Misfits, Outcasts, and Exiles: Reading the Margins (March 2-3, 2012)

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LSU Department of French Studies Graduate Association

Misfits, Outcasts and Exiles: Reading the Margins
6th Annual Graduate Student Conference
LSU Department of French Studies
March 2nd & 3rd, 2012

Il n'y a pas pire enfer que le silence de la marginalité. (Noël Mamère, Ma République, 1999)

Si mes respectables et bons confrères veulent continuer à me marginer, tout ira bien. (Voltaire, lettre à Duclos, 1761)

The 6th Annual Graduate Student Conference will be hosted by the Department of French Studies at Louisiana State University. We invite contributions exploring the dynamics between society's norms and margins in French and Francophone cultures. The question of origins, functions and consequences of social laws are particularly relevant today in societies divided against each other and within themselves. The relationship between inclusion and exclusion—between communities and their misfits, outcasts, and exiles—determines social hierarchy, marginalizing those who do not or cannot conform, leaving them with limited social power, vulnerable to exploitation. This marginalization is heterogeneous; norms and ways of coping with them are very diverse. To acquire the rights and opportunities of inclusion, outsiders must often assimilate a new identity, lending them social recognition but separating them from their original identity. Art, music, literature and even dialects are symptoms of this heterogeneity; they offer diverse venues through which people can affirm their own identity and express not only the manifest reality of exclusion (education, unemployment, segregation) but the hidden psychical processes and effects of integration or non-conformity.

We solicit abstracts in French or English that address literature, linguistics, philosophy, sociology, comparative literature, pedagogical practices, art, anthropology, politics or criticism in any period or genre relating to French and Francophone studies. We also welcome relevant creative submissions (poetry, prose, music, film).
The best papers will be published on www.mondesfrancophones.com.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:
o Quest for identity
o Race, sex, gender and group identity
o Xenophobia and racism
o Sexual deviancy
o How choosing otherness affects authority
o Social function of outsiders
o Dominant discourse vs. original thought
o Secret/underground societies
o Heresy
o Criminality and crime fiction
o Pros and cons of marginalization
o Cultural and linguistic diasporas
o Hybridity and creolization
o Colonization and exploitation
o Submission and resistance
o Immigration and ghettos
o International relations
o Multiculturalism and interculteralism
o Language attrition and the lingua franca
o French in the United States
o "Standard" language vs. dialect
o Counter-cultures becoming mainstream
o Marginalized/censored literature becoming canonical
o Caricature of misfit/outcast/exile
o Symbols of exclusion
o Determining grammaticality
o Convention vs. reality

Please send abstracts of 200-300 words to lsufrenchconference@gmail.com with
"2012 Abstract" in the subject line by December 13, 2011.

Round table with Cajun French historians and native speakers
Keynote Speakers TBA.