Gendered authorial corpographies

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Special Issue of ILLI - A Multilingual e-Journal of Literary Studies

Gendered authorial corpographies
Edited by Aina Pérez Fontdevila (Universitat autònoma de Barcelona) & Meri Torras Francès (Universitat autònoma de Barcelona)
Interférences littéraires / Literaire interferenties, no 21, November 2017

In the context of the renewed interest the figure of the author has received over the past years, the iconographic representation of the writer constitutes one of the most promising areas of research. Some important exceptions notwithstanding, gender studies remain underrepresented in contemporary debates on literary authority, even though feminist criticism has always been interested in the figure of the author. Drawing on this observation, this issue of Interférences littéraires / Literaire interferenties aims to investigate the gendered dimension of contemporary (20th and 21st century) iconographic and media representations of the writer's body, whether as figuration or as embodied apparition of the author. We would like to call these bodily representations 'corpographies'.

If 'to write is to enter the scene', as Valéry famously put it, a contemporary writer is inevitably submitted to mechanisms of celebrity mediatization. A crucial question in this respect is whether these mechanisms, and the representations they produce, function in the same way when depicting female or male bodies, or even bodies defying this binary logic and the traditional representations it entails. Put differently, what are the constraints and opportunities with regard to the representation and circulation of the body, of gender and of authority in authorial corpographies? Pursuing such questions, Ingo Berensmeyer, Gert Buelens and Marysa Demoor (2012) apply the work of Judith Butler to author studies in order to investigate how authority and gender are performed and naturalized as attributes of the body.
We would like to address these and similar questions through a) an analysis of corpographies in terms of such cultural binaries such as 'production-interiority-masculinity' / 'reproduction-corporality-femininity'; b) a discussion of their specificities in relation to gendered expectations, such as pauses and hesitations, clothes and appearance. Subject to interrogation are not only books, but also various other fields of cultural production, such as cinema, museums and publicity. All these contexts of mediation allow for an examination of the relations between gender stereotypes, textual ethos, posture and authorial scenography. It will also be useful to investigate how these relations are constructed in photography, film (both documentaries and fiction), interviews and other public appearances.

Articles addressing these questions can be written in German, English, Spanish, French, Italian or Dutch. Their length should be between 30 000 and 50 000 characters (including spaces and notes). Proposals are to be sent to Aina Pérez Fontdevila (, Meri Torras Francès (, Anke Gilleir ( and David Martens ( before June 25, 2016. Articles should include a summary of maximum 300 words, and a short bio-bibliography specifying the institutional affiliation of the author and his or her research fields. The selection of proposals will be announced on September 1, 2016. Completed articles are expected by January 1, 2017. The journal issue will be published in November 2017.

For a more detailed version of this CFP (in Spanish en French), see :