Niagara Falls, NY
Event: NeMLA Annual Conference
In a series of lectures delivered in fall 1983 at UC Berkeley, which were recorded and then published in 2001 as Fearless Speech, Michel Foucault explored the concept of parrhesia in early Greek literature and philosophy. The lectures consider such questions as: What do we mean by “truth?” Who is able to tell the truth? What are the ethical dimensions of truth telling? What are the consequences of telling the truth? What is the relationship between truth telling and power?
In this proposed session, Foucault’s questions will be the starting point for a roundtable discussion about the concept of “fearless speech” as it is exhibited in texts by women writers of the Americas across a range of periods. While women have historically been challenged when they try to speak, and even been depicted as incapable of telling the truth, many women have pushed back against these limitations in ways both overt and subversive. Finding ways to speak truth to power can take many forms, even today. In addition to Foucault’s questions, this roundtable will ask presenters and attendees to consider several others: What does truth telling or “fearless speech” by women look like in the texts being considered? What has been the response to that fearless speech? What have been the repercussions? What similarities and differences can be observed in the forms of truth telling across space and time? And, finally, what price do women continue to pay for engaging in fearless speech?
Submit an abstract and brief bio by Sept. 30 at https://cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/19927.
More information about the conference can be found here: https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla.html