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SFPS Monthly Mailing: January 2012

6th January 2012

1.1 Crafts of World Literature
1.2 Post-Empire Imaginaries? Anglophone Literature, History and the Demise of Empires
1.3 Doing research on and in Algeria: methodologies, research agendas, practical issues
1.4 Colloque : «Pour le peuple, par le peuple contre le peuple : l’imaginaire social du peuple dans les littératures francophones d’Afrique subsaharienne, du Maghreb et de la Caraïbe»

Calls for contribution
2.1 Abdelkebir Khatibi, intersigne


New titles
3.1 ADAPTATION: Studies in French and Francophone Culture


1.1 Crafts of World Literature

Faculty of English, University of Oxford, 28th-30th September 2012

Confirmed speakers and participants include: Timothy Brennan, Derek Attridge, Amit Chaudhuri, Priyamvada Gopal, Nicholas Harrison, Elleke Boehmer, Peter McDonald

It is a staple of the literary criticism produced in the wake of decolonization that the formalism and aestheticism of metropolitan art can have no place in literatures of struggle. Yet, in one literary manifesto after another, amongst the aims set down by writers of decolonization, one finds asserted the desire for new, or at least different ways of writing and seeing; the desire, that is, for different modes, styles, techniques,voices and rhythms. In a word, what is aimed at is a new literary *material*, to be forged through labour on those received local practices of speaking and writing, and those literary materials introduced and constituted during the colonial process.

Through this conference, we seek to realign the ways in which we read and respond to postcolonial and world literature, fixing at the centre of our critical practices a close attention to techniques and crafts of writing.

In so doing we are asking presenters not to turn away from political and social considerations or to return to unhistorical formalisms, but rather to explore ways of reading that overcome the apparent antinomy between literary technique and historical content. For, however much we remain committed to the immediate – which is not to say unmediated – experience of literary works as the starting point for analysis; and however strongly we agree with the description of a world literary space characterized by trans-national movements; we remain convinced of two things: first, the need to locate works in relation to those particular (and often non-metropolitan) fields and materials from which they have arisen and which they have attempted, line by line, to refashion; and second, the need for an orientation towards the world, which is to say, towards those social, political and existential projects that have stimulated the authors with whom we are concerned as well as the formation of postcolonial studies itself.

Although we recognize how necessary it has been for ‘commonwealth’, ‘postcolonial’, and now a revived notion of ‘world’ literary studies to open up criticism to new contexts and traditions, we cannot ignore the limitations placed on our critical and pedagogical practices by discourse analysis and thematic reading, ideological critique and deconstruction. Narrowly concerned with presence and absence, inversion and subversion, appropriation, undermining and writing back, and a relentless focus on representation and the politics of identity, our field has become burdened by concepts whose weight grows in inverse proportion to their substance.

The time has undoubtedly come then for us to re-think the language of literary analysis, making use where necessary of such disciplines as poetics, narratology, dramaturgy and stylistics whilst being prepared to develop new tools and new terms; to delimit those institutions and forces that have helped to constitute and structure literary communities; to interrogate claims for a blandly inclusive ‘world literature’; to examine the ways in which national fields are articulated with and by regional and supranational affiliations; and to return more rigorously to the relation between the decomposition of European empires and the development of literary practices of decolonization.

Papers may address, but are not restricted to, the following areas:

Close readings of works: we invite close readings of works which focus on the materials of writing, reflecting particularly on the manner in which stylistic, generic and formal decisions are situated within the dynamics of colonial, postcolonial and global literary communities, and their historical situations.

Institutions, fields, aesthetic communities: we invite discussion of the institutions which constitute and are constituted by literary cultures (publishers, writers groups, agents, curricula and schools, periodicals, prizes, legal structures etc); the literary fields of interaction, influence and relational position-taking from which works emerge; and the communities of sensibility within which works are judged and achieve distinction.

Situating the materials of literature and the tools of literary criticism:
we invite discussion of the materials of literary practice – poetics, narrative form, genre, modes of figuration, lexicons etc. – and the tools of analysis which are used to discuss these practices – stylistics, prosody, narratology etc. – as well as the manner in which such materials and tools are transformed by local literary demands and the political and social projects of writers and critics (or lack thereof).

Decolonization and literary practice: we invite consideration of the emergence of literary communities from colonial and neo-colonial processes, and the ways in which writing practices carry forward wishes for sovereignty, autonomy, and the establishment of new centres of cultural gravity, whether national or otherwise.

Exile, Diaspora, Transnationalism, World Literature: we invite consideration of the complex of local, regional and international arenas within and between which writers move and operate, and which together constitute the larger field of ‘World Literature’.

Abstracts should be sent to<> by **February 29, 2012**

Convenors: Jarad Zimbler and Ben Etherington



1.2 Post-Empire Imaginaries? Anglophone Literature, History and the Demise of Empires
GNEL/ASNEL Annual Conference, Berne, May 18 – 20, 2012
Conveners: Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau, Prof. Dr. Virginia Richter

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Alfred Hiatt, Reader in Medieval Literature and Culture, Queen Mary,

University of London, U.K.

Donna Landry, Professor of English and American Literature,

University of Kent, U.K.

Ann Stoler, Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical

Studies, New School for Social Research, New York, U.S.A.

The topics of recent GNEL/ASNEL conferences have variously engaged with issues relating to spatiality, (dis)location and globalization. In the ensuing debates space and performance have proven to be important and extremely productive parameters for postcolonial theory and practice, but history has taken a backseat. While space continues to be an important parameter for postcolonial theory and practice, there is an increasing need to understand how the meanings of specific locations are constituted by the stories and histories woven around them, in other words, how spaces are the results of social and political interaction in time. To disregard the historical dimension of space is to divest it of its specificity. Against the trend advocating the spatial turn, we therefore propose to reconsider historicity as a central, and indispensable, aspect of postcolonial studies. The term ‘post-empire’ has been chosen to provide a sharper definition to an otherwise almost limitless field and to critically reflect upon the amount of nostalgia and commodified yearning that is still attached to the idea of empire, despite decades of cutting-edge postcolonial scholarship and theorizing.

At the same time, however, ‘empire’ allows to explore the most diverse resonances, from Hardt and Negri’s Neo-Marxist model of a limitless global ‘imperium’ to specific historical formations. In the context of postcolonial studies, the British Empire will constitute the nodal point of the conference; however, we want to open up the discussions for comparative approaches. By linking ‘post-empire’ to its ‘imaginaries’, we want to stress not only the historical and geographical variability, but the variety of creative and psychological engagements with the idea of empire. Empire has a concrete material side, connected with bioprospecting, trade, linguistic and cultural domination, but it is also a site of imaginary social creation, of desire and anxiety, of fictions and fantasies.

Sections can include:
 comparative views of empire: the afterlife of the Imperium Romanum in modern discourse, competitive imperialisms from the early modern period to the nineteenth century (Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, British imperial expansion), Neo-Imperialism (USA, China)

 material imperialism: scientific voyages, bioprospecting, the exchange of material goods in the service of the empire; mercantile empires and trading companies; the transformation of indigenous flora and fauna, agriculture and economy in the interests of imperial trade

 ‘the Empire writes back’: postcolonial critiques, rewritings, and fusions of European discourses of empire

 post-empire heritage: marketing the British Empire, living history, nostalgic travelling, heritage films and fictions, imaginaries of the Raj, Victorian nostalgia, British Empire Shops, post-empire British cuisine

 theorising the Empire: the figurative dimension of Empire, transnational imaginaries, Empire and language, connections to World Literature and Cosmopolitanism

The conference will include workshops on the intersections of Anglophone literature, history and the demise of empires in teaching and research in secondary and tertiary education. It will also provide the opportunity to present work in progress on all levels of academic qualification in the “under construction” and poster sessions.
Please send abstracts of papers (20 min., 200 words), proposals for organizing one of the

workshops, or suggestions for the presentation of work in progress to
Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau and Prof. Dr. Virginia Richter
English Department

University of Bern

Länggassstrasse 49

CH-3012 Bern



The call for papers will close on January 31, 2012.
Speakers at the ASNEL conference from Austria, Germany and Switzerland are required to apply for ASNEL membership and pay their membership dues before they can be included in the conference programme. This does not apply to keynote speakers and other invited speakers, to representatives beyond Postcolonial, English or American Studies, and participants of the Under Construction workshops.


1.3 Doing research on and in Algeria: methodologies, research agendas, practical issues



University of Portsmouth, Francophone Research Group

Centre for European and International Studies Research

Wednesday 2 May 2012
In a broad range of academic disciplines, from French Studies and Cultural Studies through to Politics, History and International Relations, Algeria has become a real focus of study at MA, DPhil and PhD level. Taking as our starting point this growing scholarly interest amongst postgraduate and professional researchers alike, this workshop will reflect upon the diverse methodologies that can be used to study Algerian history, politics, society and culture, as well as the practical issues involved in researching Algeria. Within a broad context, this workshop will also examine the numerous, often overlapping, research agendas which form the foundation for academic studies on Algeria.
The study day will begin with a keynote introduction by Dr Natalya Vince. Based on her extensive experience, Dr. Vince will discuss practical aspects of conducting fieldwork in Algeria, offering advice which will be equally valuable for postgraduates nearing the end of their studies, those somewhere in the middle, and those just embarking upon – or even considering doing – a PhD on Algeria. The study day will conclude with a roundtable discussion led by Professor Martin Evans, author of numerous works of Algerian history, including Algeria: France’s Undeclared War (OUP: 2011).
The workshop will also provide the opportunity for postgraduate researchers to consider their own research and receive feedback from fellow postgraduates and experts in the field. Therefore, we invite postgraduates at all stages of their research, from masters’ students considering doctoral research to final year PhD students preparing for their Viva, to submit proposals for 20 minute research papers on any aspect of Algerian history, politics, society and culture. Papers can reflect upon research findings as well as methodological approaches and practical questions associated with researching Algeria. Our theme is not exclusive to subject and we welcome proposals from a wide variety of disciplines including international relations, history, geography, politics, economics, sociology and religious, gender, literary, cultural, film and media studies.

Proposals for papers should be no longer than 250 words and sent to by Friday 3 February 2012.



1.4 Colloque : «Pour le peuple, par le peuple contre le peuple : l’imaginaire social du peuple dans les littératures francophones d’Afrique subsaharienne, du Maghreb et de la Caraïbe»

Appel de communications

Université de Montréal • Université Concordia

11-12 mai 2012

La littérature et le peuple font-ils bon ménage ? Ce que lit le peuple, est-ce de la littérature ? La littérature qui nous parle du peuple, quelle image de cet objet de son discours nous renvoie-t-elle ? Il est bien connu que les institutions ont depuis longtemps tracé une frontière entre la littérature «lettrée» et celle dite «populaire». Cependant, ces deux champs participent également à la production de l’imaginaire social et il y a lieu de se demander, à l’heure où l’on clame incessamment la nécessité des états du monde entier de cheminer dans les voies de la démocratisation, de quelles manières ces deux sphères du littéraire convoquent «le peuple». Les représentations du «monde d’en bas» se transforment-elles lorsque «les masses» prennent la parole au lieu de s’en remettre à quelques porte-parole issus de la haute société et qui sont censés s’exprimer au nom de ceux qui n’ont pas de voix ?

De telles questions ont déjà été traitées de divers points de vue par différentes approches disciplinaires mais elles méritent d’être examinées de près dans le champ spécifique des littératures francophones d’Afrique subsaharienne, de la Caraïbe et du Maghreb où les enjeux ne sont pas les mêmes. Il existe en effet dans ces littératures un corpus d’oeuvres appartenant aux genres populaires et comme ailleurs il été rapidement marginalisé par la critique littéraire institutionnelle. Qu’à cela ne tienne : l’on assiste actuellement à l’émergence d’une production accrue de romans ainsi rangés dans une certaine marge des canons littéraires en vigueur et, parallèlement, d’un lectorat populaire croissant, dans ces espaces francophones. En même temps, il n’y a pas que cette plus grande importance quantitative qui fait de ce corpus un objet méritant que la critique s’y intéresse de plus près. En effet, il s’avère que ces textes qu’on range dans des «sous-genres» comme le roman policier, le roman sentimental, le roman exotique, la science-fiction, etc., procèdent en fait à la modification de bon nombre des paramètres de ces genres populaires de sorte qu’on aboutit à des textes qui transgressent à la fois les conventions de ces genres et celles des canons littéraires dominants. Il semble ainsi probable que ces genres transgressent également les modalités antérieures de représentation de ce peuple lui-même, devenu lecteur sinon auteur d’une littérature dont il peut désormais être sujet et objet.

L’objectif du colloque sera donc de s’interroger sur ces constructions diverses de l’imaginaire social du peuple tel que traduit dans les littératures orales et écrites des régions ayant le français en héritage de l’époque coloniale. Lorsqu’une oeuvre est destinée à un lectorat populaire, quel langage emploie-t-elle pour parler à ce «peuple» de lui-même ? Autrement dit, quand on quitte le champ de la production restreinte pour évoluer dans l’espace des formes hybrides, transgressives, ou encore dans celui de la production dite «paralittéraire», les représentations des classes et de la culture populaires, le discours déployé pour parler du peuple au peuple sont-ils encore les mêmes ? Quand l’oeuvre littéraire s’ouvre à un lectorat plus large, se rapproche de «la masse», assiste-t-on pour autant à la textualisation de discours et représentations créés «par le peuple pour le peuple» ?

Les propositions de communication d’environ 250 mots, accompagnées d’une brève notice bio-bibliographique, devront parvenir au plus tard le 15 janvier 2012 à l’adresse suivante

Blog :

Comité organisateur : Françoise Naudillon, Christiane Ndiaye, Josias Semujanga

Responsable : Françoise Naudillon

Url de référence :




2.1 Abdelkebir Khatibi, intersigne

Edited by David Fieni and Laurent Dubreuil

Final Papers Submission Deadline: 30 June 2012

The predominance of the notion of the intersigne, as well as the articulation of an intersemiotic poetics, both of which animate the work of the late Moroccan writer, Abdelkebir Khatibi (1938-2009), prompts us to think about how his writing itself serves as a kind ofintersigne, meaning an inscription of différance between often disparate signifying practices (calligraphy, cinema, painting, tattoo, poetry, fiction, criticism, music, etc). This issue invites essays that explore the broad range of subjects represented in Khatibi’s work in all its variety and nuance. We are interested in articles that approach Khatibi from different angles (Khatibi and Islam, as art critic, as sociologist, etc), but also essays that consider the very paradigm articulated by Khatibi’s own writing practices (fluid, difficult, volatile, but always swaying to the movement of a vast undertow). How might we read these intersignatures?
The author himself invites us to read his own name as a sign caught somewhere between prescription and rupture in La mémoire tatouée (1971). This text initiates Khatibi’s life-long interactional experimentation with language, conceived as an “indestructible bond of separation” (lien indestructible de la séparation). While the 2008 publication, by Editions de la Différence, of Khatibi’s Oeuvres (in three volumes) certainly facilitates an overview of the author’s body of work, the challenge of reading Khatibi remains that of interpreting texts that foil closure, explode identity, trace self-erasure, and veer suddenly from established paths.
Contributors are invited to consider the following questions, which are intended to stimulate reflection on Khatibi’s work in relation to the broad theme articulated above, not to prescribe limits on submissions:

· How does his work function as an intersemiotic space for experimenting with ways that the local or the national articulate with the cosmopolitan or the transnational?

· How does the concept and practice of the intersigne (or other Khatibian terms, such as le bilangue) relate to other concepts used to describe the cultural politics and aesthetic inventions of postcolonial writing, such as hybridity, nomadism, contrapuntal critique, or creolization?

· How does Khatibi’s work navigate between the critical field of deconstruction and the more pragmatic demands of decolonization?

· How does Khatibi engage and transform the textual ethics of hospitality?
Potential authors are strongly encouraged to contact the co-editors of the issue before submission, in order to discuss their proposed articles: David Fieni ( and Laurent Dubreuil (
Articles should not exceed 40,000 characters, spaces included (approximately 6,000 words). Punctuation, footnotes, and references must conform with the journal’s norms:
Articles or requests for further information should be sent to the Chair of the Editorial Board at:
The journal’s Varia section maintains an open call for articles concerning Maghrebi cultures: literature, cinema, arts…


3.1 ADAPTATION: Studies in French and Francophone Culture

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2012. X, 224 pp., 1 ill.
Modern French Identities. Vol. 99
Edited by Peter Collier

pb. ISBN 978-3-0343-0222-7
CHF 50.00 / €(D) 38.00 / €(A) 39.10 / € 35.50 / £ 32.00 / US-$ 53.95
€(D) includes VAT – only valid for Germany  /  €(A) includes VAT – only valid for Austria

Originating in the conference held at the University of Cambridge in 2009, this collection of essays includes a range of innovative papers from across the diverse field of French and Francophone studies. From medieval texts to the dramatization of the novel, from postcolonial writing to the politics of film and the “bande dessinée”, the articles in this collection draw on recent developments in the theories of adaptation, translation, and cultural and textual transition. In keeping with these developments, they move the notion of adaptation away from questions of authenticity and fidelity, thinking instead about the movement across texts and time, and the way such movement generates new meanings. Offering insightful approaches to its subjects of study, the book is an engaging contribution to this growing area of research.


Neil Archer/Andreea Weisl-Shaw: Introduction: Theorizing Adaptation – Laurence Grove: Adapting the Image – Geoffrey Roger: The Adaptation of Scribal Practices in Medieval Burgundy: The Example of MS Glasgow Hunter 252 “Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles” – Andreea Weisl-Shaw: The Strengthening of the Frame in the “Fables Pierre Aufors” – Emilia Wilton-Godberfforde: Molière’s Dom Juan: The Trickster Transformed – Sotirios Paraschas: ‘La contrefaçon spirituelle’: Balzac and the Unauthorized Stage Adaptations of Novels – Geneviève de Viveiros: Theatrical Adaptations on the Parisian Stage during the Nineteenth Century: Debates, Disputes and Scandals in the Press – Peter Collier: Harold Pinter and Di Trevis in Search of Lost Text: The Theatrical Image of Proust – Claire Bisdorff : ‘Ecrivain ? Qu’est-ce qu’un écrivain ?’ “Oraliture” Translated in Maryse Condé’s “Traversée de la Mangrove” – Bart Miller: Adaptation to Colonialism in Paris: Damas’s “Pigments” – Anne Cameron: Adapting Imagery: The Seventeenth-Century English Translation of French Poetic Descriptions – Cécile Renaud: Hiding and Marketing Frenchness: Adapting the Promotion of French Films for British Audiences – Neil Archer: Attack of the Clones: Watching Stars Playing Stars in French Biopics – Ruth Morris: “Madame Bovary”: A Catastrophist Reading of Adaptation – Armelle Blin-Rolland: Voice in Adaptation: Tardi’s Illustration of Céline’s “Voyage au bout de la nuit” – Catriona McLeod: Adopting and Adapting: Ethnic Minority Women’s Quest for Identity in the “Bande Dessinée”.

Neil Archer holds a PhD in French cinema from the University of Cambridge. He is a Lecturer in Film Studies at Anglia Ruskin University.

Andreea Weisl-Shaw completed a PhD in medieval French and Spanish literature at the University of Cambridge, where she is a College Lecturer and Fellow in Modern Languages at Corpus Christi College.

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