M/MLA Convention, Women in French I, Proposal deadline: June 8, 2013

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Midwest Modern Language Association
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Women in French I

Topic: Worth a Thousand Words: The Art and Artifice of the Photo-Text in Contemporary French and Francophone Women's Writing

For a number of contemporary French and Francophone women writers including Sophie Calle, Hélène Cixous, Annie Ernaux, Nathalie Gassel, Camille Laurens and Marie NDiaye, to name a few, the art of photography brings to the text its own set of complications and alternate readings. Yet it can be said that the photo-text offers an alternative mode of self-expression in relation to a number of thematic concerns that pertain especially to female-authored narratives today. This panel engages with the above-mentioned writers and others for whom photography, perhaps necessarily, enhances textual commentary on memory, trauma and sexuality. By opening a space that is both separate from, and yet dependent on, the written word, in what ways, and to what ends, does the image either confirm or contradict the textual frame? Does this photographic appendage illuminate, thus adhere to, or mask, thus depart from, the written word? Do photographs outvalue their textual counterpart? How might we contextualize these contemporary examples of photo-texts bearing in mind the increasing fluidity of private and public identities? Finally, does the space of photography serve to capture visually what words fail to represent or, conversely, do these visual components contradict the written word and offer another type of storytelling?

Please send 250-word proposals in English or French to Adrienne Angelo (ama0002@auburn.edu) along with presenter's academic affiliation and contact information June 8, 2013.

Membership of both Women in French and M/MLA required to present

Chair: Adrienne Angelo, Auburn University