Fluid-e (NYU, April 17-18 2020)

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
NYU Department of French
contact email: 


A Graduate Student Conference
NYU Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture April 17-18, 2020

Fluid, from the Latin fluere meaning “to flow,” is that which is unfixed, changing, with fluctuating perimeters. From the physical -- bodies of water, blood, tears -- to the immaterial -- identity expression, linguistic practices -- fluidity defines multiple facets of our existence. Indeed, we live in a constant state of flux. Our increasing interconnectedness through information and communication technologies and collaborating global markets has led to stricter sanctions on borders and how we can cross them. The result is an oscillating push and pull between rigidity and fluidity. In French Studies, the debates around Francophonie, literary categories, and appellations for cultural productions – how they should be labeled, taught, and circulated – have resulted in broader, all-encompassing terminology which, some argue, risks effacing their specificity. What can an investigation of the fluid bring to our understanding of what is fixed and what is in motion? How do discourses, practices, representations, works of literature, music, or cinema explore the possible tensions produced by attempting to articulate stability or fluidity? How do notions of fluidity or rigidity influence style and form in literature, musical genres, or artwork?

The doctoral students of the Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture at New York University are pleased to invite doctoral students in French and Francophone Studies to submit paper proposals relating to the theme “fluid-e.”

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Humoral systems and bodily fluids

  • The elements (air, water, fire, earth, etc.) and Heraclitean cosmologies

  • Gender and sexual identities

  • Identities in flux, trans-identities

  • Linguistic fluency and disfluency

  • Flow, prosody, poetry, rap, style

  • Fluid and fixed distinctions between literary genres or categories

  • Fluid mechanics, kinematics, speed, velocity

  • Global capitalism, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), global social

    movements (e.g. The Internationals, alter-globalization, Global Justice Movement,


  • Fluid and fixed environments: waterways, archipelagos, infrastructures, bridges,

    roads, tunnels, rivers, checkpoints, borders, etc.

  • Migrations, territories, and rigid opposition to the movement (of people, goods, capital,

    data, ideas)

Abstracts of 250-300 words, in either French or English, may be sent to fluid.e.gradconf@gmail.com before November 15th. Proposals should engage in some way with French-language works, themes or traditions. Decisions will be communicated no later than December 15th.