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CFP: The Figure of the Author in the Short Story in English, 8-9 April 2011, Angers, France
full name / name of organization:
Université d’Angers, France and Edge Hill University, U.K.
The CRILA short story research group (JE2536) of the Université d’Angers, France, will be hosting an international conference in collaboration with Edge Hill University, U.K. on “The Figure of the Author in the Short Story in English,” 8-9 April 2011 at La Maison des Sciences Humaines, Université d’Angers, France.
Plenary speaker: Charles E. May, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Long Beach.
The specter of the author has haunted the scene of contemporary literary criticism since the advent of 20th century authorial displacements. William K. Wimsatt Jr. and Monroe C. Beardsley heralded the age of Anglo-American New Criticism with “The Intentional Fallacy” (1946) and the “The Affective Fallacy” (1949), insisting that the meaning of a literary text is to be found in the text’s status as an independent artifact and not in authorial intention. The author is later explicitly declared defunct in France with Roland Barthes’ infamous “The Death of the Author” (1967), voicing the concerns of post-structuralism where the author is écriture rather than a historical, psychological figure. This tendentious essay, along with Michel Foucault’s “Author function” in his 1969 essay “What is an Author?” helped foster an aura of suspicion and controversy around authorial identity, and the repercussions of authorial “death” or “disappearance” continue to ripple through literary criticism today. The author has “died” only to be replaced by a proliferation of conceptual guises: “implied author,” “text,” “structure,” “intentionality,” or even, perversely, “reader.” French scholar Antoine Compagnon even suggests in Le Demon de la Théorie (1998) that the author is like a demon who is virtually impossible to expel from literary criticism. In the meantime, the rise of Creative Writing as a distinctive form of critical discourse in the US, UK, Australia and elsewhere, seems to place the biographical author once more at centre stage.
How has critical method evolved since 20th century “attacks” on the figure of the author ?
We also welcome presentations dealing with authorial issues arising from translation or cinematographic adaptation and studies of authorial performance or marketing techniques. Presentations from short story authors are particularly welcome.
A selection of articles will be published in two peer review journals: Short Story in Theory and Practice (www.edgehill.ac.uk/shortstory/shortfiction), published by Intellect Press, and The Journal of the Short Story in English (http://jsse.revues.org/), published by Université d’Angers
Paper proposals of approximately 300 words in English, followed by a short bio-bibliography, should be sent to the following conference organizers for 15 December 2010: