Between 1780 and 1914, the “theatre woman” (including all female performers: actresses, singers, or even dancers) gradually achieved everything : first of all, the female performer upgraded her male counterpart in terms of wages and fame; and secondly she became a fictional heroine.
During the period indeed the female performer truly bewitched European authors. One can even suggest the gradual emergence of several sub-genera -- the “actress novel”, (see The Tragic Muse, Graf Petöfy, La Faustin..), the “dancer novel” (see La Fanfarlo), or even the “female singer novel (Consuelo). One could even go as far as suggesting a whole network of genera, with for instance, the “female dancer poetry” (Paul Verlaine or Arthur Symons), or the “actress play” (Tosca and Adrienne Lecouvreur)…
This «upgrading» first bears testimony to the growing popularity of the theatre, the actor, and, more significantly, the actress, in the society of the time; it also points to the widespread interest shown in fiction for the feminine as a whole.
We would like to investigate the haunting presence of the “female performer”, in late 18th, 19th and early 20th century European fiction (plays, novels, poetry). We would like to see, for example, whether the female performer figure is different in “Latin” or “Germanic” countries. We would also like to raise some questions about gender: does the actress embody womanhood as a whole? In which terms? And is the writing of the female performer “gendered”, that is to say, can we notice differences between male and female writers writing about female players?
Please submit 300-word abstracts in English or French to Corinne François-Denève, firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication of the proceedings of the conference is possible.
Corinne François-Denève, UVSQ, email@example.com, CHCSC, EA 2448, Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin.
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