London French Postgraduate Conference 2010
Wednesday 10th November 2010, IGRS, London
’[La femme] se détermine et se différencie par rapport à l’homme et non celui-ci par rapport à elle ; elle est l’inessentiel en face de l’essentiel. Il est le Sujet, il est l’Absolu : elle est l’Autre.’
Simone de Beauvoir, Le Deuxième sexe, 1949
In her seminal work of 1949, Le Deuxième sexe, Simone de Beauvoir defined the status of women in society as being that of ’l’Autre’. However, just as society has evolved and changed, so have our methods of understanding and analysing it ; with the emergence of subsequent waves of feminism and new forms of criticism, such as queer studies and postcolonial studies, new approaches to and conceptions of ’l’Autre’ have developed. The question is how far we have really come : sixty years on, to what extent – or how – are women defined by their ’otherness’ ? The hope of the world’s women standing in unity has been shattered by the alleged ethnocentrism and heterosexism of Western feminist movements, which creates its own Others : the Other’s Others. Consequently, how have notions of, and reactions to, ’l’Autre’ changed ? What groupings are formed by the reconfiguration of the Other, and what are the intersections and tensions between these different forms of ’otherness’ ? Finally, how is ‘l’Autre’ represented in different cultural mediums such as French and Francophone literature and film, television, journalism and the internet ?
With a view to examining the various conceptions of ’l’Autre’ and how they have evolved over time, we welcome proposals for twenty-minute papers on any aspect of the conference theme in relation to the French-speaking world. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to :
Othering of non-white/lesbian/disabled women in literature/theory/film
Representation of ’l’Autre’ by women from ’marginalised’ groups
Feminist/Postfeminist/Queer/Psychoanalytic/Postcolonial understandings of ’l’Autre’
’L’Autre’ in French/Francophone literature, film, art, culture, history, theory, philosophy or politics
French national identity and the Other (including debates about the Burka and the Niqab)
It is anticipated that a selection of papers from the conference will be published.
Please send abstracts (300 words max.) for twenty-minute papers (in French or English) along with the name of your institution, the title of your PhD and your year of study to :
LondonPGConference2010@hotmail.co.uk no later than 30th April 2010. Informal enquiries and panel suggestions are also welcome.
We will review submissions and respond via email by 31st May 2010. Authors of accepted papers will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.
Conference Organisers : Jenny Kosniowski (King’s College London) and Sara Leek (Queen Mary, London)