CFP: L'exception francaise: Negotiating Identity in the French National Imaginary (grad) (3/1/06; 11/2/06-11/3/06)

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French & Francophone Studies Graduate Student Conference
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L?exception française: Negotiating Identity in the French National Imaginary
November 2 and 3, 2006
University of California, Los Angeles

We are pleased to announce our annual conference with keynote speakers
Dudley Andrew and Kristin Ross (Yale University) (New York University)

The term l?exception française originally conveyed the belief that the
demand for human rights and social welfare was unique in its insight
and place in French national culture. Yet the term has since given way
to contentious notions of cultural purity, resistance to the perceived
effacement of French culture and criticism of supposedly ?foreign?
intrusions within that culture. Current events such as the EU
referendum and rioting have only added to the debate surrounding the
term and its usefulness: today, Dominique de Villepin is as much a
proponent of the exception française as Jean-Marie Le Pen.

In order to consider the meaning, manipulation and treatment of
l?exception française over time, our conference aims to open up
discussion about the role it has had and continues to play in concepts
of French culture. How does it function in approaches to French
literature and the arts? How does its attendant problematic of identity
expand or limit the French imagination? How have writers, artists and
policymakers adapted to work within its tradition over time?
Similarly, what voices have been challenged, adopted or silenced in the
name of the cultural purity that often underlies this idea? Thinking of
authors, artists and theorists from Rousseau to Delacroix, Fanon to
Derrida, we would like to examine how l?exception française impacts
cultural production and dissemination, as well as social acceptance.

We are pleased to welcome two keynote speakers who take an
interdisciplinary approach to their study of French culture. Dudley
Andrew is Professor of Film Studies and Comparative Literature at Yale
University. His books include Mists of Regret: Culture and Sensibility
in Classic French Film and the recently published Popular Front Paris
and the Poetics of Culture, co-authored with Stephan Ungar. Kristin
Ross is Professor of Comparative Literature at New York University. She
is the author of Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the
Reordering of French Culture, May ?68 and its Afterlives as well as the
co-editor with Andrew Ross of a 2004 collection of essays on

Please send 250 word abstracts (in French or English via email to by March 1, 2006. Possible paper topics may relate
the exception française to the following:

? Theories of literary/visual/cinematic production
? Theories of language and translation
? Theories of national identity/imaginary
? Definition and use of the concept in different literary and
historical epochs
? Dissemination (e.g. packaging, marketing) of French literature, art and film
? Canon formation, past and present ? Negotiation(s) of
multiculturalism in French literature, art and film
? Intersections of French domestic/ foreign policy and cultural production
? Contradictions among French cultural policy, communities, and politics
? Anti-Americanism and l?exception culturelle

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Received on Mon Jan 16 2006 - 14:39:52 EST