conference CULTURE(S) AND RESISTANCE TODAY June 19-21, 2014, Nîmes University (France)

full name / name of organization: 
claude chastagner, université Montpellier 3, France
contact email:

6th Cultural Geography, Anthropology, and Cultural Studies International Conference in Languedoc-Roussillon (France)

A joint production
UMR 5281 ART-Dev- Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 – Route de Mende – 34199 Montpellier cedex 5 artdev@univ-montp3.fr

EMMA EA 741 Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 – Route de Mende – 34199 Montpellier cedex 5 isabelle.ronzetti@univ-montp3.fr


June 19-21, 2014, Nîmes University (France)


The 6th Cultural Geography, Anthropology, and Cultural Studies International Conference in Languedoc-Roussillon will focus on culture(s) and resistance today. What is the nature of the connections between the various forms of culture and the various forms of resistance? Dialogues, oppositions, transformations? The conference will investigate anthropology (nature and culture), history (civilization and culture), geography (territories, identities, landscapes and cultures) as well as the contemporary representations given of these connections by various art forms.

The goal is to grasp the notion of resistance in its plurality and complexity. From a semantic perspective, one has to differentiate between close but distinct notions: rebellion, revolt, protest. Likewise, resistance must not be confused with its manifestations: riots, demonstrations, strikes, or Brazilian invasiaoes. Resistance is an individual or collective form of refusal that summons the mind as much as the body. It springs wherever there is oppression, in places of power or in everyday places: urban or rural environments, places of work, education, coercion. However, it always has a political dimension. Resistance can adopt material or immaterial forms. It can be characterized by words or gestures, or the absence thereof, by action or inaction, violence or non-violence. It is distinct from overworked discourse, the resigned acceptance of daily routine.
Resistance is also an ambiguous concept, based on a dual dialectics: between the resistant and the power he resists, but also between movement and conservation. Thus, in 1840, a conservative “Parti de la Résistance” was created in France to challenge the “Parti du mouvement”. Though some claim that a conception of resistance as reaction is no longer valid, the conference may address from a critical perspective the various forms of conservatisms, identity closure, refusals of modernity, and what determines them. It will also have to ask to what extent the forwarding of the past, ancient customs, and traditional values can be taken as a progressive and positive form of resistance. What impact such an understanding of resistance could have on the very notion of modernity? One could also examine the new methods used to control resistance. How is resistance prevented, checked, or bypassed, when it is understood as infringing upon the good management of territories?

Resistance can also be taken as a form of strong ethical involvement, against potentially threatening norms. The point is then to understand why specific groups, on specific territories have chosen to resist: to challenge evolutions of the social world, of modes of production, of territorial policies they consider threatening, to fight back exclusion or globalization, or on the contrary to prevent microcosmic projects (the NIMBY syndrome). Various concepts should be approached, such as autochtony, local identities, or infrapolitics, to the extent that they stand apart from traditional political practices. A reflection on the links that tie culture to resistance should also acknowledge the development of a social consciousness: consciousness in terms of class, or socially marginalized group.

The analysis of cultural resistance can be done at the level of territories and communities, focusing on why resistance can reveal cultural stakes and bear an impact on territorial dynamics.

On the long run, the region of the Cévennes, in central France, offer a striking example of a “territory of resistance”, as embodied by the “camisard”: the Cévennes War opposed between 1702 and 1704 the royal troops against an overwhelmingly Protestant population who prided itself on its freedom of consciousness. We can thus deem legitimate to study how images of resistance are territorially built and transformed. What is the role of commemorations and memory in the qualification and requalification of such territories? Similar questions can be asked about events closer to us, such as what took or is still taking place in Larzac, at Notre-Dame des Landes, or in the Chiapas highlands. Through its representation in books or songs, resistance can be turned into a label, a marketing tool, which raises the related issue of the manipulation of sentiments, emotions, convictions, certainties, on which resistance relies.

Eventually, the American counter culture of the ’60s offers a model of cultural resistance that became adopted in various contexts. Case studies could explore the contradictory appropriations of the notion, from its conception as a site of avant-gardes to its co-optation by conservative forces.

To analyze the complex interaction of culture and resistance today, one must also examine the words, behaviors and representations it adopts, its temporality, from the short to the long term, the individual or collective risks it entails. Papers may focus on one of the following axes:
• the definitional and terminological issues of the concept of resistance.
• the ambiguity of resistance, between progress and conservatism.
• the cultural and territorial stakes of movements of resistance.
• the social uses and political appropriation of movements of resistance.
• counter cultures and avant-gardes.
The papers can be delivered either in French or in English

Deadline for proposals: June 15, 2013

Proposals (between 2000 and 4000 signs, 1 to 2 pages, in English or in French) must be sent in Times New Roman 12, 1.5 line spacing, in Word. They shall feature the first and last name, field, status, affiliation, and electronic address of the author, as well as 5 key words.

The document will be saved under the following name: LASTNAME.firstname.doc, and sent exclusively to

Summer 2013: evaluation of the proposals by the Scientific Committee.
October 15, 2013: notification of the decision to the authors.

Organizing committee
Catherine Bernié-Boissard,, Geography, Université de Nîmes, UMR 5281 ART-Dev, Université Montpellier 3
Claude Chastagner,, Cultural Studies, EMMA, EA 741 Etudes anglophones, Université Montpellier 3
Dominique Crozat,, Geography, UMR 5281 ART-Dev, Université Montpellier 3
Laurent-Sébastien Fournier,, Ethnology, EA 3260 CENS, Université de Nantes

Scientific Committee
Valérie Arrault, Professor, visual arts, Montpellier
Jean-Pierre Augustin, Professor, geography, Bordeaux
Alain Bertho, Professor, anthropology, Paris
Dominique Chevalier, Lecturer, geography, Lyon
Paul Claval, Professor, geography, Paris
Robert Deliège, Professor, anthropology, Université Catholique de Louvain
Guillaume Faburel, Professor, urbanism, Lyon
Isabelle Garat, Lecturer, geography, Nantes
Peter Geschiere, Professor, anthropology, Amsterdam
David Giband, Professor, geography, Perpignan
Yves-Charles Grandjeat, Professor, American literature, Bordeaux
Aline Hémond, Lecturer, anthropology, Paris
David Howard, Lecturer, geography, Oxford
Régis Keerle, Lecturer, geography, Rennes
André Micoud, Research Director, CNRS, Saint-Etienne
Emmanuel Négrier, Research Director, CNRS, Montpellier
Dorothy Noyes, Professor, English and Comparative Studies, Ohio State University
Claire Omhovère, Professor, Canadian literature, Montpellier
Jean-Noël Retière, Professor, sociology, Nantes
Matthieu Remy, Lecturer, French Literature, Nancy

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