The Department of French at The Graduate Center, CUNY
Annual Student Graduate Conference: February 5th
Keynote speaker: Professor Derek Schilling (Rutgers University)
In her work The World Republic of Letters, published in France in 1999, Pascale Casanova rethinks the notion of a world literary corpus in the light of two interdependent concepts: the center and the margin. In its textual representation the center seems to simultaneously create and impose a canonical model. The margin and the center offer geographical and literary platforms of questioning. Could the norm of a given time and place be the result of a construction? Could configurations of normativity and deviance shift in time and space? In this conference, we will investigate ways in which concepts of margin(s) and center(s) can be addressed: Is the Center inextricably bound to its margins? If so, in what ways can we interpret the relationships—spatial or conceptual— resulting from this interdependence?
We invite participants to discuss spaces and literary works in terms of centers and margins as they have been exposed and/or theorized in the domains of literature, theory, politics, history and art. How many centers can there be? What is the relationship between the center and its margin(s)? How flexible is this separation? Is there an identifiable boundary between center(s) and margin(s)?
Topics of exploration may include but are not limited to the following:
• Oppositions: publishing companies and marginal(ized) writers. French/Francophone. Canonical/ Deviant
• Re-centering margins: banlieues literatures. Interaction with Paris/Métropole.
• Timeliness: Questions of anachronism. Histories / History. Literary movements construction
• Marginalized sexualities in the construction of cultural and national identity
• Marginalized spaces: Nation /regions/cities. Paris / Peripheries /Banlieue/Province.
• Marginalized languages, dialects, patois: Parisian French and regional linguistic identities. Creole languages.
• Marginalized communities within centers: nomads and borders.
Graduate students from all disciplines are invited to present a 15 minute paper addressing the topic of Marginalizing Centers. Abstracts of 300-400 words should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Attn: “Graduate Conf”) no later than November 30th 2009. Papers may be in French or English.
The French program is located at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309
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