HomeThe out-of-frame and the unsaid in texts and images

The out-of-frame and the unsaid in texts and images

Hors-champ et non-dit dans le texte et l’image

Doctoral students & young researchers' symposium

Colloque des doctorants et jeunes chercheurs

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Published on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 by Céline Guilleux


With this interdisciplinary view in mind, this symposium will examine and analyze the porosity ofthe “unsaid” and of the “out-of-frame” in order to explore them in both visual and textual fields, inaccordance with the main axes of inquiry within the HCTI (Héritages et Constructions dans le Texte et l’Image) research unit.


Wednesday, June 5th 2019 & Thursday, June 6th 2019, University of Western Britanny, Brest, France

This symposium is organized with the support of the HCTI (Héritages et Constructions dans le Texte et l’Image) research unit (head: Pr. Alain Kerhervé) and the school of doctoral studies “Arts, Lettres et Langues” of the Université Bretagne-Loire (co-head: Pr. Hélène Machinal).


The proliferation of textual and visual discourses at work in contemporary society does not discard the concepts of the “unsaid” and “the out-of-frame”, which belong to any form of communication, as explained by French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy: “[communication] does not carry out onemeaning but connects multiple meanings1”.

Indeed, all discourse is based on a choice: the choice to reveal information, the choice of a register and lexicon depending on the addressee and, initially, the choice to communicate. If silence arises from the absence of noise, an overabundance of noise may also mutate into white noise, which in turn evolves into a semantic silence that cancels any communication. Likewise, while the “unsaid” mirrors the “said”, it can also be contained by it, as in a game of seduction, for example. This echoes Roland Barthes’s idea that: “The most erotic portion of a body [is] where the garment gapes. […] It is intermittence which is erotic, […] the staging of an appearance-as-disappearance2”. Therefore, what cannot be said belongs to the realms of presupposition, of innuendo, of the implicit, or to the realms of the intimate and of taboo. It is also the “unsaid” that gives its substance to the “said”, as suggested by the iceberg theory at work in Ernest Hemingway’s writings3.

Due to its framing, every static or moving image implies the existence of something left out of frame, just as a text implies something that is not written or said. The diversity of media (painting, photography, theater, cinema, comics, TV series, video games, etc.) has engendered an explosion of the concepts of framing, marginality and liminality, which redefines the very notions of off-camera, off-text, or even “off-page”.

Nevertheless, just as the “unsaid” is not a notion restricted to textual analysis, the “out of frame” is not restricted to visual studies; both can intertwine within a broad range of disciplines in the humanities.

With this interdisciplinary view in mind, this symposium will examine and analyze the porosity of the “unsaid” and of the “out-of-frame” in order to explore them in both visual and textual fields, in accordance with the main axes of inquiry within the HCTI research unit.

Participants will for instance address the following issues:

  • The ellipsis, the inexpressible, secrets and intertextuality in literature
  • The notions of presupposition, connotation, polyphony and the non-verbal in linguistics and political discourses
  • Frame, margins, focalisation and perspective in visual studies
  • The image of the artist, the gap between fantasy and reality, subjective and objective representations and interpretations, the art of suggesting
  • Adaptation, interpretation and translation of texts and cultural practices, the context and register inherent to the understanding of a discourse, the notion of what is lost in translation
  • The fragmentation of the serial form and the necessity of what is unsaid in TV series to maintain suspense, generate cliffhangers and retain the public’s attention
  • The discourse of public participation media, the contrast between the profusion of discourse and the disappearance of words in favour of meaningful images
  • Cultural practices and sociability, being and appearing in public and private spheres, explicit and implicit social norms
  • Official, cultural, political frontiers; “identity” frontiers and their impact on a community; the issue of individual and collective perceptions
  • The influence of official/unofficial and licit/illicit trade exchange on the perception of a product, a country, a culture

Submission guidelines

Submissions (title and short summary of 300 words), in French or in English, as well as a short biography of the author (name, surname, email address, affiliation, PhD topic and research field) should be sent to the following address: doctorants.hcti@gmail.com

by January 31st 2019 (strict deadline).

Participants will be notified by the end of February 2019. This symposium will take place on June 5th-6th, 2019 at Victor Segalen Faculty, University of Western Brittany, Brest. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. Priority will be given to doctoral students and young researchers.

Scientific committee members

  • Pierre Chartier (CNU 7),
  • Christophe Cosker (CNU 9),
  • Lise Delmas (CNU 11),
  • Raphaël Haudidier (CNU 11),
  • Dan Luo (CNU 7),
  • Pr. Camille Manfredi (CNU 11),
  • Fabiola Obame (CNU 10),
  • Benoît Quinquis (CNU 17)

Organisation committee members

  • Jérémy Cornec,
  • Gwenthalyn Engélibert,
  • Sophie Le Hiress,
  • Anthony Remy

This symposium will be followed by a publication in Motifs, the laboratory’s online journal.

Further details will be given later.


1 NANCY, Jean-Luc. La pensée dérobée, Paris: Coll. « La Philosophie en effet », 2001, p. 41.

2 BARTHES, Roland. The Pleasure of the Text, translated from French by Richard Miller, New York: Hill and Wang, [1973] 1975, p. 9-10.

3 “[...] I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven eighths of it underwater for every part that shows. Anything you know you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg”, Ernest Hemingway, in “The Art of Fiction, n°21”, Paris Review, issue 18, Spring 1958.


  • Thursday, January 31, 2019


  • hors-champ, non-dit, texte, image


  • Doctorants HCTI
    courriel : doctorants [dot] hcti [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Doctorants HCTI
    courriel : doctorants [dot] hcti [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« The out-of-frame and the unsaid in texts and images », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, https://calenda.org/526100

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