HomeDeath under our very eyes Figures of death at the turn of the xxi th century

HomeDeath under our very eyes Figures of death at the turn of the xxi th century

Death under our very eyes Figures of death at the turn of the xxi th century

La mort sous les yeux ? La mort dans tous ses états à la charnière du XXIe siècle

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Published on Friday, October 26, 2012 by Loïc Le Pape

Summary

Whatever its aspects, be it slow, brutal, random, sensational, barbarous, burlesque, scandalous, painful, or even celebrated, death lies at the heart of life.Yet the singular violence with which it imposed its presence throughout the 20th century, together with the frenzied and twisted character it has come to assume in the firstdecade of the 21st century,  invite us to reassess death, , non longer whatHeidegger called “the place of the irreplaceable uniqueness of the person”. Le Laboratoire CECILLE (Centre d’Études en Civilisations, Langues et Lettres Étrangères /CECILLE, EA 4074) de l’Université des Sciences Humaine et Sociales -Lille3 propose donc, et depuis une perspective interdisciplinaire, de mener une lecture sur « La mort sous les yeux ? La mort dans tous ses états à la charnière du XXIe siècle ».

Announcement

Death under our very eyes. Figures of death at the turn of the xxi th century

IdA (Institut des Amériques) International Convention, North East Chapter, Lille 3 University, November 14-16, 2013

Comité scientifique :

  • Isabelle Boof-Vermesse (CECILLE / Lille 3) ;
  • Dorothée Chouitem (CECILLE / Lille 3) ;
  • Cathy Fourez (CECILLE / Lille 3) ;
  • Victor Martinez (ALITHILA / Lille 3)
  • Lucía Melgar (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México) ;
  • Marie-Agnès Palaisi-Robert (IRIEC / Toulouse II-Le mirail);
  • Maryse Petit (CECILLE / Lille 3) ;
  • Ana Rodríguez (Lille 3) ;
  • Luca Salza (CECILLE / Lille 3)

Argument

Whatever its aspects, be it slow, brutal, random, sensational, barbarous, burlesque, scandalous, painful, or even celebrated, death lies at the heart of life. Yet the singular violence with which it imposed its presence throughout the 20th century, with the help of scientific and technological progress whose aim was not humanity’s welfare but on the contrary its total destruction down to the faintest memories or traces of its very existence, together with the frenzied and twisted character it has come to assume in the first decade of the 21st century, as seen in the commodification of the “exhibiting and excavating of death” at its most terrifying, in the ruthless atrocity displayed in countries consummated by the injunction to hate the other, where death has lost its solemn dimension and where bodies turned into rags are allowed to become organic messages that speak of the power of force and of the cruelty of hubris, all those manifestations invite us to reassess death, non longer what Heidegger called “the place of the irreplaceable uniqueness of the person1”. 

New means of communication and broadcasting, capturing and spreading images almost simultaneously, in a context of mass production giving access to, among other things, weapons, components to prepare “home-made” killings, new viruses, have made death more plastic than ever. Now death is approached in its most fugacious, insubstantial, abject aspect, it floats on the screens, irrupts any time on your iPad or your mobile. It embodies the monstrum (monster) which also means in Latin “what attracts your attention”, “what holds your attention”, “what must be shown2”.

Death has been exhibited in all its unbearable variations, whether caused by a natural disaster, war, serial killers, or even disease, as if it was some freak show. Its causes and effects are never examined, its nature is never considered; instead, death is veiled under facts and figures, surveys that dehumanize it, erase its uniqueness, or drown its identity in a captivating voyeuristic scrutiny, forgetting about it as quickly as it happens, trivializing it and turning it into a “death spectacle3”. It then becomes difficult for us to meet other individuals in the perception of pain, to muster the will to include ourselves in the death of the other, to assess the place death holds in our lives and thus assess our own humanity.

  • How to represent the motionlessness that death stands for in a world that is constantly on the move, a world animated by constant locomotion, an unstable, transformable, interchangeable world ?
  • How to restore meaning and sound to death, the result of abjection and cruelty, when this death belongs to our lifescape and is submerged in the dailiness of the extreme?
  • How to visualize, identify, express, make manifest death when the body of the deceased has been torn to pieces beyond recognition?
  • What can the right to live mean when killing is what one wants to do with one’s life?
  • How to announce and tell about unacceptable death without contributing to its trivialization?
  • Why is some people’s death important and other people’s not?
  • How to recreate the gap between life and death, possibly rediscover stupor, dread, the capacity to grieve together?
  • Aren’t we experiencing a form of overexposure to death within fiction (literature, TV shows..) which makes it look familiar, tame, under control?
  • How should death be shown ? Why does the dramatization of death sometimes involve a clinical gaze and a sanitized environment and other times paroxysmic morbidity and ugliness?
  • Is there a way to deride, to parody, to ironize what historian Paul Ardenne calls “abnormal dying4” ?

Submissions

Toutes les propositions de communication (200 à 300 mots) ainsi qu’un bref curriculum vitae de l’auteur devront être envoyées au plus tard le 31 octobre par courriel aux adresses suivantes : dorothee.chouitem@univ-lille3.fr et cathy.fourez@univ-lille3.fr et seront soumises à l’évaluation du Comité scientifique du colloque.

Frais d’inscription au colloque : 100 euros.

Pour plus d’information : jean-francois.delcroix@univ-lille3.fr

  • 1 Cité par Jacques Derrida, in Donner la mort, Éditions Galilée, Paris, 1999, p. 64.
  • 2 Pierre Péju, Le monstrueux, Giboulées / Gallimard Jeunesse, Paris, 2007, p. 16-17.
  • 3 Cette formulation est le titre d’un ouvrage de Michela Marzano, La mort spectacle : Enquête sur l’ « horreur réalité », Éditions Gallimard, Paris, 2007.
  • 4 Paul Ardenne, Extrême. Esthétiques de la limite dépassée, Éditions Flammarion, Paris, 2006.

Places

  • Bâtiment F (Maison de la Recherche) - Université Sciences humaines et sociales - Lille3
    Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France (59)

Date(s)

  • Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Keywords

  • mort, perception de la mort, médias

Contact(s)

  • Jean-François Delcroix
    courriel : jean-francois [dot] delcroix [at] univ-lille3 [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Jean-François Delcroix
    courriel : jean-francois [dot] delcroix [at] univ-lille3 [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Death under our very eyes Figures of death at the turn of the xxi th century », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, October 26, 2012, https://calenda.org/225189

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