* * Call for Papers * *
32nd Annual French Literature Conference
March 25-27, 2004
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (USA)

Victims and Victimization
in French and Francophone Literature

The French Literature Conference at the University of South Carolina
invites papers treating the issue of victims and victimization in
literary works written in French.

Literary victims contribute greatly to the dramatic and moral appeal of
the works they inhabit. In various guises, such characters have always
emerged from the conflicts that are intrinsic to plot. When victims
attract sympathy, it may be due to a discernible rhetoric of
victimization in the work, or it may be due to extrinsic factors that
condition the interpretative habits of readers. Some victims are not
innocent. Others, possibly validating the paradoxical notion of
self-victimization, may be their own worst enemy. A character?s status
as victim may be transparent, or it may depend on the eye of the
beholder. Like most types of narrative, stories of victimization can
point to moral precepts or moral dilemmas.

Possible approaches to the topic might include:

Unwitting victimizers ? Guilty victims ? Victimizers punished or
unpunished ? Victimizer as victim ? Guilty heroes ? Reciprocal
victimization ? Ambiguities in the portrayal of victims ? The conscious
or unconscious pursuit of victimhood ? First-person vs. third-person
victims ? The autobiographer as victim (following, or resisting,
Rousseau?s model) ? Victims in non-narrative works (e.g., lyrical
poetry) or theater ? Sacrifice ? Scapegoats or non-scapegoats ? Victims
as seen through the lens of race, gender, class, sexuality, or
post-colonial theory ? The text as victim or victimizer ?
Self-victimization ? The evolution of critical perspectives on a
character?s status as victim or victimizer ? Cinematic resources for
portraying victims
The insights of many critical disciplines can illuminate the analysis
of literary victims: aesthetics, anthropology, hegemonics, mimetics,
psychoanalysis, religion, socio-economics, thematics, to list only a
Papers should relate the conference topic to French-language literature
or film of any period. Two anonymous copies of complete papers, in
English or in French, must be submitted to the conference organizer by
November 3, 2003. Submissions should be prepared according to the MLA
Handbook and should be held to a twenty-minute presentation time (no
more than 10 double-spaced pages). Participants are encouraged to expand
their presentations to no more than 18 typed double-spaced pages for
publication. Proceedings will be published as volume XXXII of French
Literature Series (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi).

For more information, please contact:

James T. Day Office
phone: (803) 777-2857 or
Department of Languages, Literatures, and
Cultures (803) 777-4881
University of South Carolina Fax:
(803) 777-0454
Columbia, SC
29208 Email:

Partial thread listing: