CFP: Violence, Disaster, and the Crisis of Representation (grad) (5/15/07; 10/25/07-10/26/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Bob Hudson
contact email: 

12th Annual Graduate Student Conference of the UCLA Department of
French and Francophone Studies


25 and 26 October 2007
306 Royce Hall

Keynote Speakers: Jean-Pierre Dupuy (Professor of Social and Political
Philosophy at the École polytechnique and Director of the C.R.E.A.;
Professor of French at Stanford University) and Eric Gans (Professor
of French at UCLA; Editor, Anthropoetics)

Disasters—both natural and man-made—confront us daily, with news of
global warming, genocide, tsunamis, war, and terrorism dominating
headlines. But this is nothing new. From Heraclitus to Saint John,
Hieronymus Bosch to the Marquis de Sade, Blanchot to Picasso, Stanley
Kubrick to Jonathan Littell, the question of disaster, violence, and
apocalypse has preoccupied writers, artists, and philosophers. Yet it
can seem that the very excess of disaster overturns conventional
categories and confounds creative genres and philosophical systems,
thus Adorno's controversial dictum on the barbarism of writing poetry
after Auschwitz. Catastrophe defies mimesis; it exceeds literary,
cinematic, and aesthetic representation even as it remains the horizon
for many thinkers and artists.

The 2007 UCLA French and Francophone Studies Department graduate
student conference will focus on Violence, Disaster, and the Crisis of
Representation. How have violence and disaster been represented or
conceptualized in literature, art, and theory? Faced with abominations
such as the Holocaust or Hiroshima or our contemporary genocides, how
do artists and thinkers react? Are genres such as the novel still
viable means of artistic expression? What are we to think of
Stockhausen's comments on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as
"Lucifer's greatest work of art"? Is our present period unique or are
we subject to yet another bout of millennial hysteria?

We would like to open this conference not only to literary scholars
working in French but also to those schooled in other languages as
well as the fields of history, art history, musicology, film studies,
political science, and other relevant areas.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, literary and artistic
representations of:
-Panic and anxiety
-La terreur, post-war trauma and memories of violence
-Earthquakes, floods, and plagues in myth
-Atlantis, Pompeii and the aesthetic of ruins
-The Shoah and genocide
-September 11, 2001
-Colonial violence and Post-colonial theory
-Generative Anthropology and other theories of violence (and its deferral)
-Sacrifice, victimage and scapegoating
-Nuclear deterrence and global warming
-Political engagement and catastrophe

Please send abstracts of 300 words or less to by the
May 15th deadline. Address any questions you may have to Bob Hudson
( or Trevor Merrill (

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Received on Fri Apr 06 2007 - 17:00:26 EDT