Communitas. Words of the Common, Words of Community

Philippe Theophanidis's picture
November 15, 2018 to November 17, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Communication, French History / Studies, Philosophy, Political Science
Communitas: Words of the Common, Words of Community
CCC International Conference and 2018 SFLGC Congress
Maison Internationale de la Recherche, Cergy-Neuville, November 15-17, 2018

– Presentation of the event and scientific objectives:
After its 2016 conference in Paris, “Images of Community,” which interrogated visual representations (and the very idea of representability) of the common, and in anticipation of a future conference that will interrogate the rhythms, gestures and movements of community (2019), the CCC network (Community of Researchers on Community), in collaboration with the SFLGC (French Society of General and Comparative Literature), announces the call for papers for an international conference entitled “Communitas: Words of the Common, Words of Community,” which deals with the role of language (both in written and oral forms) in aspirations to community.

How of being together – what words can capture and transmit the experience? How can poetics express the effervescence of a community coming into being, and maintain this effervescence once this moment has passed? There is no doubt that the enthusiasm of being together breeds and stimulates a prodigious and creative verbal force. Chants of hope, poems, slogans, speeches, novels, films, and performances (among other forms of expression) manifest and communicate the outpouring resulting from the meeting of beings gathered in an organic entity that suddenly becomes aware of itself. This consciousness is lived with extraordinary intensity, and people very quickly feel the need to celebrate this excitement and wonderful sensitivity.

Our aim is therefore to analyze, in their multiple dimensions (in particular literary, aesthetic, linguistic, historical, anthropological and political), the verbal manifestations of community, both in artistic forms (poetry, theater, novel, but also possibly cinema, song, performance, etc.), and also outside of them – for example, aesthetic or linguistic analyses of the event and advent of community in calls, demonstrations, uprisings, revolutions, etc. would also be welcome. Presenters may focus on any period or culture, though our preference is for truly comparative perspectives, or perspectives that seek to theorize and generalize their results on the basis of particular examples.

–Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- the different meanings of the word community ​​(historical and philological perspectives) and their consequences on the understanding of the notion;
- how do local, national and international communities compare?
- epics, legends and myths about the issue of Community production, yesterday and today;
- “common types”: which literary or linguistic forms are more apt to speak the Community and why?
- the words of the absent Community, disappointed attempts or hopes, more specifically within individualistic societies;
- Community and gender: masculine, feminine, queer communities...
- the words of communitarianism: narrow version of the common or form of contemporary vitality of communal affects?
- “communist” works (their ambitions, their failure and success, their limits)
- the common today, in the digital and transmedia era. The meaning of “communities” of users. Their relationship to the common.
- how to express a Francophone or Anglophone community, a postcolonial community?

The symposium will be held over two and a half days at the International Research House (MIR) of the Paris-Seine University on the Neuville campus of the University of Cergy-Pontoise (40 minutes from Paris on the RER A train).

Presentations (20 min + discussion) may be conducted in French, English, or Portuguese. Video projection equipment will be available. The conference is open to anyone wishing to attend. PhD students in comparative literature are particularly encouraged to submit a presentation.

–Confirmed keynote speakers:
Jean-Luc Nancy, philosopher: opening lecture - Thursday, November 15
Antoine Volodine, novelist

The scientific committee of the conference is composed of Anne Duprat, president of the SFLGC, Jean-Marc Moura (UPONLD- Nanterre), Xavier Garnier (UPSC- Paris 3), Sebastien Hubier (U. of Reims), Thierry Tremblay (University of Malta ), Nathalie Wourm (Birkbeck University, London), Cory Stockwell (Bilkent University, Turkey), Carlos Garrido (University of Lisboa) and Rémi Astruc (Paris-Seine University, Cergy)

The organizing committee (Paris-Seine University, Cergy) consists of Louis Nana, Mylène Charon, Abderrahmane El Yousfi, Sylvie Brodziak, Benoit Humbert, Catherine Lesaffre, Claude Coste and Rémi Astruc.

– Agenda:
The deadline for submissions is 01/06/2018.

Participants will be notified of decisions by 30/06/2018.
Conference website:

The event is funded by the Research group Agora, the Institute for Advanced Studies of Paris-Seine University, the SFLGC.
Contact Info: 

Rémi Astruc, Professeur de littérature comparée et littératures francophones, Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

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