Scholarly Works - French


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  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Untimely Resnais: Muriel's Disarticulations of Justice
    (Edinburgh University Press, 2016-10) McMahon, Laura
    Alain Resnais's 1963 film Muriel ou le temps d'un retour (Muriel, or the Time of Return) has been read in terms of a failure to engage with the historical and political issues surrounding the Algerian War – a failure viewed by Susan Sontag as a consequence of Resnais's favouring of aesthetics over politics. This essay reconsiders Muriel beyond the terms of this perceived privileging of aesthetic abstraction over political engagement, and looks at ways in which the spatio-temporal organization of the film is bound to forms of political critique. Drawing on Jacques Derrida's thinking of justice and Gilles Deleuze's emphasis on the topological dimensions of Resnais's cinema, I argue that Muriel's differential, interruptive configurations of history and place carve out a time and space for justice that refuses ontologization, reanimating encrypted traces of Algeria's traumatic history of decolonization and resisting the mournful memory-work of the French nationalist account.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Medieval trans lives in anamorphosis: Looking back and seeing differently (Pregnant men and backward birth)
    (Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, 2019-10-01) Gutt, BA; Gutt, Blake [0000-0001-9287-6285]
    This article employs Lacan’s notion of anamorphosis, and the retrospection which Kathryn Bond Stockton presents as fundamental to the assumption of queer identity, as it demonstrates the functions and value of transgender readings of medieval texts. The article analyses two thirteenth-century literary works, Le Roman de Saint Fanuel and Aucassin et Nicolette, both of which feature pregnant male characters, alongside A.K. Summers’ 2014 graphic novel, Pregnant Butch. This juxtaposition reveals the resonances between these medieval and modern portrayals of gender non-conformity, as well as the highly gendered cultural norms surrounding pregnancy. Finally, attention to Janice Raymond’s transmisogynistic claims about the “rebirth” of trans women illustrates the importance of an awareness of transgender history.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Transgender Genealogy in Tristan de Nanteuil
    (Taylor and Francis, 2018-04-03) Gutt, B; Gutt, Blake [0000-0001-9287-6285]
    This article proposes the use of transgender theory within medieval studies as both a productive and a politically significant optic. The article employs transgender theory to effect a new reading of the miraculous transformation of the character of Blanchandin/e, in the fourteenth-century French chanson de geste, Tristan de Nanteuil, from female to male. First, the often-overlooked importance of Judith Butler’s analysis of sex and gender for the understanding of transgender and non-normatively-gendered identities is addressed. Next, using theoretical work by Deleuze, and by Deleuze and Guattari, the article demonstrates how the rhizomatic and folding structures that a transgender reading of Blanchandin/e’s transformation brings to light cohere with the series of rhizomes and folds which structure the genealogical logic of the text as a whole. The family tree of Tristan de Nanteuil is shown to answer to queer, rhizomatic, and folding imperatives. In this way, the article demonstrates that the text’s transgender genealogy contradicts the anti-generative model of queerness proposed by queer theory’s antisocial turn.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Striking the Air: early modern Parisian sound worlds
    (Edinburgh University Press, 2018-03-01) Hammond, NG
    The sounds of early modern Paris are first explored through poetic and satirical depictions of urban noise, with emphasis placed on the disruption that they present. The attempt by Louis XIV to assert his absolute power becomes manifest in the means employed to control and contain those sounds deemed to be potentially subversive and seditious, especially in the threat posed by performers of songs on the Pont-Neuf, which was one of the few public spaces where people of all classes rubbed shoulders. The example of the blind singer Philippot le Savoyard shows how the Pont-Neuf became the prime locus of difference and marginality.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    From lampedusa to the California desert: Gianfranco rosi's scenes of living and dying
    (University of California Press, 2018-03-01) Wilson, E
    Gianfranco Rosi's Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea, 2016), won the Golden Bear at the 2016 Berlinale, was shown to the European parliament, distributed to heads of state by Matteo Renzi, and has become the contemporary film most closely associated with the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. This article considers the film alongside Rosi's earlier film about Slab City, California, Below Sea Level (2008), previously little seen in the US. Wilson argues that Rosi is more than a filmmaker of the migrant tragedy in Europe, radically important though his vision is of this moment. With and beyond Fuocoammare, all his films look at extreme experiences of living and dying. Inspired by the work of philosopher and psychoanalyst Anne Dufourmantelle on secrecy, love, tenderness and risk, Wilson considers how Rosi's films achieve a closeness to their characters: a sensory and emotional immediacy, whilst refusing voyeurism and intrusion.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Does language loss follow a principled structural path? Evidence from Jersey Norman French
    (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2018) Jones, MC; Jones, Professor M.C. [0000-0003-1246-0816]
    ABSTRACTThis study examines contact-induced change in Jèrriais, the severely endangered Norman variety currently spoken by some 1% of the population of Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands. Today, English dominates all linguistic domains of island life, and all speakers of Jèrriais are bilingual. The analysis uses original data to test empirically whether Myers-Scotton's (2002) five theoretical assumptions about the structural path of language attrition (broadly defined as language loss at the level of the individual) also have relevance for the process of language obsolescence (broadly defined as language loss at the level of the community). It explores i) whether Jèrriais is undergoing contact influenced language change owing to its abstract grammatical structure being split and recombined with English, a hypothesis related to Myers-Scotton's Abstract Level model; and ii) whether different morpheme types of Jèrriais are related to the production process in different ways and are, accordingly, more or less susceptible to change during the process of language obsolescence, a hypothesis related to Myers-Scotton's 4-M model. In addition to its contribution to linguistic theory, this study increases existing knowledge about Jèrriais and makes data from this language available for systematic comparison with other languages.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Zola and the Physical Geography of War
    (Taylor & Francis, 2017) White, NJ; White, Nicholas [0000-0002-3396-1700]
    Émile Zola’s account of the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune, La Débâcle (1892), provides the basis for an account of the way in which the literary language of war speaks to the physical geography of mimetic fiction as broadly conceived, and in particular its precise concern for mud, earth, soil, and its wider concern for land and its borders.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Pascal's Modernity
    (Taylor & Francis, 2019) Moriarty, M; Moriarty, Michael [0000-0002-3604-1627]
    Pascal can be readily inserted into familiar characterizations of the emergence of modernity (man’s alienation from the cosmos). He himself theorized the proper relationship between innovation (legitimate in the physical sciences) and traditional authority (legitimate especially in theology). While accepting the mechanistic philosophy and in particular the rigid Cartesian distinction between immaterial and corporeal substance, he registers its divergence from our spontaneous understanding of experience; we find him encountering the view of one of his religious mentors that Cartesian science has deprived the cosmos of its spiritual significance as an image of the creator. His relationship to Latour’s conception of (non-)modernity is considered. Though many of his attitudes are uncongenial to modern secular humanism, his theologically-motivated rejection of the concept of nature as normative has surprising echoes in aspects of twenty-first century thought and culture.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Zola à rebours
    (Societe Litteraire des Amis d'Emile Zola, 2017-09-01) White, CE; White, Claire [0000-0001-8165-7263]
    Cet article s’interroge sur un fil particulier du métadiscours littéraire : la définition du naturalisme zolien comme un « idéalisme à rebours ». C’est une définition que l’on retrouve sous la plume de plusieurs critiques des années 1880, soucieux de saisir le naturalisme à travers l’esthétique même qu’il a voulu discréditer. Si, selon certains critiques, l’idéalisme et le naturalisme se laissent opposer au niveau du sujet, il n’en est pas de même au niveau du procédé esthétique. Cet article se propose d’analyser cette lecture antinaturaliste de la forme du roman zolien. Comment a-t-on voulu mettre en question l’identité et la cohérence du projet naturaliste ? Comment, et dans quel but, s’est-on représenté un Zola à rebours ? Faut-il y voir une manière de lire Zola – à rebours de lui-même – qui caractérise toujours les approches de la critique contemporaine ?
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    L’homos et l’heteros des Rougon-Macquart
    (Societe Litteraire des Amis d'Emile Zola, 2017-08-01) White, NJ; White, Nicholas [0000-0002-3396-1700]
    Malgré les différences entre les traditions récentes de la critique littéraire dans les mondes francophone et anglophone, Émile Zola représente un exemple particulièrement riche d’un auteur qui inviterait un mariage fécond entre ces traditions.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Zola au pluriel Avant-propos
    (Societe Litteraire des Amis d'Emile Zola, 2017-09-30) White, NJ; White, C; White, Nicholas [0000-0002-3396-1700]; White, Claire [0000-0001-8165-7263]
    Dans ce dossier, nous appréhenderons Zola sous une diversité de formes, diverses non seulement dans les différents rapports à la théorie naturaliste que les textes de Zola incarnent, mais également diverses dans les différentes méthodes analytiques que les écrits de Zola invitent à adopter. En mettant l’accent sur cette idée d’un Zola pluriel, nous ne cherchons pas à reproduire la conceptualisation fade et paresseuse d’un pluralisme certes difficile à contester, mais faible dans son pouvoir d’inspirer les critiques littéraires de demain. Examiner la pluralité de Zola, comme nous nous proposons de faire dans ce dossier, c’est insister sur l’entrecroisement des discours dans son œuvre, sur les stratégies de self-fashioning dont l’auteur se sert, ainsi que sur les multiples incarnations de l’écrivain dans les discours critiques de son temps. C’est encore tenter une méditation, partant des travaux récents de la critique zolienne, sur la dimension expérimentale – et souvent justement « non naturaliste » – de son projet esthétique.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Glossy postcards and virtual collectibles: Consuming cinematic Paris
    (Intellect, 2017-09-01) McNeill, IM; McNeill, Isabelle [0000-0002-4301-6729]
    This article examines the touristic consumption of Paris in cinema, through a concept of the cinematic postcard as a commodification of history and place, arguing that film participates in and also illuminates touristic relations to the city. The article proposes two iterations of the cinematic postcard: a ‘glossy’ postcard that incorporates past and present into a cohesively framed urban space, and ‘virtual collectibles’ that encourage the serial accumulation of familiar signs of place. While connected through a nostalgic relation to the urban past, these iterations reflect different anxieties about the city and are emphasized in different aesthetic strategies, which the article pursues through close analysis of two films: Vincent Minnelli’s An American in Paris (1951) and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011). In the troubled Paris of the early post-war years, the tourist gaze of cinema provided a cohesive image constructed from a selective, cultural past, anticipating a postmodern aesthetic of nostalgia as identified by Fredric Jameson. In the age of what Boris Groys calls ‘total tourism’ and its proliferation of the collection and online display of images of place, the emphasis has shifted from transmission to the virtual collection of desirable, analogue images of Paris.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Boules de sensations-pensées-formes in Christophe Tarkos’s poetry
    (Edinburgh University Press, 2018-02) Barda, JAA
    In the genealogy of recent French contemporary poets who have risen to the challenge of experimenting with ‘une nouvelle conception des enjeux du langage poétique’, Christophe Tarkos (1963–2004) occupies a prime position. Tarkos is not only known in France and abroad for his astonishing performances, unique improvisation and sense of humour but also for his editorial commitment: he edited several significant journals such as Facial, R.R and poézie proléter which published amongst others Charles Pennequin, Nathalie Quintane and Katalin Molnár; and played a significant role in the poetic renewal of the 1990s.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    ‘Les petits bruits’: little noises and lower volumes in Catherine Breillat’s Romance (1999) and Anatomie de l’enfer (2004)
    (Taylor & Francis, 2018-10-02) Talijan, E
    This article offers a discussion of the role of noise in the work of Catherine Breillat, and evaluates its importance in relation to the pornographic. I argue that by focussing attention on the auditory, we open up another sensory dimension through which to think about Breillat's key relationship with the pornographic and her appeal to listening in spectatorship. Drawing on the conventions of sound in pornography and discussing how Romance (1999) and Anatomie de l'enfer/Anatomy of Hell (2004) respond to these sounds, the attention to Breillat's sonic practice offered here shows how noise reflects on wider questions of the 'real' and representations of the female body and pleasure that are at stake in Breillat's work more broadly. Attending to the noises of the body, noises emitted by Breillat's female protagonists and to her soundscaping, this article asks what possible critique of the pornographic thinking about noise offers, as well as what forms of resonant intimacy are constructed through Breillat's formal engagement with volumes and amplitudes.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    La Débâcle d'Émile Zola : une fiction républicaine de la fin du Second Empire
    (Autour de Vallès, 2017-11-01) White, NJ; White, Nicholas [0000-0002-3396-1700]
    La guerre franco-prussienne commence plusieurs fois Comment est-ce qu’un nouveau régime devrait parler du régime qu’il remplace ? Il va sans dire que Les Rougon-Macquart offrent, pendant les premières décennies de la nouvelle République, la plus célèbre relecture romanesque de l’Empire, une relecture dont l’historicité spécifique est soulignée par ce sous-titre que l’on connaît très bien : Histoire naturelle et sociale d’une famille sous le Second Empire. La publication du feuilleton du premier roman dans la série, La Fortune des Rougon, était interrompue par la guerre franco-prussienne, Le Siècle le publiant du 28 juin au 10 août 1870, et du 18 au 21 mars 1871. A l’édition originale chez Lacroix, Verboeckhoven et Cie, du 14 octobre 1871, Zola ajoute cette préface célèbre qui commence ainsi : « Je veux expliquer comment une famille, un petit groupe d’êtres, se comporte dans une société, etc.1 ». De façon peut-être plus symbolique qu’authentique, Zola précise en bas de la page de cette préface son lieu et sa date : « Paris, le 1er juillet 1871 », comme si pour marquer la fin de cette « année terrible », la dépêche d’Ems ayant été envoyée le 13 juillet 1870. Cette année a été décrite récemment par l’historien Quentin Deluermoz dans Le Crépuscule des révolutions comme « un mille-feuille dans lequel il faut découper avec précaution si l’on veut éviter téléologie et raccourcis2 ».
  • ItemAccepted versionRestricted
    De rien
    (Éditions Lignes, 2016-10-14) Crowley, M
    En principe, le seul matérialisme conséquent serait celui qui saurait se libérer de toute idée régulatrice. De toute fin, comme de toute origine. En principe, du moins. Sans doute ne sort-on pas si aisément de ces vieux décombres. (Comme Derrida, surtout, nous l’aura appris.) D’abord parce qu’une telle libération n’a de sens qu’à partir de l’opposition matière-idée (dont elle pense se défaire, mais qu’ainsi elle ne fait que confirmer) ; ensuite parce qu’en manquant de se reconnaître comme procédant de l’idée qu’il se donne d’un but à atteindre (il faut se libérer de…), ce geste se voue à la plus simple des contradictions. Par conséquent, un matérialisme réellement libre de toute idée régulatrice peut s’avérer difficilement localisable. Tout se jouera alors dans l’espace entre ce geste qui pense se libérer en se désavouant comme pensée, et cet autre qui pose en connaissance de cause l’inévitabilité de quelque pseudo-origine. Nous verrons à quel point ces figures rétrospectives s’imposent comme inévitables ; et qu’elles s’imposent de la sorte du moins dès que l’on pense, et que ses pensées refusent de s’en tenir au fantasme de la constatation pure, c’est-à-dire : de la tautologie impossible.
  • ItemAccepted versionRestricted
    The Touch of Things
    (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) James, IR
    Steven Shaviro’s The Universe of Things is both an illuminating critical account of the development of speculative realism to date and a significant contribution to speculative realist thought in its own right. Its principal philosophical engagement is with Graham Harman’s object oriented ontology (hereafter OOO) via the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. As Shaviro himself puts it: “My aim is both to show how OOO helps us to understand Whitehead in a new way and, conversely, to develop a Whitehead inspired critique of Harman and OOO” (Shaviro, 27). Along the way he gives us important philosophical discussions of other leading figures who have been associated with the term speculative realism, most notably Quentin Meillassoux and Ray Brassier, but also, to a slightly lesser extent Iain Hamilton Grant and Levi Bryant. This is accompanied by discussions of Emmanuel Levinas and François Laruelle, French thinkers who have influenced the development of some of the different stands of speculative realism. Shaviro also makes some helpful contextual reference to a wider supporting cast including Bruno Latour, “new materialists” such as Jane Bennett, Rosi Braidotti, and Elizabeth Grosz, recent French thinkers (e.g. Deleuze) and a to wider canon of modern European and Anglophone analytic philosophy as well as to contemporary philosophy of science (e.g. James Ladyman, Don Ross).
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    À rebours des systèmes: esthétiques du chaos-monde et de la chaosmose chez Édouard Glissant et Félix Guattari
    (Association des Études Françaises et Francophones d'Irlande, 2017-12-02) Azerad, H; Azerad, Hugues [0000-0002-5659-2450]
    This article aims to unravel the anti-systematic components of Glissantian thought, which revolves around the notion of chaos-monde. It draws on a wide selection of Glissant's writings, including his lesser-known work of ethno-poetics and eco-poetics, 'Le risque total est de l'enfermement et de la fixité', published in Esthétiques du pire (2011). After staking out the key elements of the chaos-monde, the article will turn to Félix Guattari, whose seminal work Chaosmosis will be shown to be a crucial missing link that helps place Glissant's aesthetics of chaos in its political and historical context. In keeping with the Glissantian poetics of Relation, the two thinkers will be brought into dialogue, eliciting a politics of friendship that will shed new light on their respective takes on beauty and aesthetics. French Cet article retrace les composantes anti-systématiques de la pensée glissantienne, qui prend son inspiration dans ce que Glissant appelle le chaos-monde. Pour ce faire, nous puiserons dans la diversité de ses écrits, mais surtout dans le texte d'éco-esthétique et d'ethno-poétique 'Le risque total est de l'enfermement et de la fixité' dans Esthétiques du pire (2011). Une fois posés les jalons du chaos-monde glissantien, nous ferons intervenir la figure de Félix Guattari et sa théorisation révélée dans Chaosmose, qui apparait comme essentielle pour replacer cette notion de chaos dans son contexte poético-historique. Ce sont non seulement ces deux univers théoriques et esthétiques qui seront mis en relation dans cet article, mais aussi une certaine politique de l'amitié, dont le modèle pourrait ouvrir une nouvelle approche de chacun de ces penseurs fondamentaux.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    'Shine Bright Like A Diamond': music, performance and digitextuality in Céline Sciamma's Bande de filles (2014)
    (Taylor & Francis, 2018) McNeill, IM; McNeill, Isabelle [0000-0002-4301-6729]
    This article examines the use of music in Céline Sciamma’s Bande de filles (Girlhood, 2014), a film depicting the experiences of a black girl and her friends growing up in the Parisian banelieue. In addition to music written for the soundtrack, the film features diegetic performances by its characters of globally popular songs, the dance routine Internet hit ‘Wop’ by J. Dash, and ‘Diamonds’ as performed by Rihanna. These performances not only occupy key narrative roles but also situate the film in relation to a widely familiar and/or accessible pop cultural landscape, that encompasses an online visual imaginary or ‘digitextuality’, constructed through YouTube, Vevo and Vine videos circulating, sharing and responding to the songs and their video performances. This article examines the significance of weaving such sounds and images into the film’s fictional world, aiming to understand the implications of this for questions of gender, sexuality and race raised by the film. Taken together with the film’s wider aesthetic and musical choices, its digitextuality serves both to implicate the spectator and to frustrate a fixed view or reading of the characters. The result is a queer film that exposes the rigid lines of straight, white culture whilst also working to disorient them.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Terre(ur): Reading the Landscape of Conspiracy in Balzac’s Une ténébreuse affaire
    (University of Nebraska Press, 2018-10-01) Sugden, RA; Sugden, Rebecca [0000-0001-9182-7887]
    This article draws on Carlo Ginzburg’s conjectural paradigm to propose a re-evaluation of the dialectic between models of “surface” and “depth” reading in Balzac’s Une ténébreuse affaire (1841). A tale of shadowy machinations that overlap to bewildering effect, the novel testifies to the semantic multiplicity of the term plot as bearing on the topographic, the narrative and the conspiratorial. Through close engagement with the venatic metaphoricity common to both Ginzburg’s model and Balzac’s proto-roman policier, this article argues that the conspiratorial landscape of Une ténébreuse affaire testifies to an anxiety born of the impossibility of grounding novelistic truth in a stable referent. The recurrent emphasis on the problematic materiality of the surface and its false depths belies Balzac’s fraught relationship to the severed referentiality of his narrative. As illustration of a Balzacian poetics of conspiracy, Une ténébreuse affaire, it is suggested, ultimately points forward in literary history towards the Flaubertian aesthetic of platitude.