CFP: [Theory] CFP ACLA 2009:Antiquityâs Body in Pre to Post Modern French Literature and Culture

full name / name of organization: 
Natalie Strobach
contact email: 

CFP for the American Comparative Literature Association's 2009 conference
on "Global Languages, Local Cultures."

Date of the conference: March 26-29 2009.
Location: Harvard University

Deadline for 250 word abstracts: Nov 1, 2008

***Abstracts must be submitted to the ACLA website***

Please email AntiquitysBody AT for additional information on

The forms of Antiquity have long held great resonance in Western culture,
and nowhere has this resonance undergone more distinctive
modifications or been used to greater advantage than in France. This
session seeks to explore the impulse recurring throughout French history to
resuscitate the remains of Greece and Rome. Why has the specter of
Antiquity so haunted French consciousness? What are the dimensions of this
embodiment? What are the circumstances and the
costs of this periodic resurrection?

Answering these questions may help us to understand how to consider aspects
of French writing in a more productive way. Theoretical discourse of the
late 20th and early 21st centuries has argued persuasively that past
characterizations of the world’s literary traditions have been
essentializing, prescriptive, and ideological in nature. However
insightful these critical arguments have been, they do not remove the fact
that languages and cultures are definitively marked by their genealogies.
We are thinking of authors like Derrida, Kristeva, and Fanon, who identify
the inequities inherent within the French language in a way that is, in
certain regards, typically “French,” leading us to speculate about the
origins of this irreducible flavor and to wonder: To what extent is
Antiquity responsible for the Frenchness of French?

Some suggested questions for discussion are:
How have the imperatives of Classicism been transgressed, and with
what consequences?
How have politics shaped appropriations of Antiquity in France?
What has been the global impact of the Classically-mediated French body?
What is the allure of Antiquity in the French tradition?

***See submission instructions above***

Thank you for your interest.


Natalie Strobach and Megan McMullen
University of California Davis Programs in Comparative Literature and French.

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Received on Fri Oct 03 2008 - 19:51:10 EDT