Words in Action February 19, 2011

full name / name of organization: 
University of Oxford French Postgraduate Conference

Oxford University French Postgraduate Conference Saturday February 19, 2011

Plusieurs fois vint un Camarade, le même, cet autre, me confier le besoin d'agir : que visait-il [...] qu'entendait-il expressément ?

Stéphane Mallarmé, 'L'Action restreinte'

What kinds of things are we are doing when we use words? Bodily, sensually, emotionally, cognitively, what kind of happening is it that language produces? How do acts of creation relate to acts of reading? How are we to understand the interactions that occur between text, image, sound, and movement? What does literary, poetic, theatrical, or cinematic language do in cultural, social, or political terms?
'Words in Action' seeks to inspire debate on the experience of language as action and event, on the dynamics of the creative and receptive processes. It probes the relationship between linguistic experience/experimentation and:
embodied, sensual, affective, or cognitive experience
the production of new states of consciousness and new realities
the exertion of cultural, social, and political power

This conference invites discussion as to how one kind of action – physiological, affective, cognitive, cultural, socio-political – relates to another. From Medieval, to Early Modern, to Modern French Studies, we envisage that topics could include:

- the event

- performativity

- performance

- the writing/reading subject

- the text and the senses

- embodied knowledge

- ephemeral art forms: conversations, happenings, improvisations

- print and performance

- enunciation: sound, speech, and listening

- affect and emotion

- thought and style

- quarrels, disagreements, debates

- inaction, regressive action

- recordings, archives, inscriptions

- the construction of social identities

- agency

- the act of remembering, cultural memory

- historical narratives

- the staging of historical events

- passage à l'acte: content, style, and form of engaged writing

- political and legal action

The conference organizers invite 250 word abstract submissions in French or English on any aspect of Words in Action. Send abstracts and queries to wordsinaction2011@gmail.com by October 22, 2010.