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French Graduate Student Association

French Graduate Student Association Conferences

The French Graduate Student Association (FGSA) of the Department of French and Romance Philology holds an annual conference centered around a theme or a series of concepts. Participants include students and professors from Columbia Univerisity, as well as graduate students from across the nation and around the globe.

Paper abstracts are received and reviewed by the Selection Committee well in advance of the conference dates. Past conferences have been very successful so participants are encouraged to submit proposals as soon as possible.

This year's FGSA conference:

The French Graduate Student Association of Columbia University is pleased to announce its 23rd annual conference,

Authenticity

Schedule of the conference:

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Call for papers: 2014 French Graduate Student Association Conference, Columbia University
Conference date: February 28, 2014
Submission deadline: January 6, 2014
Location: Columbia University, NY, NY


Authentication, as the proper attribution of a work to its author, is one of the oldest and most persistent preoccupations of specialists of art and literature. Despite myriad critiques, forgeries, and artistic assaults, it is still as fundamental to the art market as it is to the global economy: people and things must be what they seem in order for exchange and valuation to be possible. Defined in opposition to the fictional (as feigned or crafted), authenticity has also taken an important place in the literature of autobiography and témoignage as the product or object of a narrative strategy. Growing out of the tradition of Rousseau and the romantics, authentic subjectivity, as demonstrated by spontaneity, sincerity, self-expression, and refusal of cultural norms and prescriptions, has become strongly tied to the conception of experience, community, and action; however, amidst the many critical attempts to dethrone the hegemony of a familiarly circumscribed subject, we might begin to imagine other methods of grounding movements, belonging and self-expression. For example, as Frederic Jameson suggests, we might understand authenticity in purely negative terms, or more precisely, as beyond positivity (“humanism, human nature, individuality, and so forth”), as impossible absence or lack.

This conference asks, how do people—citizens, artists, intellectuals, revolutionaries —and things—commodities, slogans, artworks, texts—authenticate themselves? In what circumstances are they called on to do so?

Scholars from all disciplines are invited to submit relevant abstracts of no more than 250 words to fgsaconference2014@gmail.com

Possible topics include:
Authentication of artworks, texts, marketing and commerce
Artifice, performance, manners and spontaneity
Authenticity and self-expression
Authenticity and electoral politics
Authenticity and spontaneity in music
Authenticity and counter-cultural movements
Authenticity in the politics of food ("real" food)
Autobiography and confession
Checkpoints and identification cards
Discourses of authenticity and spontaneity in nationalist and protest movements
Ideologies of self-expression, self-presentation and performance
Itinerancy and authenticity
Non-hegemonic cultural production and spontaneous self-expression
Plagiarism and suspicion
Rhetorical and narrative strategies of authentication
Spontaneity and consciousness in Fanon and his critics
Authenticity, spontaneity, legitimacy and revolution

 

Past conferences:

Making Sense
Twenty-first Annual Graduate Student Conference
Department of French and Romance Philology, Columbia University
March 2, 2012, Maison Française

Consumption: Pleasures of the Text, Materiality, and Cultural Practice
Nineteenth Annual Graduate Student Conference Department of French and Romance Philology, Columbia University Friday, March 5, 2010, at the Maison Française

L'Ennemi: Difference and Antagonism in Literature
Seventeenth Annual Graduate Student Conference
Department of French and Romance Philology, Columbia University
February 29, 2008, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Maison Française

« Car je est un autre » : Articulations du rapport entre identité et altérité
Sixteenth Annual Graduate Student Conference
Department of French and Romance Philology, Columbia University
April 6, 2007, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm, Maison Française

MARKING LOSS: READING AND WRITING ERASURE IN FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE LITERATURE
Fifteenth Annual Graduate Student Conference
Department of French and Romance Philology, Columbia University
February 17th, 2006, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm, Maison Française

THE PEN AS SWORD: ACTIVISM IN LITERATURE
Eleventh Annual Graduate Student Conference in French, Francophone, and Comparative Literature
Columbia University
March 20, 2002

FICTIONS OF THE MACHINE
Tenth Annual Graduate Student Conference in French, Francophone, and Comparative Literature
Columbia University
March 24, 2001

BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS
Ninth Annual Graduate Student Conference in French, Francophone, and Comparative Literature
Columbia University
March 25, 2000

CARNIVAL: A HISTORY OF SUBVERSIVE REPRESENTATIONS
Eighth Annual Graduate Student Conference in French, Francophone, and Comparative Literature
Columbia University
March 27,1999

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