#balancetonporc: Confronting Sexual Assault in French and Francophone Texts

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Adeline Soldin / Dickinson College
contact email: 

50th NeMLA Anniversary Convention

Washinton DC, March 21-24, 2019

 

#balancetonporc: Confronting Sexual Assault in French and Francophone Texts

Although African-American Tarana Burke created the #metoo twitter handle in 2006, it really took off in 2017 after accusations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein became public.  It then quickly took hold and has since inspired countless women and men to speak out against sexual harassment and assault. Variations of the #metoo handle emerged in other languages, for example #yotambien in Spanish, #quellavoltache in Italian, and #balancetonporc in French. Sandra Muller founded this French version, which can be roughly translated as “snitch on your pig,” language that has been criticized by some for being too incendiary and divisive to address the issue effectively. What is more, a group of 100 women led by the famous French actress Catherine Deneuve denounced the #balancetonporc movement for threatening the sacred tradition of French seduction. Despite these reproaches, the outpouring of stories of sexual assault has compelled many to reflect on their past experiences and question what constitutes sexual assault, harassment, or even rape. As society becomes more aware of and sensitive to pervasive sexism and sexual assault, readers must also attend to the presence of such norms and behavior in our favorite poems, novels, and plays. Certainly, literary scholars have recognized sexism in literature and studied texts from feminist and queer perspectives for years; yet, in some cases, we have nevertheless overlooked, dismissed, and possibly even justified sexual assault by calling it seduction, consensual, or something else for centuries, thus failing to address the implications of sexist undertones or overtones in literature.  And in many texts, the narrative remains gray and blurry, forcing readers to grapple with many unanswerable questions.  This panel will be dedicated to tackling those cases, questionable or not, of rape, harassment, and sexual assault in French and Francophone texts that demand closer examination. Questions can be addressed to Adeline Soldin at soldina@dickinson.edu  Abstracts should be submitted through the NeMLA website at http://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention/callforpapers.html by September 30.