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Response Events

Événements de réception

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Published on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

This conference is part of a transdisciplinary research project about response events led jointly at the University of Tartu, Aix-Marseille University and University of Côte d’Azur. It aims to study responses to representations (literary, artistic, media, historical, etc.) and how these representations can produce an event for given readers/spectators. Leaving aside the events that certain representations can provoke and that are similar to historical facts (as for literary scandals caused by the publication of condemned works), it focuses on representations from the point of view of their response, where the singular experiences of reading/spectating (that are eventually shared) are identified as events. In the current context of representations’ and their media’s–notably screens–proliferation, it appears relevant to re-interrogate the response experience through the events that it can trigger.

Announcement

Conference at the University of Tartu (Estonia), 19-21 November 2020

Argument

This conference is part of a transdisciplinary research project about response events led jointly at the University of Tartu, Aix-Marseille University and University of Côte d’Azur. It aims to study responses to representations (literary, artistic, media, historical, etc.) and how these representations can produce an event for given readers/spectators. Leaving aside the events that certain representations can provoke and that are similar to historical facts (as for literary scandals caused by the publication of condemned works), it focuses on representations from the point of view of their response, where the singular experiences of reading/spectating (that are eventually shared) are identified as events. In the current context of representations’ and their media’s–notably screens–proliferation, it appears relevant to re-interrogate the response experience through the events that it can trigger.

In this research project, the notion of response event is based on that of the reading event, “advent of meaning for the reader”, itself established on the understanding of the event by Alain Badiou: “the event is first the onset of the inexistent and the onset of an inexistent brings about in its periphery a figure of destruction”, and Claude Romano, for whom the event makes sense through a subject “opening a world by reconfiguring its possibilities”. Thus, even if the response event is submitted to the chance of an unexpected encounter with a representation, it seems to respond to a matured situation, to a subject’s necessity. This event does not exist outside of the receptive subject but it can constitute a narrative, it can be shared. The response event’s significance and complexity are due, among other things, to the reactions and transformations that it can generate: its destructive dimension can cause a form of loss for the receptors but it can also produce a resistance or a disconnection, which then raise the question of the non-event, in the absence of its identification and of reaction from the subjects.

In this conference, the response event would gain to be approached from other perspectives in order to enrich the understanding of this phenomena. Indeed, if the response event can proceed from (reader-)response theories, it concerns closely other approaches that have representation and its devices as a research subject. First, we can think about the vast field of aesthetics which, among other things, is interested in the relation between the artwork and the spectator, dealing, for example, with the experience of Beauty, the aesthetic delight, the aesthetic experience, the encounter’s aesthetic, but also the deceptive dimension of artworks, the weak stimulation of senses, or even their pursued anesthesia. We can also think about semiotics and its notion of interpretant, as well as the concepts of punctum and studium developed by Roland Barthes about photography, where “the photo’s punctum is this chance that, in it, points (at) me (but also wounds me, grasps me)”. Furthermore, affect theory underlines the place of affects vis-à-vis reason regarding representations that circulate in civilian society and allow to reflect on the constitution of communities through response. Moreover, by studying the complex connections between traumatic experiences, cultural objects and receptors, trauma theory offers a nuanced understanding of the event’s temporality and its narrative. Similarly, some image studies, such as Georges Didi-Huberman’s, following Aby Warburg’s, insist on the survival of some images (nachleben), between recalling and anticipation, thus allowing to renew the comprehension of how images work in the event that it can cause. In counterpoint, studies on alterity (in anthropology but also more marginally in other disciplines–such as Victor Segalen’s notion of exoticism) allow to think the relation between confrontation and construction when experiencing representations and the events that they can induce. Finally, following Freud, psychoanalysts have frequently dialogued with artworks (literary, visual, more rarely musical or theatrical), suggesting models of the subjective or subjecting effects of an artwork. Psychoanalysis has contributed to the event’s conception, whether in its temporality (with the hindsight effect, nachträglichkeit) or in its reality (abandoning neurotica would amount to giving up the real event to make an event of the fantasy itself). But how does it think the question of response? While the Unheimlich reveals that the host was already present before the response, some encounters with an artwork rather involve stupor (Verblüffung), thus requiring the invention of a new signifier to account for it (de-stupor). Intertwining event and response thus allow to interrogate the psychoanalyst’s position toward the artwork as well as to reflect on the use of artworks in therapeutic art-mediated devices, closely connected to psychoanalysis. 

Submission guidelines

This call for proposal is intended for researchers and graduate students in human sciences and arts, as well as artists and writers, who are interested in response events. The 20-minute long presentations will be delivered in English or French. Proposals, in English or French, will be received

until 1 June 2020,

by email to the three organisers: sara.bedard-goulet@ut.ee, damien.beyrouthy@univ-amu.fr et frederic.vinot@univ-cotedazur.fr. They should contain the title of the paper, a description of 10 to 20 lines, the name of the speaker, his/her institutional affiliation and status, and an email address. A response will be given before 1 July 2020. Speakers will have to bear the costs of travel and accommodation.

Organisation

  • Sara Bédard-Goulet (University of Tartu),
  • Damien Beyrouthy (Aix-Marseille University)
  • et Frédéric Vinot (University of Côte d’Azur).

Places

  • Tartu, Estonia

Date(s)

  • Monday, June 01, 2020

Keywords

  • événement, réception, représentation littéraire, représentation artistique, représentation médiatique, représentation historique

Contact(s)

  • Frédéric Vinot
    courriel : frederic [dot] vinot [at] univ-cotedazur [dot] fr
  • Damien Beyrouthy
    courriel : damien [dot] beyrouthy [at] univ-amu [dot] fr
  • Sara Bédard-Goulet
    courriel : sara [dot] bedard-goulet [at] ut [dot] ee

Information source

  • Sara Bédard-Goulet
    courriel : sara [dot] bedard-goulet [at] ut [dot] ee

To cite this announcement

« Response Events », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, https://calenda.org/769279

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