But Is It Art? (Day One)

Friday 08 March, 2013
10am - 5:30pm, $0

New York University, Maison Français
16 Washington Mews

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The Department of French at NYU has announced its annual Graduate Student Conference.  This year's topic, "...but is it art?" seeks to explore how art is defined, institutionalized and practiced in the Francophone world. We are interested in how boundaries are established and shift between the spheres of art and non-art.  We havewelcomed submissions that deal with all artistic genres and media, spanning all historical periods, focusing  individual authors or works, approaching the topic more broadly.

Some questions we will examine in the conference are:

How do particular writers/filmmakers insert themselves into an artistic landscape? Do all writers situate themselves with regard to a concept of art? Why are certain creative works classified as ‘art’, while others are not, and what are the consequences of this? Can these works ever be said to exist in their own autonomous domain, separate from other fields of knowledge and from reality? What happens when works of ‘art’ are interpreted from a non-artistic perspective? How does the institutionalization of art affect our understanding of it? How have definitions of art evolved?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • High vs. low culture
  • Art critics/art criticism
  • Committed literature and/vs. propaganda
  • Obscenity trials or public outcry with ‘art’ as defense
  • Literary hoaxes
  • The difference between art and craft: which cultural practices count as ‘art’
  • Art as ritual, rite, ceremony, transgression
  • Cultural specificity of art/life boundaries: is ‘art’ a European-derived concept?
  • Avant-garde movements
  • Art and/vs. the social sciences (history, anthropology, sociology, ethnography)
  • Art without reason; human vs. animal art
  • Aesthetics
  • Autobiography/autofiction: when recollection becomes ‘art’
  • Where art is created: literary circles, salons etc.
  • ‘Serious’ vs. ‘non-serious’ literature; canon creation; the role of the academy in influencing ‘great’ literature

 Papers will be given in English or French, and presented in either a more "traditional" conference setting, or in a colloquium-type setting.  The deadline for Abstractsubmission was January 15th, 2013, but the Conference itself is a public event and wewelcome everyone to join us on the 8th and 9th of March.

10:00-10:15: Welcome address: Professor Sarah Kay, New York University, Director of Graduate Studies

10:15-11:45: When art Becomes Art

  • Carolina Carnier, Universitaire Lumière Lyon 2: Valeur esthétique, surréalisme et mimésis : une approche axiologique de la notion d'art
  • Élise Boisvert Dufresne, Université Laval: Stratégies de valorisation littéraire: l'essai au Québec
  • Jean-Damien Mazaré, Université de Provence Aix-Marseille/ENS: Portrait de l'artiste en spectateur de lui-même : relation esthétique et représentation autobiographique chez Jean-Jacques Rousseau

11:45-1:15: Lunch break

1:15-2:15: Seminar: Grotesque Obscenities

  • Andy Dubrov, NYU: Return to Piss Christ
  • Morgan Labar, Paris I/ENS: Pédagogie et légitimation du grotesque dans les institutions d'art contemporain

2:30-3:30: Seminar: Ephemeral Poetics

  • Sophie Seita, Columbia/U. of London: "L’artiste nouveau proteste: il ne peint plus": the literary circles of Dada - publishing ephemerality
  • Chelsea Nolen, Oxford: Slam poetry and its place with respect to the literary tradition and culture of France

3:30-4:00 Coffee break, Institute of French Studies, upstairs lounge

4:00-5:30: The End of Art as We Know It

  • Cléa Daridan, Paris IV: Design as art?
  • Tina Montenegro, NYU: Et si c'était de l'art?
  • Julienne Lottering, U. of Toronto: Alternatives to the end of art
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