Collective Identities: Policies and Poetics Feb. 18 2011

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CUNY Graduate Center PhD Program in French
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"[A] mode of writing is an act of historical solidarity…it is the relationship between creation and society, the literary language transformed by its social finality, form considered as human intention and thus linked to the great crises of History." - Roland Barthes

Over recent decades, scholars have confronted the notion of collective identity through discourses about transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, and globalization. Such preoccupations with notions of collective identity have taken on deeper significance in the contexts of geopolitical upheavals such as wars and natural disasters as well as localized tensions generated by boundary-challenging (intra-national) conflicts related to issues of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.

This conference will examine the policies and poetics that form, deform, and otherwise shape and govern collective identities from all periods and areas of French language verbal and visual culture. We welcome submissions that respond to or posit questions such as: Historically, how have poetics created, transformed, subverted, ignored, or destroyed collective identities? Are poetics of collective identity inextricable from politics, or do they sometimes interrelate as independent or interdependent processes? Is there room for the individual in a poetics of community? Finally, what are the qualities that might define these poetics? Which styles, structures or forms, written or visual, have been used to articulate collective identities?

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

- The emergence of collective identities/communities
- Manifestos, literary 'schools'
- Imaginary communities, imaginary Others
- The dissolution or destruction of collective identities
- Memory, remembrance, forgetting
- Revolution, rebellion, and counter-collectives
- Dissent and censure
- Archives and archival jurisdiction
- Poetics of isolated/ostracized groups
- Migration, diasporas and displaced communities
- Assimilation / preservation of collective identities
- Writing boundaries, crossing boundaries, changing boundaries
- Criteria and rhetoric of belonging
- Music, lyrics, rap
- Expressing urban/suburban/rural communities
- Translations / Interpretations / Textual dialogues
- Collectivity and Literary Schools

We welcome abstracts from diverse theoretical and critical backgrounds such as (but not limited to) gender studies, post/colonial studies, and queer studies. Please send abstracts of 200-300 words to Tim Wilson and Chris Brandon, Presentations will be limited to 15-20 minutes in length and participation is limited to graduate students. Abstracts and presentations may be in French or English. Deadline for abstracts: December 15th, 2010.