The Intertext in Literature and Film (Seminar)


Comparative Literature / World Literatures (non-European Languages)

Sana BenAli-Taga (Ecole Normale Supérieur de Tunis)

Amira Hedhili (University of Monastir, Tunisia)

The panel, “The Intertext in Literature and Film”, aims at gathering papers that discuss the plurality of texts in literary genres and the film genre. Intertextuality is conceived of, in this discussion, from Kristeva’s coinage of the term. In her Semeiotike: Recherches pour une sémanalyse (1969), Kristeva develops the term after Bakhtin’s concept of dialogism in the novel. Kristeva’s seminal work on “intertexuality” may entail it as a concept that accentuates the intertwining feature of narratives. Added to that, the Bakhtinian concept is also paramount to the approach of this subject matter as his theory of the novel is intrinsic in fiction especially within “the multiple voicings of a text” (A Poetics of Postmodernism 126). Bakhtin’s approach is also adopted in the film genre as stated by a plethora of film studies (Aragay 2005; Boyd and Palmer 2007; Cutchins 2017; Geal 2019). Films as an art form can also overlap with other films that may be categorized as ‘grand’ films, to use Lyotard’s term within this frame. Recent discussions in cinema studies have had the intertext as a focal point with the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin and Julia Kristeva as a starting point (Boyd and Palmer 7). Debates around the originality of the work of art articulate the controversial quality of intertextuality especially in its relation to plagiarism. However, once combined with other concepts, such as allusion and pastiche, intertextuality can be regarded as a manifestation of resistance towards narrative hierarchy if the prior-text is labeled as original and the text in question as a copy. Textual overlapping therefore, works within intertextual manifestations of metanarrative perversion engaged in a process of defamiliarization.


The intertext questions authenticity and therefore authorship and authority. The panel welcomes papers that discuss the intertext in literary texts and films.