HomeRes Publica

Res Publica

Second NCFIS/CERIUL International Postgraduate Conference, 7 et 8 novembre 2008

*  *  *

Published on Tuesday, September 09, 2008 by


Le National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies, Dublin, et le CERIUL, Lille 3, sont heureux de vous inviter à cette seconde conférence en études franco-irlandaises réunissant doctorants et chercheurs confirmés. Cette année le colloque s'intéresse à la notion de Res Publica en France et/ou en Irlande. Toutes les propositions sont les bienvenues.


Call for papers

2nd International Postgraduate Symposium in Franco-Irish Studies


(Lille, 7 & 8 November 08)

Conference organiser: Jean-Christophe Penet


Following the success of its first postgraduate international conference in October 2007, the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies, in association with the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Irlandaises de l’Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3, France, is soliciting papers for a conference, which will run from 7-8 November 2008.

In May 2007, French sociologist Philip Schlesinger published a collection of essays entitled European Union and the Public Sphere (London: Routledge), which focused on the prospects for so-called “European Citizens” and redefined the notion of European public sphere as a communicative space that might engender the formation of a supranational public. Schlesinger’s book can be viewed, we believe, as the translation of a renewed curiosity about the emergence of a European public sphere within French intellectual, academic and political circles. The European project has, in fact, recently made it to the top of the République’s agenda, especially with Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposed Treaty of Lisbon – a simplified version of the European Constitutional Treaty – and the country’s Presidency of the European Union starting mid-2008. Despite France’s will, however, to reconcile European citizens with their institutions during its Presidency, the EU still suffers from a crucial lack of popular legitimacy, as shown by the French rejection of Europe’s Constitutional Treaty in a national referendum back in 2005. The European project therefore appears to be a res politica and not, as might have been expected, a res publica. Furthermore, the efforts of European politicians to find new principles of European legitimacy are, according to Irish-born professor of sociology Gerard Delanty, “inextricably bound up with the attempt to create a space where collective identities can be formed” (Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality (London: Macmillan, 1995), p. viii).

Whether in France or in Ireland, we can wonder how this political, but also to a large extent, intellectual, attempt to create a common European identity has influenced and continues to influence the national perception and definition of the public space. At a time when their own sense of identity appears more crisis-ridden than ever, with the Irish Republic being redefined outside the moral monopoly of the Catholic Church and the République Française allegedly – and figuratively – “burning down” (Jean-François Mattéi and Raphaël Draï, La République brûle-t-elle? (Paris: Michalon, 2006)), how can the Irish and the French contribute to the construction of this transnational European public sphere?

To try and answer this question one must go back to the roots of both France’s and Ireland’s public sphere, their res publica. Res publica should therefore be understood, in such a context, according to its original meaning as the “activities affecting the whole people, affairs of the State “(P.G.W. Clare (ed.), Oxford Latin Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, [1982]2005), p. 1635). Working from this original definition, the present conference shall analyse but not limit itself to the historical and political aspects of France’s and Ireland’s res publica. On the contrary, it shall also try to cast a new and original light on the manner both countries’ authors and artists, their “republic of letters,” have engaged with – or rejected – the affairs of their State so as to create specific individual, regional and national identities, all currently undergoing redefinition through European integration. In this context, are the letters of the “republic of letters” a res publica or a res intima, and how does the collapse of national identities affect authorship and reception in France, in Ireland and in the wider European arena? Within such a perspective, studies in the difficulties encountered by minority groups during that process and in the way they have possibly influenced the Irish/French res publica will therefore be of particular relevance to this conference.

The aim of the conference will therefore be to examine and compare the French and the Irish experiences of the constitution of a national res publica, and assess what perspectives the latter may potentially offer in assessing developments in both countries. The headings provided do not seek to be prescriptive. Any other valid areas connected to the theme can also be examined.

Papers in English should be of 25 minutes’ duration. The organisers hope to publish a selection of the papers. Short proposals in English (c. 350 words) should be sent by email before 30 September 2008 to jcpenet@itnet.ie

Keynote speakers include :

Pr Myrtle Hill (Queen’s University, Belfast)

Pr Alexandra Poulain (Université Lille 3)

Dr Yann Bévant (Rennes 2)

Pr Wesley Hutchinson (Paris 3)

Scientific Committee :

Pr Catherine Maignant (CERIUL, Lille3)

Dr Eamon Maher (NCFIS, ITT Dublin)

Sarah Nolan (NCFIS)

Nathalie Sebbane (CERIUL)

Deborah Vandewoude (CERIUL)

Peter D. Guy (NCFIS)


  • Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3
    Lille, France


  • Tuesday, September 30, 2008


  • république, France, Irlande


  • Jean-Christophe Penet
    courriel : jcpenet [at] itnet [dot] ie

Information source

  • Jean-Christophe Penet
    courriel : jcpenet [at] itnet [dot] ie

To cite this announcement

« Res Publica », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, September 09, 2008, https://calenda.org/195432

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal