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Did you say “authentic”?

Vous avez dit « authentiques » ?

6th International Doctoral Days of “Transitions” (ULiège)

Sixièmes journées doctorales internationales de « Transitions » (ULiège)

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Published on Monday, November 08, 2021 by Sarah Zingraff

Summary

On the 5th and 6th of May, 2022, the sixth edition of the Research Unit Transitions (Research Department on the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period)’s international Doctoral Days will be held at the University of Liège. Organised in partnership with the Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CESCM) of the University of Poitiers, these days will be structured around the theme of authenticity. The notion of authenticity is by its very nature polysemous and complex to define. The aim of these Doctoral Days is to examine authenticity in its various meanings and according to the various methodological approaches pertaining to different fields of research. The presentations will be oriented according to two distinct, but complementary axes: “The object to the test of time” and “Authenticity, a guarantee of truth?”.

Announcement

Presentation

On the 5th and 6th of May, 2022, the sixth edition of the Research Unit Transitions (Research Department on the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period)’s international Doctoral Days will be held at the University of Liège. Organised in partnership with the CESCM (Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale) of the University of Poitiers, these days will be structured around the theme of authenticity. The chronological limits of this call are those explored by Transitions (Middle Ages and Early Modern Period).

Recent events, marked by numerous debates on the issue of fake news and by the announcement in certain media of the entrance of our societies into the era of post-truth, have put the question of the authenticity of a discourse back to the center of the debates. This phenomenon has not left the scholars of our disciplines indifferent, as they have long been looking for critical methods and “authentication strategies” to decipher the meaning and values of the traces of the past.

The notion of authenticity is by its very nature polysemous and complex to define. The authenticity of an object, a text, a work of art, a thought, or even an act, will be analysed differently depending on whether it is considered through an archaeological, historical, literary, artistic, or philosophical lens. A series of satellite notions gravitate in its orbit, notions that are sometimes linked to it etymologically (authority, author, authorship, authentication, etc.) or by semantic proximity (originality, legitimacy, credibility, sincerity, truth, etc.).

Conference Topics

The aim of these Doctoral Days is to examine authenticity in its various meanings and according to the various methodological approaches pertaining to different fields of research. The presentations will be oriented according to two distinct, but complementary axes.

· First axis: The object to the test of time

All sources, whether textual, iconographic, musical, or other, are preserved on a physical support, which is irremediably subject to the vagaries of time. Throughout its transmission, this source has undergone alterations, whether voluntary (restorations, textual emendations, palimpsests, forgeries, etc.) or not (patina, copyist’s errors, accidents, etc.). This makes it necessary for the researcher to resort to a critique of authenticity. The scholar facing these problems will often have to reconstruct, and sometimes deconstruct, in order to try to approach the original work. Although essential to the knowledge and recognition of a work, this hermeneutic work always imprints on it the intervention of the specialist. Where do we draw the line between authenticity and inauthenticity? What methods do the philologist, the art historian or the musicologist have at their disposal to reconstruct what is no longer there? How much of a copy is original? Is a non-autograph intervention, which could be described as inauthentic, not the real trace of the context of transmission of that work, the issues of which should be understood? What degree of authenticity can a modern edition or restoration claim? The question of forgeries, attributions, or any other reflections closely or remotely linked to the problem of the traceability of a work will also be considered in this first axis.

· Second axis: Authenticity, a guarantee of truth?

Authenticity does not only concern the material reality of a trace and its restitution. It also comes into play when it comes to analysing the discourses borne by the productions of the past. To define the concept of authenticity, several dictionaries use the notion of “truth”. However, the interconnection, the partial overlap, and even the interchangeability of the notions of authenticity and truth deserve to be questioned. Is a work which is deemed authentic necessarily true? On the contrary, is a true work always authentic? The understanding of an ancient discourse can only be approached in the light of the triple historicity that links it to the context of production that saw its birth, to that of its reception, and to that of its examination by the modern specialist. To what extent can the contemporary interpretation of a work of the past claim to reveal the authentic creative approach of its creator? What value of authenticity should be attributed to the ancient discourses we are studying: is a historiographic writing more authentic or true than a literary account inspired by historical reality? What consideration should be given to a translation, a parody, or an imitation? What about pretense or discourse aimed at delegitimising the word of others by calling it false or inauthentic? From truth to lies, from orthodoxy to heresy, where do we draw the line?

Practical Information

Applications must be submitted in either French or English. They can be proposals of individual presentations (20 minutes, followed by an exchange with the public at the end of the session) or proposals of communications to be included within specific round table workshops around a given theme, axis or problem (2 or 3 presentations of 15 minutes, followed by an exchange with the public).

Proposals are expected by the 20th of January 2022 at the latest, in the form of a pdf file, sent by email to the RU Transitions (transitions.jd2022@gmail.com). This file must include the personal details (last name, first name, university) of both the PhD candidate and their advisor, the PhD candidate’s CV, the title of their thesis, the starting year of their PhD, the title of the proposed communication, and an abstract of about 15 lines (max 300 words) in French or in English.

Applicants will be informed of the results of the selection on the 10th of February 2022.

After the symposium, a certificate of participation will be issued on request.

Lunches and coffee breaks on both days will be offered. Travel and accommodation costs will be at the expense of the participants.

Organising Committee

  • Francesca Cresci ;
  • Mathilde Kaisin ;
  • Sandra Otte.

With the collaboration of:

  • Aurélien Bourgaux ;
  • Julien Régibeau ;
  • Charlotte Tassin ;
  • Aleuna Macarenko ;
  • Émilie Margaix ;
  • Romane Massart ;
  • Stefania Tullio Cataldo ;
  • Gaylen Vankan.

Scientific Committee

  • Émilie Corswarem ;
  • Francesca Cresci ;
  • Mathilde Kaisin ;
  • Émilie Margaix ;
  • Christophe Masson ;
  • Francesco Montorsi ;
  • Sandra Otte ;
  • Gianluca Valenti.

Places

  • Liège, Belgium (4000)

Date(s)

  • Thursday, January 20, 2022

Keywords

  • authenticité, authenticity, Moyen Âge, Middle Ages, première modernité, Early Modern Perdiod

Contact(s)

  • Francesca Cresci
    courriel : transitions [dot] jd2022 [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Francesca Cresci
    courriel : transitions [dot] jd2022 [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Did you say “authentic”? », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, November 08, 2021, https://calenda.org/929044

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