text, and these erasures in turn can affect interpretation. The aim of this conference is to consider the concept of erasure in literature as a form or consequence of reading and writing. What are the marks of erasure in a text and how might we read them? Must writing always be in a state of partial erasure, as Derrida’s notion of the sign sous rature suggests? How does erasure
participate in the production and interpretation of texts? Can texts and interpretations erase meaning, history, memory, boundaries or identity? Can they recover what has been erased? We welcome 250-300 word abstracts in French or in English for papers relating to the question of erasure in French and Francophone literature of any period.
All approaches – cultural, historical, theoretical, stylistic and thematic – are encouraged. Perspectives on the conference topic from film and media studies, architecture, art and theater history and other disciplines will also be considered. Reading time will be limited to twenty minutes.
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)