The Department of French at Rutgers University announces its Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference:
Networks in Literature and Films
An International Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference
Keynote speaker: Sylvaine Guyot, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University.
Friday, March 7 & Saturday, March 8, 2014
New Brunswick, NJ
The Rutgers University Department of French Graduate Student Organization is pleased to announce an interdisciplinary conference that explores the notion of networks in French and Francophone societies.
In the 21st century, the concept of networks tends to be associated with new technologies and the world economy because of the rise of the Internet and the globalization of social, cultural, and economic exchanges. This relational view of the world has deeply transformed our ways of conceiving past and present cultural objects, including literature and artwork. Networks are now considered key players in the development of 20th and 21st-century aesthetics. Networks, however, existed long before the 20th century. The Republic of Letters in the 17th and 18thcentury, or the widespread use of correspondences across centuries can be seen as evidence of the work of networks in the pre-modern and modern periods. Networks are also a critical component of language and discursive formations in general, and their study has shed new light on the production of texts and stage performances.
This upcoming conference proposes to explore the broad and very rich idea of networks as a historical, cultural, political, and aesthetic phenomenon. We intend to examine the ways in which this phenomenon represents and is represented through various artistic media such as literature, film, music and visual arts in the Francophone world. What are networks? What are they made of? How do they work? What new understanding do they bring to French and Francophone literature and culture across centuries? Other possible avenues for investigation include:
How do communities of authors or artistic movements relate to network creation?
Might sociability or friendship be an expression of these network formations?
How do pre-modern networks relate to modern and/or postmodern networks?
Our understanding of networks is also deeply intertwined with our ways of representing or
conceptualizing them. For example, how could mapping be seen as a way to represent networks?
Deleuze, Foucault, Derrida and other critical theorists have analyzed language and social relations with notions relating to networks. How does their work enlighten or challenge our conception of networks?
How do words, ideas, and signs connect with each other in a text in order to create meaning?
How do texts enter into dialogue with past and present texts?
One can also extend the idea of networks to what is beyond the human world. For example, can one imagine our relation to the spiritual realm in terms of network realtions?
Do animals use networks?
How do animal networks challenge our human perception of the world?
Possible themes include but are not limited to:
relationality in postmodernist works
porosity and fusion
social & economic exchange
capitalism and its discontents
nomadism and territoriality
immigration & movement
centers and peripheries
dramaturgy and performance
publishing and readership
translation and world literature
sociality and conflict
spirituality and religion
The conference will have a panel format. We welcome papers in both French and English.
Abstracts should be submitted to the following email address:
firstname.lastname@example.org: before the 20th of January. It should be
approximately 250-500 words and be preceded by a cover page with the following
-Name (Last, First)
-Title (PhD/Masters Candidate, Post-Docs, Visiting Professor, etc…)
-Title of the paper
This information should not appear on your abstract.