Organisation d’événements

MERCREDI 16 JUIN 2021 – Marie Bertrand, Manon Lefebvre, Constance Pompié

Journée des doctorant·e·s EMMA 2021


Forms of Knowledge and Experience in the Long Nineteenth Century

Organisation: Nathalie Vanfasse (Department of English, LERMA, Aix-Marseille Université), Ian Duncan (Department of English, University of California, Berkeley), Christine Reynier (Department of English, EMMA, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier)
Participation de membres EMMA:
Marie Bertrand, Alice Borrego, Charlotte Chassefière, Tim Gupwell

(9 am – 10:15 am) Session 1: Modes / media of knowledge

Laura Ritland: “‘Disinterestedness” as a Victorian critical concept”

Max Kaisler: “Barometry / the barometer: atmospheric pressure, feeling and knowledge”

Kévin Cristin: “Travel Writing and Engineering: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Professional and   Literary Wanderings »

(10:20-10:50 am) Session 2: Roundtable

“Decolonizing Victorian Studies” – a conversation: Sukanya Banerjee, Ian Duncan

(10:50-11:00 am) BREAK

11:00-12:15 Session 3: Gender / sex / the self

Charlotte Chassefière: “Constructions of the self in the novels of Charlotte Dacre”

Mary Mussman: “Biographical apocrypha, novelistic analogy, the roman à clef, and A.C. Swinburne’s re-conceiving of gender vis-à-vis George Sand”

Alice Borrego: “Destabilising Discursivity in Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier (1918)”

12:15-12:30 Discussion:

Wrapping up / looking forward (to the fall workshop)

Plus d’informations:


VENDREDI 26 MARS 2021 – Manon Lefebvre
L’impact du 11-septembre : réformes et représentations

Journée d’étude organisée dans le cadre de l’axe « Faire commun » d’EMMA. Responsables: Manon Lefebvre, Monica Michlin, Nicolas Gachon.

Dans « There’s No Backhand to This », James Berger décrit en ces termes l’indicible effroi suscité par les images des tours du World Trade Center s’effondrant sur elles-mêmes après avoir été percutées par deux avions de ligne le 11 septembre 2001 :

Something happened, was happening, was happening over and over—in memory and on television and in memory and on television—awful beyond imagining, without scare quotes or exclamation points (“awful beyond imagining!!!”) because it really was. Nothing adequate, nothing corresponding in language could stand in for it. No metaphor could carry language across to it. There was nothing to call it because it had taken over reality entirely. (52)

Si le trauma lié au 11-septembre—qu’il soit d’ordre individuel et/ou collectif (Greenberg)—a déjà fait l’objet de nombreux travaux, y compris dans ses représentations littéraires, filmiques et télévisées (Petrovic), sa dimension plus strictement institutionnelle est moins clairement perçue. L’impact du 11-septembre sur les institutions américaines : réformes et représentations, colloque soutenu par le laboratoire EMMA de l’université Paul Valéry – Montpellier 3, propose d’interroger les répercussions des attentats du 11-septembre sur les institutions politiques des États-Unis, les réformes structurelles induites ainsi que leurs différentes représentations. Alors que le concept de « trauma(tisme) institutionnel » qualifie habituellement différents phénomènes individuels et/ou collectifs de mal-être au travail, généralement dans le monde de l’entreprise (Sylin et Maes), la perspective de recherche se veut ici inverse en ce qu’elle se concentre sur une forme de trauma des institutions américaines elles-mêmes, sur les dommages occasionnés et les réformes et réparations apportées.

À ce volet politique et institutionnel s’ajoute celui des différentes représentations pour étudier en quoi lesdites représentations ont pu, directement ou indirectement, participer de la gestion et de la réparation d’un trauma et/ou d’un choc post-traumatique institutionnels. La question politique sous-jacente pourrait être celle d’une forme de « remastérisation » (remastering) du 11-septembre via ses représentations, remastérisation visant précisément, dans le sillage des propos de James Berger, à dire l’indicible et à penser l’impensable comme pour l’affronter psychologiquement et l’appréhender politiquement, de manière plus adéquate, a posteriori. En ce sens, un tel phénomène de « remastérisation » pourrait-il porter une forme de « remastérisation » de l’Amérique elle-même dans les États-Unis de l’après 11-septembre, une sorte de relecture, de réparation, voire de « remédiation »  ?

JEUDI 15 ET VENDREDI 16 OCTOBRE 2020 – Alice Borrego
Invisible Lives, Silent Voices In the British Literature, Arts and Culture of the 20th and 21st centuries


Keynote Speakers:
Professor Guillaume Le Blanc (University of Bordeaux-Montaigne)
Professor Esther Peeren (University of Amsterdam)

The aim of this international online conference is to address the processes of invisibilisation and silencing in 20th and 21st-century British arts, literature and culture. Invisibility is the result of power dynamics wherein dominant ideologies, groups or individuals silence precarious and vulnerable ones to political, economic or social ends. The voices of the precarious, who remain ‘outside of power’ (Le Blanc) are undermined by that of the majority, and sink into deeper and deeper silence, resulting in social, political and even psychological dispossession. As Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou claim, ‘the logic of dispossession is interminably mapped onto our bodies, onto particular bodies-in-place, through normative matrices but also through situated practices of raciality, gender, sexuality, intimacy, able-bodiedness, economy, and citizenship’ (18). Normative discourses and practices thus give way to asymmetrical relationships which deny vulnerable populations the ability to speak up and fully exist. Figures of non-conformity such as minorities, immigrants, women, along with the disabled and the poor are all in dissonance with such oppressive and normative dynamics, raising the question of political and social representation in our contemporary societies – one that deserves to be addressed in light of recent events in the British Isles.
The political turmoil caused by the results of the Brexit referendum in June 2016 is one of many examples of the problematics of invisibility, as some members of the British society were not given proper representation in the referendum, while others who do not always have a say expressed their views. This conference will further the discussion on the divisions that are tearing the British Isles over Brexit, but it will also allow us to extend Esther Peeren’s work on Britain’s ‘living ghosts’, i.e. ‘undocumented migrants, servants or domestic workers, mediums and missing persons. These groups were chosen because all are frequently – sometimes to the point of cliché – likened to ghosts or related figures, on the basis of their lack of social visibility, unobtrusiveness, enigmatic abilities or uncertain status between life and death’ (5). The in-between status of invisible lives and silent voices, who are neither fully integrated in society nor fully excluded from it, raises the question of the geography of the invisible which resonates in contemporary British literature, suggesting a possible repossession of lives and voices through fiction.
We will also have the opportunity to tackle the mental health struggles and psychological vulnerability of those who remain on the margins of society due to a physical or a mental condition or impairment, with their history of being subjected to social taboos. The private, emotional turmoil of mourning, for instance, was documented by theorists and psychoanalysts throughout the 20th century and well into the 21st century. As anthropologist and author Geoffrey Gorer wrote in 1965: ‘giving way to grief is stigmatized as morbid, unhealthy, demoralizing […] if one can deny one’s own grief, how much more easily can one deny the grief of others; and one possible outcome of the public denial of mourning is a great increase in public callousness’ (113). The silencing of mourners has evolved since the end of the 20th century, since some of them have regained public visibility, with the rise of the ‘grief memoir’ genre and the partial rehabilitation of ‘melancholia’. However, other invisible portions of society (for instance mental patients, be they institutionalised or not) remain largely ostracised. The process of claiming back their voices leads all those silent and invisible lives to a tentative reconfiguration of their identities, as Vanessa Guignery argues: ‘by articulating their suffering, by speaking out and speaking back, the unsung and unheard fight to come to terms with the traumas they have experienced and to reconstitute a sense of self, identity, memory and history’ (6).
What defines the processes of invisibilisation and silencing? Who decides who is to be visible or not? Can silence and invisibility be a conscious choice, an act of resistance? Is literature a way to give a new voice and a new visibility to the left-behinds? Or does it also fall prey to the power dynamics responsible for invisibility? These questions will guide our conference and will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of British society and culture in times of crises.

Scientific committee

  • Alice Borrego, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier 3
  • Prof. Jean-Michel Ganteau, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier 3
  • Prof. Vanessa Guignery, ENS de Lyon
  • Héloïse Lecomte, ENS de Lyon
  • Prof. Frédéric Regard, Université Paris IV Sorbonne
  • Prof. Christine Reynier, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier 3

Conference organised jointly by the research units EMMA (Études Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone) and IHRIM (Institut de l’Histoire des Représentations et des Idées dans les Modernités), with support from ED 58 and ED 3LA.