Writing Space or the Space of Writing: the (non-)lieux of Francophone literatures

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Eric Wistrom / MMLA
contact email: 

In Écrire l’espace, Marie-Claire Ropars-Wuilleumier wrote that “la notion d’espace littéraire implique une double équation, suivant laquelle la littérature, en son désœuvrement, relève de l’espace, en même temps que l’œuvre littéraire, de par la singularité de son écriture, devient apte à engendrer ce en quoi elle s’inscrit.” Fragmentary in its composition, the spatial metaphor of writing implies a certain ontological paradox: being engendered by the author’s enunciation, the text is at once situated within the spatial imaginary while tandemly being the cause of spatial genesis. This ambiguity is especially interesting in the study of Francophone literatures, with the act of writing being seen as both a privileged space of intellectual contestation and a symbol of errancy and exile. In thus keeping with this year’s MMLA convention theme of “Duality, Doubles and Doppelgängers”, papers interrogating the complex relationships between various notions of writing space/s will be of particular interest. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Relationships between writing and spatial schematization
  • Metaphors of spatiality and transnational movement; migration and exile
  • Localization of culture and the faculties of writing (sub)national memory

Please submit a 300-word abstract and short biography to Eric Wistrom at wistrom@wisc.edu by April 15, 2019. Papers may be in either English or French.