Call for Papers: Society for Literature, Science, & the Arts

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on April 13, 2010

The 24th Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts
Indianapolis, 28-31 October 2010

Abstracts due by 15 April 2010

Submit 150-300 word abstract with title. Pre-organized panels for consideration can contain an additional summary paragraph along with proposed session title. Submit papers and register at http://www.litsci.org/slsa10/.

Topics can represent ANY work in litsci, history of science, philosophy of science, Science and Art, or science studies. SLSA conference programs have always represented the membership’s wide range of interests and research projects. We are particularly interested this year in submissions that might coordinate with a stream of sessions on “Ends of Life,” addressing issues in bioethics, medical humanities, literature and medicine, and Animality Studies, but this is an open topic conference, where a wide range of work will be welcome. All participants in the 2010 conference must be members of the Society for Literature Science and the Arts for 2010. For more information about SLSA, please visit the organization website at: www.litsci.org.

Site Coordinator: Richard Nash, Indiana University
Program Chair: Elizabeth Wilson, Emory University

Notification for Acceptance of Submissions: 1 August 2010

Recent Reviews for French Studies

Posted in books, reviews by Editor on April 13, 2010

Excerpts of recent reviews featured at the H-France website:

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H-France Review Vol. 10 (March 2010), No. 49

Raymonde Monnier, ed., À Paris sous la Révolution. Nouvelles approches de la ville. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2008. 221 pp. Notes. €25.00 (pb) ISBN 978-2-85944-596-6.

Review by Sydney Watts, University of Richmond.

Quoi de neuf sur la Révolution? Raymonde Monnier’s latest publication on Paris during the French Revolution stands out as a valuable collection of fresh ideas and illuminating scholarship, the ongoing work of a number of both young and well established historians from France and abroad. This plentiful compilation of groundbreaking research, taken from conference proceedings held at the Hôtel de Ville in October 2005, reveals the vitality of historical scholarship on this topic over the past two decades. Certainly, one would think after the flurry of publications following the bicentennial of 1789 that the subject of revolutionary Paris has been exhausted. Not so. In fact, the seventeen contributors to this collection open more historical terrain to the interested scholar than they close off.  While each essay is kept brief, close to its conference paper format, many of them point to burgeoning fields of study. These historians have left behind ideological debates to focus on new topics, original historical problems, and open-ended discussion.

The questions around which the conference focused point to the place of Paris under the Revolution, its role as a site of acculturation that transformed its citizens as much as the city was transformed by its citizens. These scholars look to Paris as the center of revolutionary activity, keeping in mind the historical change in material conditions, social life and economic activity. Many of them contend with the fact that Paris was a growing metropolis with its own urban problems that were further challenged under the revolution.  Other participants focus on the political culture that permeated urban life in ways that to a greater or lesser degree demonstrate what Parisians made of this revolutionary world. In turning to clearly delineated objects of study located in Paris (i.e., urban politics related to financing urban projects and policing the city, cultural venues such as the theatre and museums, city businesses such as construction, public transportation the meat trade, and examples of political culture as seen in sermons, engravings and Parisian academies) these scholars aim to untangle Paris from the Revolution writ large. As a result, instead of using Paris as a backdrop to this revolutionary period, Paris–its urban administration, economic life and political culture–is both the subject and object of this historical period. . . .

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H-France Review Vol. 10 (March 2010), No. 57

Stéphanie Loubère, L’Art d’aimer au siècle des Lumières. Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 2007: 11. Oxford: The Voltaire Foundation, 2007. 343 pp. Illustrations, footnotes, bibliography and index. $111 U.S./£65 U.K./€78 (pb). ISBN 978-0-7294-0917-9.

Review by Elena Russo, The Johns Hopkins University.

In this erudite, careful and thorough study, Stéphanie Loubère surveys and analyzes the surprisingly rich story of the translations and adaptations of Ovid’s “Art of Love” in eighteenth-century France. This is a story that is likely to interest the reader more for what it reveals about the vicissitudes of translating and adapting the classics, and for the role they continued to play in French letters throughout the Enlightenment, than for its potential to seduce the senses and captivate the amorous imagination. Indeed, the expectant reader is bound to be disappointed, for never has eroticism felt so dull, dogmatic and pedantic. Certainly, had Ovid written according to the spirit of his French translators, it is safe to assume that he would never have incurred disgrace, exile, or been accused of immorality. Like them, he would have lived and died in dignified obscurity.

Still, it was worth resurrecting those authors, if only for a moment, and we may agree with Loubère’s claim that a study of the minores is likely to yield some interest for those who wish to explore the intellectual context, or better yet, the rhetorical and argumentative underbelly, of libertine literature, from Crébillon to Laclos. As Loubère points out, both in the Augustan empire and in the ancien regime, writing careers were shaped on the benches of law schools; all of the arts of love, to a greater or lesser extent, deliberately parodied treatises on rhetorics, at a time when rhetorics could no longer find an outlet in the practice of politics. The boudoir, rather than the tribune, became the space in which the arts of persuasion were honed and refined. The same may be argued of the Middle Ages, of such works as André Le Chapelain’s “De Amore” in the twelfth century and Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meung’s “Romance of the Rose” in the thirteenth century. . . .

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H-France Review Vol. 10 (March 2010), No. 58

Michel Baridon. A History of the Gardens of Versailles. Translated by Adrienne Mason. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.  vii + 296 pp.  48 illustrations, notes, bibliography, and index. $55.00 U.S. (cl).  ISBN 978-0-8122-4078-8.

Alain Renaux. Louis XIV’s Botanical Engravings. Hampshire, England and Burlington, Vt: Lund Humphries, 2008. 144 pp.  70 illustrations, bibliography.  £30 UK. (cl).  ISBN 978-1-84822-000-3.

Review by Elizabeth Hyde, Kean University.

The last week of January 2009 saw the toppling of one of the last surviving trees planted for Marie Antoinette.  Since 1786 the beech tree had grown in the gardens of the Hameau, the queen’s pastoral retreat (just recently renovated) at Versailles. The tree had born witness to the collapse of the French monarchy and had survived the ambivalence felt towards Versailles and the royal gardens, symbols as they were of Bourbon rule, as France lurched right and left in search of political stability in the century afterwards. The beech had been weakened in the 1999 storms that devastated the gardens of Versailles (and forced a replanting on a scale not undertaken since the 1770s); January’s storm finished it off. Associated Press photos showed gardeners unceremoniously sawing up the arboreal remains of the ancien regime. (more…)

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