oulipo@50 October 5-8, 2011

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University at Buffalo - SUNY
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OULIPO@50 [ L'Oulipo à 50 ans ]
North American International Colloquium on Oulipo, the last continental avant-garde.
On November 24, 1960, the French writer Raymond Queneau and the mathematician François Le Lionnais organized an informal literary group based on the need to rationalize literary creativity by observing a set of established rules or patterns as was commonly done in the scientific world. The confidential gathering became an official group of the Collège de 'Pataphysique on February 13, 1961 under the name "Oulipo – Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle [Workshop of Potential Literature]". In August 1961 the newly established group proposed its First Manifesto and Oulipian works began to be published under that label at the end of the year. Oulipo is now in its 50th year of official existence.
The International Colloquium « OULIPO@50» organized by the University at Buffalo – SUNY and the international e-zine Arcade/Formules marks the 50th anniversary of the official foundation of this French vanguard literary movement which expanded into many other artistic areas all over the world. The colloquium will take at the same time as the MSA 13 Conference. In parallel, the world renowned Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Buffalo will open an "Oulipo" show, the first of this type in the world in which never before exhibited documents related to the history of the group will be on display.
This North-American Colloquium will encourage the dialogue between invited Oulipo writers and their readers, both long followers of the group and new readers. The colloquium and the exhibit at the Karpeles will chronicle the development of the Oulipo, from its inception in the early 60's to today as it has evolved through the different periods. The discussions will offer a historical prospective on Oulipo and elaborate how the work of the group fits among the twentieth century literary and artistic movements. Since the event takes place in North America, it will also be the occasion to emphasize the interconnections between Oulipo and the English speaking world and the links that exist with past and current artistic and literary movements that mark North American modernity.
Other aspects that can be examined are:
 Is the Oulipo an avant-garde ? History and tradition.
 Reinventing literary genealogy for our own contemporaneity.
 Lisibility/visibility of constraints.
 Oulipian experiments facing new media and e-poetics.
 Mathematics and literature: algorithms/multiplicities/topologies/combinatorics.
 Public performance and artistic installations: Oulipo and the city scene.
 Oulipo as intertextual games.
 Potential intervention in the popular arts (cinema, comics, music, street performance, etc.).
 Oulipian novels : today and yesterday.
 The group and internationalism : foreign members, translations, world diffusion, affiliation, fellows travelers, multilingual productions.
 Is there a theory in Oulipo (combinatorics, constraints, art of memory, topology, etc.)?

The SUNY –University at Buffalo colloquium on Oulipo will take place from October 5th to October 8th, 2011, in the Hyatt-Regency downtown Buffalo in conjunction with the MSA 13 Conference: http://msa.press.jhu.edu/conferences/msa13/index.html.
Proposals for papers are hereby invited. Papers are allotted 20 minutes for presentation followed by 10 minutes for discussion. Please submit your abstract (400 words max.) stating the title of the paper, name(s) and affiliation(s) of the author, and email address, to: oulipo50@yahoo.com

Deadline for abstracts: April 15, 2010. Selected papers will be published.
Conference organisers: Camille Bloomfield (Université de Paris 8 – Vincennes Saint-Denis - France), Marc Lapprand (Université de Victoria - Canada), Jean-Jacques Thomas (University at Buffalo – SUNY, revue Arcade / Formules - USA).