Imagining the Body in France and the Francophone World

Imagining the Body in France and the Francophone World
19 January 2018, 9.00am - 20 January 2018, 6.00pm
Conference / Symposium
University of Birmingham

The notion of ‘imagining the body’ problematises the possibility of representing the body as it is en soi - whether it be depicted textually, visually or orally – which has remained a matter of conjecture amongst scholars within creative and theoretical fields alike. Interpretations of bodily identity and development have proved equally conflicted, and the vision of a shared bodily experience has generated both comfort and controversy, particularly amongst feminists and within the queer community. What exactly do we mean by the body and how do we represent it? Is there a commonality of bodily experience?

The body in all its complexity has fascinated and inspired artists, writers, filmmakers, journalists and philosophers for centuries, and is foundational to the French and Francophone aesthetic regime. This two-day bilingual, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary conference aims to bring together academics and postgraduate researchers working on representations of the body from both French and Francophone studies, in a wide range of disciplines, historical periods, and critical approaches. The purpose of the conference is to facilitate dialogue, debate, and exchange about why it is important to study the body in French and Francophone studies. This conference seeks to question how portrayals and conceptions of the body are influenced by and come to influence global, social phenomena (such as culture, politics, geography, socio-economics, law and medicine), and above all, how French and Francophone creative practice and theory shapes our understanding of the body.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Dr Kate Averis and Professor Lisa Downing
Invited artists: Fiorenza Menini and Dr Jacqueline Taylor 
Organisers: Antonia Wimbush, Polly Galis and Maria Tomlinson

With the support of the Institute of Modern Languages Research, and the Society for French Studies


Antonia Wimbush
020 7862 8738