EVENT Oct 05
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Reexamining Identity in 19th Century Paris: The Self in Space

Organization: South Central MLA
Categories: Comparative, Interdisciplinary, French, Genre & Form, Gender & Sexuality, Literary Theory, Women's Studies, Poetry, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Food Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2017-10-05 to 2017-10-08 Abstract Due: 2017-03-15

No place encapsulates the concepts of motion and mobility better than the capital of modernity, Paris, during the 19th century. From buzzing streets to boisterous theatres, cafés and art galleries, spatiality and identity become fundamentally intertwined in a destabilizing
manner: indeed, and for the first time, space seems to exert more agency on human beings than the opposite.

For novelists and poets, from Balzac, Hugo, and Zola to Baudelaire and Rimbaud, Paris constituted a powerful puzzle and paradox: shaping, and shaped by, the individual, the urban space constituted a present, past, and future force that transcended time and yet embodied it, at once generating and annihilating the modern self and identity.

This session will investigate how, in a century of relentless political, cultural and social upheavals, individual identity was constructed and altered by the urban environment, or to the contrary, how individuals (authors, poets, characters) resisted and subverted urban
control. From the modern concept of roman réaliste to newfound types of poetry, authors sought to reclaim agency over a city and its inhabitants by playing with issues of class, gender and ethnicity, shedding a light on the multifaceted relation between self and space.

Please send abstracts of 300 words or less to Maxence Leconte at mpl642@utexas.edu along with a short bio by March 15, 2017. Presenters will be notified whether or not their abstracts have been accepted by April 15, 2017. Additional information regarding the convention can be found at www.southcentralmla.org.


Max Leconte