Appel à communication : « Feminist, Queer & Postcolonial Subjectivities » (Rennes, 8-10 avril 2015)

hannah-wilke-sos-1974-1975Feminist, Queer & Postcolonial Subjectivities
(Rennes,  8-10 Apr 15)

University Rennes 2, Rennes, France,
April 8, 2015 - April 10, 205
Deadline: Dec 15, 2014

April 8-9-10, 2015



Since their explosion at the end of the 1960s, the historical feminist 
struggles have irrigated both artistic practices and theories through 
fertile circulations. On one hand, by deconstructing discourses, images 
and ideologies that are shaping gender oppression in art, academic 
feminism has developed a new historiography. On the other hand, artists 
have drawn on these stimulating intellectual debates in order to raise 
identity politics issues.

The conference will consider the artwork through the lens of the 
relationships between artistic and intellectual experiences, between 
language and representations, and between text and image, from the 
1980s until today. This approach aims to go beyond the hegemonic 
discourses that render the diversity of subjectivities invisible by 
addressing contemporary art issues questioning them. From this 
perspective, this conference will examine the resonances and 
circulations between the most challenging feminist, queer, and 
postcolonial theories, writings, and artistic practices at a global 
scale. By focusing on a transdisciplinary approach including visual 
arts, performance and literature, the conference will emphasize on the 
multiplicity of viewpoints.

Within a global world in which contemporary art has turned into a 
transnational space, feminism, acting at the intersections of gender, 
postcolonial, and queer studies, must challenge the Eurocentric bias of 
the theoretical and criticism paradigms. Defined as “knowledge without 
power” by Trinh T. Minh-ha, seen as a reconfiguration of the frontiers 
between bodies and discourses and as a shift, both personal and 
conceptual, by Teresa de Lauretis, or as a theory in the flesh by 
Cherríe Moraga, feminism encourages the decentralization, and the 
opening of friction spaces.

From this plurality of worlds, fragmented, contradictory and plural 
identities emerge, invalidating a supposedly universal subject of 
feminism, and thus becoming transversal, transgressive and 
transfeminist subjectivities. To express these subjectivities, and to 
raise the “we” and the “I” from the subaltern subjects, feminists 
investigate languages and knowledge, history and autobiography, 
representation and auto-representation, reclaiming their bodies through 
performance, happening, and dance, and redefining themselves through 
visual strategies, thereby irrespective of the frontiers erected 
between the disciplines, thus opening a wide project of deconstruction 
and re-creation.

Proposals can address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Temporalities and histories:
- History as a space of deconstruction of gender, race, class, and 
sexuality oppressions, and as a space of production of new narratives 
(from History to historieS)
- Re-readings and reinventions, mythologies, and fictionalizations
- Revision of myths and modernity traditions 
- Counter-colonial, decolonial narratives

Feminist, postcolonial, queer, and subaltern poetics / deconstructions 
of language:
- Political semiology: liberating and reinventing through language
- Feminist, queer, and postcolonial reconstructions of language: 
textual processes, syntactical strategies, renewal of grammar and 
- The experimental language practices: bilingualism, linguistic 
hybridization phenomena (creoles, spanglish, border languages, etc.)

Circulations between theories and practices:
- Thinking and creation: exchanges between artists and theorists
- Artistic contributions to feminist, queer, and postcolonial theories: 
regimes of representation, analysis of the spectator’s position, 
subversion of the identities, and gender performativity, etc. 
- Resonances and shifts between politic consciousness, 
conceptualization, and feminist artistic expressions.

Submission procedure:
Please send an abstract of 300 to 500 words (excluding references) and 
a short biography to Both documents 
should be in English or French and include full name of the participant 
with current affiliation and full contact details.
- Submission deadline: 15th December 2014
- Notification: mid-January 2015

Some bibliographical landmarks:

- Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, San 
Francisco, Spinster/Aunt Lutte, 1987.
- Fabienne Dumont (ed.), La Rébellion du Deuxième Sexe – L’histoire de 
l’art au crible des théories féministes anglo-américaines (1970-2000), 
Dijon, Les Presses du réel, 2011.
- Catherine de Zegher, Women's Work is Never Done: an Anthology, Gand, 
AsaMER, 2014.
- Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing 
Theory, Practicing Solidarity, Durham, Duke University Press, 2003.
- Namascar Shaktini (ed.), On Monique Wittig: Theoretical, Political, 
and Literary Essays, Chicago, University of Illinois Press, 2005.
- Miriam Solá, Elena Urko (ed.), Transfeminismos: epistemes, fricciones 
y flujos, Tafalla, Txalaparta Argitaletxea, 2014.

Scientific direction:
Elvan Zabunyan (Université européenne de Bretagne/Rennes 2)

Scientific committee:
Fabienne Dumont (ERBA Quimper)
Christine Bard (Université d’Angers)
Griselda Pollock (University of Leeds)
Trinh T. Minh-ha (University of California, Berkeley)
Elvan Zabunyan (Université européenne de Bretagne/Rennes 2)

Organizing committee:
Marie-laure Allain Bonilla, Émilie Blanc, Johanna Renard, 
Elvan Zabunyan

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