Call for Papers | Global France, Global French

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 4, 2015

From H-ArtHist:

Global France, Global French
Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, 21–23 October 2015

Proposals due by 5 March 2015

Confirmed keynotes
Professor Dominic Thomas, University of California, Los Angeles
Professor Charles Forsdick, University of Liverpool

In the eyes of many, France was the centre of the world throughout the modern age. Home of the Revolution and the Rights of Man, heart of a vast colonial empire, capital of the literary, fashion and art worlds, France, and Paris in particular, was at once historical and mythical. Today, following upon a sequence of ‘turns’, from the postcolonial to the global, this centre has given way to multiple centres, to conflicting and complementary sites of physical, economic and cultural exchange. As France has transitioned from a colonial power to a central member of the European Union, it has been forced to negotiate immigration policies, the rise of political extremism and the growing unrest over the linguistic, cultural and spatial borders that divide French society. Debates about French national identity rage in political and cultural sectors: while some seek to bolster a weakened idea of ‘Frenchness’, others, for example the signatories of the 2007 Littérature-monde manifesto, aim to redefine or ‘world’ that identity.

Art work by Fabienne Verdier

Art work by Fabienne Verdier

At the same time, the ‘global turn’ in French studies has encouraged scholars to re-examine French literature, language, culture and history through a new, decentred perspective. Recent criticism in literature and history, for example, has returned to early modern literary texts and spaces as well as to major historical events like the French Revolution, exploring the ways in which these traditions and events were not determined in a cultural vacuum, but, as Peter Hulme has noted, ‘were the product[s] of constant, intricate, but mostly unacknowledged traffic with the non-European world’.

The goal of this colloquium is to offer an image of global France and global French, past, present and future. How have French culture and politics been shaped by encounters with European neighbours and with the non-European world? How do contemporary migratory patterns and networks between France and the wider world compare to historical ones? How have neo-colonial practices been reshaped by globalized markets and transnational capital? How have various art forms allowed for the articulation of displacement, community and solidarity throughout French history and into the global present? In short, is the global a new horizon, or one that we are just discovering?

Our aim is to generate an interdisciplinary discussion among colleagues in a wide range of fields, including literature, film, linguistics, cultural studies, history, art history, philosophy, music and digital humanities. Topics for papers/panels include but are not limited to:
• Global vs. local (cultures, histories, languages, art forms)
• Migration: patterns and networks
• Migration: language and policy
• The European Union and French national identity
• Multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic France/Paris
• Colonial, postcolonial, neo-colonial flows and encounters
• Translation among languages, cultures, media
• The circulation of bodies, capital, ideas, linguistic forms, art forms
• Borders: visible and invisible, inner and outer, real and imagined, linguistic and geopolitical
• Travel, tourism, trade
• Diasporas, past and present

Please send an abstract of 300 words and a CV (max 2 pages) to Leslie.Barnes@anu.edu.au. Papers can be in English or French. The deadline for abstracts is 5 March 2015.

Call for Papers | Re-imagining Childhood: Images and Objects

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 4, 2015

From H-ArtHist:

Re-imagining Childhood: Images, Objects and the Voice of the Child
Centre for the Study of Play and Recreation, University of Greenwich, 9 May 2015

Proposals due by 1 March 2015

The Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past
This conference aims to stimulate interdisciplinary debate on the question of what images and material objects can tell us about the subjective experience of being a child in the past. It will explore the ways in which non-written evidence—in particular that which comes under the heading ‘material culture’ and ‘visual culture’—can be used to open up new possibilities for the study of the history of childhood.

As Peter Stearns indicated in his “Challenges in the History of Childhood” (The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, 2008), no one interested in the importance of history as a way to understand the human condition, can ignore the importance of historical perspectives about childhood. The history of childhood has been shaped by the concerns of the world in which its historians live. Although the discipline that we understand today as ‘history of childhood’ is less than 100 years old, it is a field of growing interest, as reflected in the ever-greater number of publications dealing with the subject. Childhood and children are increasingly present on the bookshelves, in documentaries and in exhibitions, and there seems to be an almost inexhaustible consumption of the values and ideas that children and childhood represent. Thus we find ourselves at a fascinating time for considering what it is that adults seek in the image of the child. What attracts us? What disturbs us? What is at play in the gaze of the child?

One could claim that all histories written about children are related, in one way or another, to the book that is considered to represent the origin of the discipline: Centuries of Childhood (L’Enfant et la Vie Familiale sous l’Ancien Régime), which Philippe Ariès wrote in 1960. Ariès’ great success was to convince almost all his readers that childhood has a history and that, across time and in different cultures, both ideas about childhood and the experience of being a child have changed. While Aries’ evidence was wide-ranging, he has been much criticised for failing to subject it to proper scrutiny. In particular, he has been accused of ‘reading’ images too literally.  As a result, historians became very cautious about the use of non-written evidence which has only recently started to make a renewed and welcome impact. It is clear that most approaches to the history of childhood depend heavily on textual sources, but this approach can lead to a distorted understanding, in so far as many experiences of the past are not reflected in those texts. Other paths could be—and must be—explored.

Re-imagining Childhood attempts to go beyond this limitation by arguing that the history of childhood—or, at least, any history of childhood which purports to cover more than a limited historical period—is possible only through a multidisciplinary exercise that adds evidence from visual or material culture to the study of published sources. The study of the material and visual culture of childhood provides a way to contribute to a better understanding of earlier concepts of childhood. These additional sources also help us to tap into children’s experiences and they thereby serve as helpful tools in unravelling the ‘voice of the child’.

We welcome original studies that focus on any historical period, carried out within the arts and humanities or the social sciences, that shed light on the power of objects and images to bring children back into the history of childhood. An abstract of no more than 300 words for a 20-minute presentation, along with the title, name and affiliation, should be send to Leticia Fernández-Fontecha Rumeu (playandrecreation@greenwich.ac.uk) by March 1st. Applicants whose papers are accepted will be notified by March 15th.


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