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Programme Creation and reception in the intercultural context

This programme seeks to develop theoretical approaches to creation and reception in international and intercultural contexts.

The aim is to examine issues raised by cultural dynamics extending beyond purely national frameworks in artistic, linguistic, religious and, where appropriate, anthropological interventions.

The first facet of this programme considers the reception of translated literature and the relative position of different literatures. (contact: Solange Hibbs).

It is clear that more and more is being translated and, as noted by writers in translation studies and critics of translated literature, international literary relationships are currently in upheaval, although each specific system and cultural situation may show specific trends. An investigation of the reception of translated texts in the target culture will enable us to understand how these texts function and adapt to prevailing translation norms, contradicting or coinciding with them and potentially modifying the receiving literary system. While translations must adapt to a precise moment in a particular literary system, it is interesting to seek to explain why some are recognised as canonical and continue to be republished, while others are forgotten. In the case of translated texts, reception theory is particularly pertinent, since the literary systems of emission and reception are necessarily different, their separation in space potentially combining with a greater or lesser separation in time between publication in the language of origin and the publication and distribution of the translated text. Considering translations from the perspective of reception theory means taking account of the conditions in which they are read. Rather than the operational process of translation, this approach focuses on the reality of the translated text, which is not treated as secondary, but as a text in its own right. The status of the translated text leads us to consider the status of translators and their translation project in a given cultural context. The work of the translator can be a work of literary creation. This raises several questions that merit exploration:
- the translator’s motivations (empathy, illusion of creation, appropriation of a different language which becomes the language of mediation)
- the translator’s translation project, which implies that we consider every stage of available translations and critical discourse on the text, in both published books and other formats. Through these different elements accompanying the text, the translator and publisher seek to integrate the translated text into the receiving literary domain.

Links to the “CorrecTools” programme of Axis II will be made at every stage of investigation, relating issues of translation to theoretical approaches to writing in a foreign language and the cognitive processes involved.

The second facet of this programme focuses on “francophonie” [the use of French in countries other than France] (contacts: Catherine Mazauric, Pierre Soubias and Delphine Rumeau). Of course the term “francophonie” remains problematic due to the institutional framework within which the French language is used across the world, giving rise to suspicions that the application of the adjective “francophone” to literature has a whiff of colonialism. Academia retains the term, for want of another, using it neutrally to identify all literature written in the French language throughout the world, without settling the delicate question of the relation of the “French” corpus to the whole. But scruples about the legitimacy of categories are increasingly giving way to a focus on the serious study of the problems raised, including, for example, the relationship to exotic literature, the historical processes of colonisation and decolonisation, the Commonwealth literature in English that is now discussed by post-colonial studies, “migrant” literature (or the literature of descendants of immigrants), and so on. For, while the emergence of the notion of “world literature in French” seems to provide many of today’s writers with a welcome alternative to the suspect and already outdated “francophonie”, it is no better able than its predecessor to provide a theoretical framework for study or to put an end to current debates across the entire field of contemporary literature.

So the issue is not to assess whether suspicions in relation to Francophonie and alternative categorisations are justified or not, but to explore the concrete consequences for academic critics of the evidently growing importance of these literatures: the proliferation of their territories of origin and their increasing media presence, which gives them a new resonance both with each other and with what are described as national literatures; their problematic representation of the world (and no longer simply their territory of origin or reception), which becomes problematic precisely because of their emergence. The theoretical debates pursued with similar enthusiasm in both the world of francophone research and its English-speaking counterpart, are fuelled by the experience of reading. Concepts that are always open to reconfiguration should not dissuade us from considering how emerging works are currently reshaping our perception of the literary corpus. In this regard it is perhaps a shame to not sharpen the analytical focus in which francophone texts are seen and only rarely to apply to them the more formal explorations traditionally promoted by French academia. The last gap yet to be filled – practical rather than theoretical this time – involves linking research on literary works to the teaching of literature and more broadly the teaching of reading, since the texts we are discussing speak in particular to younger readers, who engage more easily with the highly contemporary issues they reflect. Here is a clear connection with the programme “Construction by readers, listeners and viewers”. Ultimately we need to ask how writers in the French language interrogate the world as it appears. In these sometimes tragically uprooted literatures, what becomes of concepts and political ideals, humanisms and definitions of human beings, both in danger and in majesty? In these marriages and births of genres, subject to immeasurably diverse influences, what becomes of literary forms as traditionally identified and taught? Which of these texts, often presented as peripheral, marginal or experimental, have already become classics that deserve to be passed on? Such is the cluster of related questions that this part of the programme will seek to explore.

In the same spirit of intercultural openness, this programme pursues work around “creation and reception in Russia and the countries of the former USSR”, along the twin axes of interculturality and the arts. This has produced several themed issues of the Journal Slavica Occitania with issue 32 (2011), entitled La Découverte de la langue bulgare par les linguistes russes au XIXe siècle, as part of the first axis, and issue 33 (2011), Le Japon en Russie: imaginaire, savoir, conflits et voyages, linked to both. In the near future the emphasis will be on interculturality and the arts in relation to the East, which will see the publication of issue 35 of Slavica Occitania entitled Les Orients de la culture russe, a study day scheduled for November 2013 on the painter Vasily Vereshchagin, the student of Gérôme regarded as the first Russian Orientalist painter, and the study day “Japon-Russie: voisinage et diplomatie” scheduled as part of Toulouse’s Made in Asia festival in February 2013. We should note that the question of the complex relationship between Russia and the East was previously raised in the collection of articles published in September 2011 by Nestor Istorija in St Petersburg on another Russian Orientalist, Nicolas Roerich (who also designed sets for operas and ballets). A forthcoming book on the painter’s travels in Central Asia and Tibet will be published by La Lanterne Magique.

The relationship between visual arts and literature will be the subject of a themed issue of Slavica Occitania to be published in 2013 and the new contract will also retain cultural transfer as a core aspect of research. Subjects under consideration will include the influence of the Tartu School of Semiotics and the historical and cultural relationship between Russia and Spain. Russian pilgrims travelling abroad and Russian emigration will also provide themes through which to approach cultural transfers involving Russia. (Contact: Dany Savelli).


Seminars and study days

- Seminar on the Reception of Translated Literature (2011)

- Seminar on “Postcolonial literatures and generic models” (6 sessions in 2012, 5 sessions scheduled for 2013)

- Study day: Poetry and History in the 20th century

- Study Day, Tuesday 15 May 2012, on Translation, genre and identity: women and translation, with contributions from two international scholars: Professor Luise Von Flotow of the University of Ottawa (School of Translation and Interpretation) and Lola Sánchez of the Institute of Women’s Studies and University of Granada

- Formation of the interdisciplinary network "Transpyrenean Cultural Trends" linking 4 regions and 5 universities (Universities of Pau and Pays de l’Adour, Toulouse 2 – Le Mirail, Saragossa, Barcelona and Lleida). This network is part of the European cross-border project “Tradition, interculturality. Relationships between the savant and the popular in the 19th and 20th centuries”. The first full meeting of network members was held in Jaca on 7 and 8 June 2012 and will give rise to its first publication from a Spanish publisher. A conference will be held in Pau in May 2013 and a second book published in 2014. The project leader for the Midi-Pyrénees region is Solange Hibbs

- Study Day on Vasily Vereshchagin (1842-1904): painter, writer, traveller and soldier (Irina Bill ed.) (Nov. 2012)

- Study Day on Japan and Russia: proximity and diplomacy (Feb. 2013)

International conferences

- Nineteenth conference of the British-French Association for the Study of Russian Culture (April 2011)
- Final conference of the ANR MIPRIMO programme (in collaboration with CEPED – Paris 5), December 2013
- Conference on Science and literature: the discourse of science and the science of discourse in Spain and Europe (1876-1906).
- 2014: Conference “Around Patrick Chamoiseau”


- Les Roerich entre mythes et faits [Rerikhi. Mify i fakty] published by LLA-CRÉATIS and the Franco-Russian Centre for Research in the Human and Social Sciences, Moscow. Edited by Alexandre Andreev and Dany Savelli and published in August 2011 in St Petersburg, this book contains articles by American, French, Japanese, Latvian and Russian scholars. 078-5-98187-695

- Clara Janés, Le mot et le secret, translation and foreword by Solange Hibbs, L’Harmattan, “Ecritures au féminin” series, Paris, 2012

- Establishment of a translation studies journal, currently entitled Les Cahiers du CETIM but to be definitively called L’entre-deux des langues, supported by LLA-CRÉATIS. Its first monograph, including contributions on the theme of Gender and Translation, will be published in June 2013. It is available free on the electronic journals site of the University of Toulouse 2-Le Mirail and is intended as a space of thought and dialogue between translation theorists. It is multilingual and reflects linguistic diversity in its themes focusing on different geographical regions. Further information is available on the blog: http://blogs.univ-tlse2.fr/cahiers-cetim/

- Slavica Occitania (published and forthcoming issues)
For contents, abstracts of articles in previous issues and information on forthcoming issues, see w3.slavica-occitania.univ-tlse2.fr

No. 30, 2010: Transferts culturels et comparatisme en Russie, Michel Espagne (ed.)
No. 31, 2010: L’œuvre d’Alekseï Losev dans le contexte de la culture européenne, Maryse Dennes (ed.)
No. 32, 2011: La découverte de la langue bulgare par les linguistes russes au XIXe siècle. Christina Strantchevska-Andrieu (author)
No. 33, 2011: Le Japon en Russie: imaginaire, savoir, conflits et voyages. D. Savelli (ed.)
No. 34, 2012: La linguistique russe: une approche syntaxique, sémantique et pragmatique. Vladimir Béliakov & Christine Bracquenier (ed.)
No. 35, 2012: Les Orients dans la culture russe. Anna Pondopoulo (ed.)
No. 36, 2013: Pèlerinages et quêtes spirituelles russes. Kathy Rousselet (ed.)
No. 37, 2013: La citation littéraire dans les arts visuels russes. Catherine Géry & Hélène Mélat (ed.)
No. 38, 2014: Figures russes de l'exil. Danièle Beaune-Gray & Irina Bill (ed.)
No. 39, 2014: L'école sémiotique de Tartu et de Moscou. Ekaterina Velmezova (ed.)
No. 40, 2015: Espagne – Russie: relations historiques et liens culturels. Dominique Samson Normand de Chambourg (ed.)


- Thesis by Mari Carmen Trujillo, defended 28 September 2012: L’ Espagne à la Une du journal Le Monde (1986-2005). De l’entrée dans la CEE au retour de la mémoire: la deuxième transition en marche. Regards croisés et représentations culturelles (Spain in editorial articles of the leading newspaper Le Monde (1986-2005). From the entrance in the EEC to the recovery of a lost memory, the path to the second Transiton. Cross views and cultural representations)

- Thesis by Noureddine Ababou, defended 26 September 2012: Le cinéma postmoderne espagnol: Iciar Bollaín. Réalisme et engagement d’une cinéaste humaniste. La libération de la femme comme dépassement des stigmates sexuels.



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