CFP - Siblings in French and Francophone Literature (deadline September 30, 2020 - NeMLA 2021 Philadelphia)

Eléonore Bertrand's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
September 30, 2020
Location: 
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
French History / Studies, Humanities, Literature, Psychology, Women's & Gender History / Studies

This panel will explore natural ties through siblings and twins, and go on to analyze “fraternité,” the metaphorical bond through friendship. We also open the discussion to cloning as a mutable metaphor of societal institutions in crisis in which men’s creation of clones depicts the repugnance of the flesh leading to sexless creatures. Presentations in English or French.

Recently, scholars on Sibling Studies such as Giulia Calvi, Carolina Bultrach-Jelín, and Claudie Bernard have moved away from an older and more established historiography in which the family model constitutes a foundation for society. By shifting from verticality (patriarchal hierarchy) to horizontality (equal relations), our perspective of fraternal relations changes. They become vulnerable. This panel will explore natural ties through siblings and twins, and go on to analyze “fraternité,” the metaphorical bond through friendship. We also open the discussion to cloning as a mutable metaphor of societal institutions in crisis in which men’s creation of clones depicts the repugnance of the flesh leading to sexless creatures.

Protagonists such as Paul and Élisabeth in Cocteau’s Les enfants terribles are either orphans or come into the fiction as fully-formed, adult characters in Flaubert’s Bouvard et Pécuchet for instance. They try to seek solace in their peers, be it through incest or various forms of homosociality. Scholar Sara Ahmed reminds us that life is not always linear and that it leads us to what she calls “the drama of life” which can be melancholic and tragic or farcical and amusing. But the malaise remains the same and these slightly outdated heroes are still profoundly meaningful today, when social and sexual norms are constantly redefined.

We welcome abstracts in all humanities and social studies disciplines as well as all time periods. Presentations in English or French will strictly be limited to a reading time of 20 minutes (8-10 pages). MLA-style abstracts of no more than 250 words must be submitted by September 30th. Please include if any A/V requirements will be needed.

Contact Info: 

Eléonore Bertrand, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor

La Salle University

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