Students at Royal Holloway,
University of London Royal Holloway,
University of London

Fortune and Fatality: Performing the Tragic in Early Modern France (1553-1715)

The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 20 October 2006


The Interdisciplinary Group for Seventeenth-Century French Studies at the
Graduate Center of the City University of New York invites paper proposals
for its annual student conference. This year's conference will be held on
Friday 20 October 2006. Papers should be 15-20 minutes in length.

Distinguished Professor of French Domna C. Stanton will be our keynote
speaker, and events will include a performance of seventeenth- and
eighteenth-century French music on period instruments.

As an aesthetic notion and literary genre, tragedy has enjoyed a
privileged place in French culture, particularly during the early modern
period. According to Jean Rohou: "Tragic is the misery inherent in being,
constitutive of the human condition and personality, insurmountable
outside of a transformation that is impossible at first sight." The tragic
manifests not only in tragedy, but in funeral orations, novels,
theoretical arguments, poetry, music, visual art, and even comedy. But why
tragedy? What fundamental elements of the tragic reflect the inherent
instability of the human condition, and to what end were the
philosophical, theatrical, and performative aspects of the tragic
appropriated in early modern France?   

Proposals for papers from all disciplines are welcome. Papers may be
either in French or in English. Possible topics include, but are not
limited to:

-       Tragic/doomed women
-       Women writing tragedy (theater, correspondence, memoirs, etc.)
-       Gender and tragedy
-       Fureur and disordered passion
-       Bossuet and the oraison funebre
-       Death and mourning
-       Gisants and the theatrical tomb
-       Staging and performance (theater, funerals and religious 
-       Tragédie en musique
-       Visual art
-       Conflict, free will, and morality
-       Tragedy and tragicomedy
-       Medicine and tragedy (mélancolie, folie, déraison, etc.)
-       The poetics of tragedy
-       Theories of/on early modern theater and theatricality

The deadline for submissions is 14 July 2006. Please send proposals to
Desmond Hosford ( and Charles Wrightington

Desmond Hosford
Ph.D. Program in French
City University of New York
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