Origins, theories and representations of disobedience and dissidence [22/10/2010 (CFP until 30/06/2010)]

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University of Toulouse Le Mirail, France
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Origins, theories and representations of disobedience and dissidence in the British Isles and Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment.
22 October 2010, University of Toulouse Le Mirail.
Research Centre: Cultures Anglo-Saxonnes, EA 180.

Language: English / French
Research areas: literature, history, history of ideas, history of art, philosophy, philology.
Period: Early Modern, Classic, Enlightenment in England, in Europe and in colonial America.

This one-day conference intends to gather researchers from different disciplines to share their views on the concepts of disobedience, dissent and dissidence; and their gradual rhetorical and political development during the Early Modern Era, and until the Enlightenment.
In The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, La Boétie states the necessity to question the distribution of power:

"Therefore, if the inhabitants of a country have found some great personage who has shown rare foresight in protecting them in an emergency, rare boldness in defending them, rare solicitude in governing them, and if, from that point on, they contract the habit of obeying him and depending on him to such an extent that they grant him certain prerogatives, I fear that such a procedure is not prudent, inasmuch as they remove him from a position in which he was doing good and advance him to a dignity in which he may do evil".

The need to create a regular cycle of power distribution emerges from this discourse and paves the way to the rise of the rhetoric of disobedience and dissent in Early Modern England and Europe. Following La Boétie, the conference will envisage the rhetorical and philosophical origins and the development of disobedience and dissent before assessing their political and aesthetic impact. However, as in La Boétie's text it will be also necessary to consider disobedience and dissidence in terms of obliqueness and paradoxes. This implies an emphasis on the development of both a mainstream and parallel culture of disobedience, dissent and its role in the economic and social evolution of the British Isles between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

Politics and religion
- disobedience, society and the rise of the individual
- disobedience and dissent: between tolerance and repression, crime and necessity
- religious dissent
- political exiles: distance and dissent
- dissent and diplomatic relations
Aesthetics and society: literature and the arts
- representing dissenters or rebels on stage, in chapbooks, pamphlets, pictorial arts…
- dissent as an aesthetic principle
- mythology and dissent: imitation and invention of mythical archetypes.
- the language of dissent
- counterfeiting as a form of dissent
- dissent and industry: printing as a form a dissenting industry.

Abstracts (250-500 words) to be sent to Nathalie Rivere de Carles ( by 30th June 2010.