Theme 3 “Culture and Heritage”

Theme 3The boundaries of the body

Directors:  Frédéric Chauvaud & Michel Briand

This axis has created many partnerships (Espace Mendès France, Cité internationale de l’Image et de la bande dessinée, Magelis, la Fanzinothèque, le TAP (Théâtre et Auditorium de Poitiers)… It also aims to start a fourth theme: Body and environment.

Theme 1. Body and comics (person in charge: Frédéric Chauvaud, contemporary history, and Denis Mellier, comparative literature)

Comics, as illustrated by the latest issues of the magazine Le Débat and its Cahiers de la Bande Dessinée (new series, Oct-Dec 2017), have become legitimate, even if it still proves to be little institutionally present in French Universities. As would do a novel or a film, comics tell stories, they offer a description of the society we are living in, and also question the future. Graphic literature has recently developed more towards autobiography and the field of intimacy, but still, the visions of the world that it suggests allow to decode difficulties, hot spots and hopes. However, the perspective chosen, in collaboration with the Cité internationale de la Bande dessinée et de l’image (CIBDI), is that of the body. After having studied bodies of criminals and victims, deformed and grotesque bodies, then augmented bodies and handicapped bodies, it is intended, in the next few years, to tackle gestures, and then the body “in celebration”. Will also be addressed, in partnership with a regional research project, the body of women, the body of old people but also bodies of strange beings, honored by visual science fiction. If “All literature is an assault on borders”, as Franz Kafka pointed out, it is important to insist on the necessary decompartmentalization of approaches in an increasingly complex society.

Theme 2. Mistreated bodies (person in charge: Lydie Bodiou (ancient history), Marie José Grihom (clinical psychology) and Frédéric Chauvaud (contemporary history))

Since about twenty years, works on the body have experienced a very important renewal. Disciplinary analyses and looks have been multiplied. The body, to be grasped in its infinite complexity, needs cross-approaches. The tortured body, the disabled body, the body wounded by extreme weather conditions or armed conflict, the body brutalized during interpersonal brawls or in the context of sexual violence have been the subject of quality work.

After dealing with femicide (symposium, study days, seminar, valorization article), the priority will be given to the disabled body, the sick body and to domestic and sexual violence. Partnerships with Espace Mendès France will make it possible to talk about the ambulatory body (moving and sorting the wounded and sick, handling corpses or the mishandled body through disability, while addressing the general public with renewed approaches. Domestic and family violence focused on the body will help to focus both on the circumstances, the aggressors and the victims. A meeting will be organized to suggest an inventory of circumstances, domains and effects induced by assaults and attacks on the body.

Theme 3: Images and staging of the body (person in charge: Mr Briand, Greek literature, FoReLL, & Leila Selimbegovic, social psychology, CeRCA)

Following an inter-disciplinary or even trans-disciplinary approach, this theme focuses particularly on the images and the staging of the body as a social and cultural construction and a sensitive space that can serve as a medium for expression, communication, conflict, learning or empathy. It is about studying, on the one hand, the setting up conditions of these images and stages, and, on the other hand, the effects that they can produce. These questions are at a crossroads with philosophical, psychological, literary, artistic, aesthetic, historical, sociological, political, legal, and even anthropological issues. The interest will be borne on the representation of the body, depending on the medium used and the desired effects, subject to interpretation and involving pragmatics of images, still and moving. We will also study the body of the receiver, reader, spectator: his emotions and thoughts, his relationship with the body represented, pictured and staged (in visual and scenic arts, in advertising, political propaganda, literature, or comics). Finally, special attention will be given to exchange games and mutual influence between images and stages and the active receiver, individual or collective.

[Translation : Melody Araujo Martins]

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