Contemporary Francophone Women Authors’ Representations of the Sacred (WIF Session)(Roundtable)
Anna Rocca (Salem State University)
This panel will investigate the value of the sacred for women from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives. Participants will explore the characteristics and practices that define how female contemporary writers and artists of the French-speaking world represent, experience, embody, and make sense of the sacred. As this concept has been shifting in modern societies to both incorporate new modes of expression and to experiment with new styles of living, the sacred has taken a multitude of new ideas and practices. Involving the person rather than the institutionalized organization, in this panel, the sacred will be generally examined as providing a space for women to articulate the multiple possibilities of womanhood, and eventually, to open a path towards self-love and self-respect. The sacred will be also investigated as a form specific to women to connect and communicate with the world at large. Some questions might include: how can women find, define, and practice the sacred in ways that are suitable for them? How can women envision a return to their self and a connection to the world through the sacred? How do female writers and artists construct a new type of the sacred and/or a new way to relate with it? How do women as a group use their collective voice to question the meaning of what has been traditionally considered as the sacred? Do women use deliberate strategies to challenge the authority or the interpreters of texts and rituals that are considered sacred? Are there specific markers of the female sacred or a specific language to describe its infinite domain?