New Treatments of the Figure in Literature and the Visual Arts

Anca Baicoianu's picture
Call for Papers
November 11, 2016 to November 12, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Composition & Rhetoric, Cultural History / Studies, Film and Film History, Literature

Call for Applications

The International Conference New Treatments of the Figure in Literature and the Visual Arts

Center of Excellence in Image Studies (CESI), University of Bucharest

November 11-12, 2016, Bucharest, Romania

Deadline for submissions: April 15, 2016

In the last decades, new ways of approaching the figurality of the figure (Barbara Johnson) have become increasingly visible across disciplines and research fields. Recent lines of investigation in art history and historiography, literary studies and media studies, phenomenology and aesthetics are gradually bringing to the fore an intermedial concept of figure by means of which images and linguistic constructions can be analyzed as complex and variable configurations of human experience. At the same time, various treatments of the figure in literary and artistic practices are placing a new emphasis on its ambivalence and constitutive tensions, thus opening the way for innovative critical and creative uses.

We may argue, therefore, that the new treatments of the figure in contemporary literature and visual arts are indicative of a shift from an extensive regime of representation to an intensive regime of communication revealing the dynamic and relational aspect at work in the figural play (Laurent Jenny) of text and image. In an age of unprecedented proliferation and hybridization of expressive forms and media, tropology goes beyond the rhetorical and hermeneutical tradition towards an understanding of the figure as force and form, invention and convention, trace and resemblance. Building upon Lyotard’s figural and Louis Marin’s figurability, and exploring the theoretical suggestions offered by Barthes’ analysis of the obtuse meaning and Rancière’s account of the figures of history, the aim of this conference is therefore to invite reflection on the “dual and paradoxical” (Philippe Dubois) identity of the figure in today’s theoretical discourse and artistic practice.

For the conference program we welcome original contributions on, but not limited to, the following topics:

● figural force, figurability, and the work of figurability

● disfiguring: aesthetic theory, artistic practice

● mediality, intermediality, transmediality: the figural play

● figures in/of space, figural spaces

● con-figurations: dynamics and plasticity

● displaced/displacing figures

Scientific Committee:

Prof. Sorin Alexandrescu, University of Bucharest

Prof. Barbara Baert, KU Leuven

Prof. Éric Marty, Paris Diderot University – Paris 7

Prof. Bertrand Rougé, University of Pau and the Adour Region

Asst. Prof. Sjoerd van Tuinen, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Prof. Bart Verschaffel, Ghent University

Prof. Alessandra Violi, University of Bergamo

Organizing Committee:

Dr. Laura Marin, Dr. Anca Băicoianu, Dr. Vlad Ionescu, Dr. Andrei Lazăr, Ms. Alexandra Irimia, PhD Candidate, Ms. Alina Vlad, PhD Candidate (members of the research project “Figura – Body, Art, Space, Language”, University of Bucharest)

Paper proposals (title + a 1500 characters abstract in English or French) should be submitted by email to by April 15, 2016, to the attention of Laura Marin on behalf of the Organizing Committee. Please include a 350 characters bio note with your name, institutional affiliation, email, and research interests.

A selection of the conference proceedings will be published in 2017 as an edited volume in the CESI “Text and Image” series issued by Bucharest University Press.

Contact Info: 

Dr. Laura Marin, CESI

Dr. Anca Baicoianu, CESI