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The policy of "danization" of the local Greenlandic populations as viewed by inhabitants of Ilulissat par Andréa Poiret, publié le 17/12/2021
The acculturation of the Danish colony of Greenland during the 20th century was less brutal than in other latitudes. However, under the guise of the modernization and rationalization of the built environment, the urbanization imposed by Copenhagen profoundly changed lifestyles. Based on their family albums, this text gives a voice to the Greenlanders themselves in an attempt to draw the contours of a collective memory of danization.
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"Ideas don't exist, except within emotions": Interview with Joshua Cohen par Joshua Cohen, Benjamin Ferguson, publié le 20/12/2019
Joshua Cohen is an American writer and literary critic, whose first collection of essays, ATTENTION: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction (2019) explores the notion of attention in today's society. In this interview, Joshua Cohen talks about writing for a global readership, being a novelist in the age of non-fiction, the effects of #MeToo on literary production and the invention of facts.
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Republican Electoral Strategy after Realignment: Electioneering and the Ideological Shift par Andrew Ives, publié le 29/02/2016
This article argues that the ideological shift undertaken by the Republican Party in the late 1970s, namely the move away from the consensus politics of Eisenhower’s Modern Republicanism towards the so-called Reagan Revolution, was motivated primarily by electoral considerations and the pursuit of power. The southern strategy, the adoption of socially conservative policies and the embracing of supply side economics, are analyzed in light of their electoral appeal, and are seen as a delayed response to the New Deal realignment of 1930-32.
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Nickolas Butler: On Rural America par Nickolas Butler, publié le 15/09/2015
Until about a year ago, I had lived my whole life in urban areas. The smallest cities I had ever called home was likely during graduate school, when I commuted between Arden Hills, Minnesota (population: 9,704) and Iowa City, Iowa (population: 67,862). And in fairness to Arden Hills and Iowa City, both communities are much larger than their census estimates, due in part to their proximity to other larger growing cities, and their migrating student populations. The largest city I had ever called home was Chicago, where I once lived for a year during college, in a small room so close to the elevated train tracks I could have thrown a baseball and hit the passing EL.
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Meritocracy (David Samuels) par David Samuels, publié le 11/06/2015
“Meritocracy” is the comic honorific that the American elite has awarded to itself in recognition of its accomplishments since the end of the Cold War. The coinage has proved to be a lasting and significant one because it does so many kinds of necessary work at once. “Meritocracy” assuages the inherent tension that exists between the terms “elite” and “popular democracy” by suggesting that the new American elite has earned its position in an entirely democratic way. Yes, we do have an elite, the word admits, as other nations do: but our elite merely consists of the most “meritorious” members of our democracy, and so any potentially troubling contradiction dissolves in a pleasurable way that both the early Puritans and their plutocratic descendents might easily recognize. The fortunes of the founders of Google and Facebook provide us with reassuring proof that the more we have, the more deserving we are.
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Pluralism and Tolerance: Philosophers, Mystics and Religions par Souleymane Bachir Diagne, publié le 12/01/2015
The belief in certain supernatural realities is an essential dimension of faith. And, by definition, they are that because we do not comprehend them in the same way as we comprehend objects and beings which we are capable of experiencing with our senses or those mathematic idealities that we understand. Faith therefore allows us to perceive the realities of God, His attributes, His angels and other entities and qualities of the same kind. It equally convinces us that, as human beings, we have the capacity for reaching these truths of a different kind than those of our senses or of our reason in the conventional sense within ourselves, and therefore posses an aptitude for the supernatural or the absolutely comprehensible.
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Secularity in Indian History par Sudipta Kaviraj, publié le 12/01/2015
A peculiar feature of the modern world is the asymmetry in the knowledge of the other between the West and the non-West. Nonwestern societies know a great deal more about Western history than Western societies know about theirs. Religious principles clearly possess a peculiar quality: because they are held with particular reverence by religious individuals who see them as principles created, or at least sanctioned by God rather than men. Their denial by others consequently can cause unusually intense offense. Not observing a principle of a particular religion is considered by strict adherents of that religion as sacrilege. This is why conflict of religious principles gives rise to conflict of particular intensity and severity: it can also give rise to spectacular cruelty, because the object of one’s attack are entirely dehumanized, and considered enemies not of man or king or nation but of God himself.
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Avital Ronell on authority par Avital Ronell, Clifford Armion, publié le 02/12/2014
We have to understand what education implies. To educate means to pull out of the other. There’s a pulling, there’s a little violence. I’m sure that education does take place without authority, if we understand by that a certain, measurable, examinable, testable level of acquisition and performance. However if you want to truly inspire, to accelerate and quicken and enliven the pulse of the student body, then authority would probably be an important premise.
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Nikolai Grozni: The Whispers of Music Lost par Nikolai Grozni, publié le 10/09/2014
“Only the words break the silence, all other sounds have ceased,” writes Beckett in his Texts for Nothing. Or does he sing it? If words were the only sounds, then a sentence would be the only melody. We might never understand which came first—the words or the melody. Perhaps the first humans knew how to sing long before they knew how to talk. In this Dionysian vision of antiquity, all mortals were originally musicians. Music was the only thing that mattered. People understood each other by inventing mimetic melodies and singing together in tune. They appeared, loved, suffered, worshipped the gods and died like opera singers on stage.
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Sofi Oksanen: They fooled you - Greetings from the countries bordering Russia par Sofi Oksanen, publié le 01/07/2014
When I was a kid, my Estonian family never watched TV. Not because they disliked TV-shows, but because Soviet-TV was pure zombie-propaganda. Finland was my other homeland and when we got back to Finland, after visiting my Estonian family, switching on the television was one of the first things we did. It was like opening a window. I can still smell that moment, when my lungs were filled with free air, though I wouldn't have used that word at the time – free.
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The Truth of Pussy Riot par Masha Gessen, publié le 21/02/2014
A great work of art is also often not immediately recognizable. Five young women entered the enormous Cathedral of Christ the Savior early in the morning on February 21, 2012, took off their overcoats to expose differently colored dresses and neon-colored tights, pulled on similarly neon-colored balaclavas, climbed up on the soleas (having lost one of their number in the process—she had been grabbed by a security guard), and proceeded to dance, play air guitar, and sing a song they called a “punk prayer,” beseeching Mother of God to “get rid of Putin.”
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Pictures Versus the World par Barbie Zelizer, publié le 24/01/2014
For as long as pictures have been among us, they have generated an uneasy mix of suspicion and awe. Perhaps nowhere is that as much the case as with journalism, where pictures are implicated in the larger truth-claims associated with the news. Aligned with a certain version of modernity, pictures are expected to establish and maintain journalism as the legitimate platform for giving shape to events of the real world. Consider how public response to acts of terror, war and natural disaster is affected by decisions not to depict them. Without pictures to show the news, journalism’s capacity to render the real and make it accessible is compromised.
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Minorities and democracy par Siddhartha Deb, publié le 17/01/2014
In 1916, the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore delivered a series of lectures that would eventually be collected into the book, Nationalism. Tagore was writing in the glow of his own celebrity (he had just won the Nobel Prize for literature) and from within the heart of the crisis engulfing the modern world, two years into the slow, grim war that had converted Europe into a labyrinth of trenches covered over with clouds of poison gas. For Tagore, this was the tragic but inevitable outcome of a social calculus that valued efficiency, profit and, especially, the spirit of us versus them that bonded together the inhabitants of one nation and allowed them to go out, conquer and enslave other people, most of them members of no nation at all.
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Translation as Muse: Muse as Teacher par Mary Jo Bang, publié le 15/11/2013
how can reading not add to one’s experience, and in turn influence a person’s writing? And wouldn’t translation especially affect the brain, since translation involves the closest sort of reading, one where the mind simultaneously reads for meaning and tries to access the equivalent word or expression in another language. Wouldn’t reading the word “pelle” in Italian similarly send a message to the brain to access the synaptic record of all past sensory experience having to do with leather: black jacket, kid gloves, car seat, red belt with an alligator buckle, toy-gun holster, shoe shop. Wouldn’t the experiential knowledge of how those various leathers felt be carried along as the translator toggled between two different linguistic systems? And of course each of those leather memories would be connected to other associational memories, some quite rich in subjectivity.
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Neoliberalism, De-Democratization, Sacrifice par Wendy Brown, publié le 11/02/2013
Neoliberalism, of course, is not unified or constant but differs across its geographical instantiations and transmogrifies over time. In the Euro Atlantic world today, two different and quite contingent forces are giving neoliberalism a new shape: on the one hand, financialization is configuring states, firms, associations and subjects in terms of capital valuation or credit worthiness (as opposed to productivity, efficiency, cost-benefit or interest maximization), and on the other hand, austerity regimes are effecting enormous shrinkages in human well being through cuts in jobs, pay, benefits and services.
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How Healing Are Books? par Pierre Zaoui, publié le 22/01/2013
The idea that novels, theater, or poetry often help us live, that they help us feel cleansed or feel stronger, more energized, more alive, or that they at least help us survive by giving us the boost we need to hang on a little longer, is not simply a constant topos of literature, be it western, eastern, or universal. It is an indisputable truth for those who make use of it, whether they write it, read it, comment on it, or transform it into a first-aid kid of maxim-prescriptions and citation-medicines to use as needed.
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For another Hysterature par Emilie Notéris, publié le 17/12/2012
Since the question of women’s freedom in writing, or “Why stories of transgression or women’s assertions of freedom are less tolerated than those of men?” only highlight ordinary male chauvinism (the answer to the question is undeniably related to cultural issues), I prefer to focus on the counter strategies that can be deployed in response to the insults made to women, like the one Eileen Myles describes in her introduction to I love Dick by Chris Kraus, What about Chris?: “She’s turned female abjection inside out and aimed it at a man.” In other words, rather than identifying the reasons for the violent reception of women’s transgressive writing, I prefer to think about the strategies that can flow from them.
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Some thoughts on silence and the contemporary “investigative memoir” par Marco Roth, publié le 06/12/2012
Critics and readers, at least in the United States, seem to be slower to recognize the investigative memoir as a narrative mode deserving of attention as such. The American memoir comes burdened with a history of survivor’s tales and evangelical Protestant redemption stories: the writer is usually delivered from bondage: slavery or captivity in the 19th century, Communism, Nazi Europe, or “substance abuse” in the 20th, and into freedom or the light of truth. THE END. Testifying, in both legal and religious senses, is important. Important too is the sense that the author can be written into a social order, given a normal or productive life...
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Frederick Wiseman on Reality and film par Frederick Wiseman, publié le 03/09/2012
The provocative starting point sent to me for this debate states that "Artists and writers are vampires who feed on reality." I do not think this is any more true of artists and writers than it is of anybody whether they be doctor, lawyer, used car salesman, fishmonger, politician, farmer, priest, housewife or any of the other hundreds of thousands of jobs that exist.
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Nicholson Baker on his literary career and how he came to write about sex par Nicholson Baker, publié le 13/06/2012
I think the job of the novelist is to write about interesting things, including things that might not seem all that interesting at first glance--like, say, a lunch hour on an ordinary weekday – and to offer evidence that life is worth living. At least, that’s what I try to do – not always successfully. My first book was about a lunch hour – the second about sitting in a rocking chair holding a baby – the third about literary ambition. There was almost no sex in those three books. But I always wanted to be a pornographer – because after all sex is amazing and irrational and embarrassing and endlessly worth thinking about. My fourth book was called Vox, and it was about two strangers telling stories to each other on the phone. I decided to write it as one big sex scene, because if you’re going to do it, do it.
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“Break On Through (to the Other Side)”: An Overview of The Historiography of U.S. Conservatism in the Sixties par Aurélie Godet, publié le 30/04/2012
Since the 1990s, a new generation of American historians has been exploring the “other,” counter-countercultural side of the 1960s, focusing on either the higher echelons of conservative power, the work of conservative militants at the grassroots, or on the ideas of specific conservative thinkers. This article aims to review some of the existing literature, while providing insight into what a comprehensive history of the conservative sixties should also include.
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For Free Union in Criticism par Pierre Bayard, publié le 14/02/2012
The idea of attributing old works to new authors is not original. It has long been practiced by those lovers of literature, our students, who do not hesitate to attribute The Old Man and the Sea to Melville or War and Peace to Dostoevsky. What is interesting is that this kind of reinvention is not always properly appreciated by teachers. Students are not the only readers to practice reattribution. Scientific discoveries have on occasion forced historians of literature - and even more, of art - to ascribe works to creators other than those to whom they were at first incorrectly attributed...
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Three Words for Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich par Wendy Lesser, publié le 14/02/2012
As an element in Shostakovich's music, the shame is perhaps not as audible as the dread, but it is everpresent nonetheless. One cannot point to a precise place in the music where you can hear it, but it underlies and supports most of the other painful emotions, and if it were removed from the mix, you would certainly notice the difference. The shame is apparent in the harshness with which Shostakovich treats himself and his own feelings; it saves the saddest quartets (like the Eighth) from self-pity, and it saves the more cheerful ones (like the Sixth) from any tincture of smugness or self-assurance...
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“The shadow of the fifth”: patterns of exclusion in Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child par Anne-Laure Brevet, publié le 06/12/2011
This study of The Fifth Child (1988) attempts to show that the eponymous character, a traumatic semi-human creature who neither assimilates into his ordinary family nor conforms to the demands of society impersonates a drive for disorder, chaos and violence undermining collective ideals. On the one hand, the fact that the alien child is not only excluded from family life but also from any type of “normal” human interaction, especially in Ben, in the World (2000), reveals hidden discordant notes that further lead to the disruption of his model family. On the other hand, as the symbol of a dark, destructive force fighting against enlightenment and progress, Ben’s inherently disruptive figure is a reminder of the two World Wars and the impersonation of social unrest. Through the various patterns of exclusion triggered off by his subversive presence, the fifth child reveals that the primitive dimension of the self and of humanity at large should be understood as part and parcel of human nature.
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The modern child and Romantic monstrosity in Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child par Camille François , publié le 17/05/2011
This study investigates the articulation between "child" and "monster" in Lessing's novella, linking the text to a tradition of contemporary fiction about the child in which the much beloved literary figure inherited from the Romantics has become a frightening other. We hope to understand the Fifth Child 's shifting boundaries between the monstrous and the ideal, the "real child" and childhood as a locus of adult desires, by tracing these dichotomies back to Romantic myths of childhood, or the distorted versions that have made it to our time.
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Breaking Bounds in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things par Catherine Pesso-Miquel, publié le 13/05/2011
This article on Arundhati Roy's novel focuses more particularly on the idea of dividing lines, turned into parodied, ridiculous devices, and on their transgression. Analysing in particular the love scenes between the two lovers and the incest scene between the two twins, it attempts to define the differences rather than the similarities between such scenes, asking the question: is transgression necessarily linked with progression? The article will show that Roy, like other Indo-Anglian novelists such as Salman Rushdie, goes to war with the sacrosanct notion of purity, celebrating instead mixing, hybridizing, and the blurring of boundaries.
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Beverley Naidoo: A conversation with students par Beverley Naidoo, Lycée Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, Rouen, publié le 03/06/2010
La transcription d'une visioconférence entre Beverley Naidoo et les élèves du Lycée Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (Rouen).
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An interview with Beverley Naidoo par Beverley Naidoo, Clifford Armion, publié le 01/06/2010
Un entretien accordé à La Clé des langues par Beverley Naidoo suite à son déplacement dans l'académie de Rouen.
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Beverley Naidoo, The Other Side of Truth, 2000 par Beverley Naidoo, Lycée Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, Rouen, publié le 17/05/2010
Deux extraits d'une pièce inspirée du roman "The Other Side of Truth" de Beverley Naidoo, adaptée par David Stevens, et jouée au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen par les élèves de Madame Bertholle, professeur d'anglais au Lycée J. B. de la Salle.
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Race Relations and the Presidency of Barack Obama par Randall Kennedy, publié le 05/03/2010
I attended the inauguration of Barack Obama with two million other people who created the largest crowd in the history of Washington, D.C. Although I grew up in the nation's capital, I had never before attended an inauguration. None had previously beckoned. But this time I felt compelled to be present. The sentiments that gripped me were similar to those that animated many who attended the proceedings.
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Rêver d’Orient, connaître l’Orient - Introduction par Isabelle Gadoin, publié le 03/11/2009
Les articles qui composent cet ouvrage sont le fruit d’un colloque international interdisciplinaire, qui s’est tenu à l’université de Marne-la-Vallée et de Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle, en mars 2003. Rassemblant des spécialistes d’histoire, d’histoire de l’art, d’histoire des idées, de philosophie politique et de littérature, anglicistes et non-anglicistes, dans le but de favoriser les approches croisées et d’insister sur les phénomènes d’interculturalité, ce colloque se proposait de revenir sur l’une des antithèses les plus constantes dans les études coloniales et postcoloniales de ces dernières années : celle qui opposerait, hypothétiquement, un Orient imaginaire, tout en séductions sensuelles (celui des almées, du harem, des fumoirs et des cavalcades), et, bien distinct de celui-ci, un Orient plus sérieux, vaste territoire offert aux investigations des spécialistes de l’exégèse biblique, des linguistes, des cartographes, des géographes…
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A reading of The Brooklyn Follies through the lens of autofiction par Marie Thévenon, publié le 02/10/2009
From his very first novel, The Invention of Solitude, to his very last, Man in the Dark, Paul Auster has always played with the mixture between autobiography and fiction. The Brooklyn Follies pertains to this tradition and it is through the lens of autofiction that this article proposes to explore this novel. The author starts by observing the similarities between Paul Auster and his characters and pays close attention to the intertextual dimension. She then analyses the metafictional aspects of the narration. Finally, she places this novel among Paul Auster's other works and wonders if there has been an evolution in his writing.
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The “obstinate resistance” of Woolf’s short stories par Christine Reynier, publié le 31/03/2009
I have often wondered why, although I have regularly gone back to Virginia Woolf's short stories, I still feel I do not know them very well. This is of course no other than the secret charm of Woolf's short stories: they are so hermetic or puzzling that one cannot help re-reading them; they are so varied that one keeps forgetting them; they are so challenging that one feels bound to delve into them again and again. They offer the "obstinate resistance" (Woolf 1988: 158) of the text that Woolf loves in Sir Thomas Browne's writings and that she analyses in her essay "Reading". The military metaphor of resistance might suggest that once the fortress of the text has been assaulted, it will surrender to the reader. However, the author makes it clear that such is not the case.
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Fiche de lecture : Celebration, Harold Pinter par Juliette Dorotte, publié le 07/05/2008
In a posh restaurant, two couples of friends, Matt and Prue, and Lambert and Julie, are having lunch. They are together to celebrate Lambert and Julie's wedding anniversary, but the mood is not proper to celebration. At an adjacent table, another couple is having a talk. Revelations are fusing on both sides: the man had an affair, and the woman reveals the dark side of her past. Before the six characters meet and make the general atmosphere even tenser, three characters come and go between the tables: the owner of the restaurant, a waitress, and a mythomaniac waiter.
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Fiche de lecture : Book of Longing, Leonard Cohen par Mélanie Roche, publié le 03/05/2008
Cohen's poetry – the title of the book makes no mystery of it – deals essentially with longing: longing for women, for God, or simply truth. What emerges from the whole book is the idea of an irretrievable loss. From the beginning, we learn that in spite of the author's retreat on Mount Baldy, enlightenment has hardly touched him: he has found neither God nor any essential truth.
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Fiche de lecture : Blackbird, David Harrower par Valentine Vasak, publié le 03/05/2008
An unmanned canteen, food leftovers are spilt over the floor. Una, a young woman in her late twenties, pays a visit to Ray at his workplace; a photo of him in a trade magazine has put her on his track. The last time she saw him, she was twelve and he was over forty, they haven’t set eyes on each other since. Ray happens to be her former lover, the man who took her virginity when she was not even pubescent. Together they go over grievous memories: the disgrace that followed the disclosure of their affair for both Una whose parents refused to quit the neighbourhood exposing her to public humiliation, and Ray who spent six years in prison. Gradually, bygone feelings resurface questioning the morally unacceptable nature of their relationship.
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Across the ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’: Jean Rhys’s Revision of Charlotte Brontë’s Eurocentric Gothic par Sylvie Maurel, publié le 20/03/2008
In this article, Sylvie Maurel analyses the Gothic destabilizing machinery at work in Jean Rhys’s "Wide Sargasso Sea". The first Gothic element the author looks at is the demonic agency that haunts the novel. Colonial history lingers in Rhys’s world and accounts for some of the strange and unexpected phenomena that occur on the island. Actually, the narrative is under the double influence of a past set in an actual history of slavery and a future already written in the story of "Jane Eyre". Rhys’s characters have an uncanny prescience of what lies ahead and a sense that they cannot evade repetition. The motif of witchcraft is another element that links "WSS" to the Gothic. The motif goes beyond a picturesque reference to the West Indian context and functions as a metaphor of the relationship between language and power. Christophine’s witchcraft and Rochester’s Eurocentric discourse are two similar attempts at transforming the world through language. The power of language is also reflected in the way the novel constantly brings together multiple voices and conflicting views which seem to hide a secret rather than reveal a final truth. Rochester can only feel the presence of such a secret and risks delirium as he tries to get a grip on something that constantly eludes him.
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