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Oct 20

OCT 20

12:30 PM–1:30 PM


12:30 PM–1:30 PM    Maison Française 2nd Floor, Buell Hall


Literature as an Ark: on the Stylistic and Ethical Aspects of Zoopoetics

A talk by Anne Simon, moderated by Eliza Zingesser

To RSVP, please click here.

Zoopoetics aims to highlight the plurality of stylistic, linguistic and narrative tools used by writers to express the plurality of animal activities, affects and worlds, as well as the intricacies of the interactions between humans and animals. Such an approach helps to understand that all life forms are in a relationship of dependence with an archè (Husserl)—an origin, a reason, a refuge, a dwelling, the Earth— and that animals are more stylistic or rhetorical beings than we usually think of them as being. Evolution and biomorphic logics allow us to intuitively understand other species related to us, to share many of their emotions and expressions, and to be able to account for them through specific human means, such as evocative and figurative language. The lecture will show that perspectivism, metamorphosis and hybridity are universal patterns and experiences that literature embodies in different ways.

Anne Simon is a Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Française and a Member of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), where she leads the Project « Animots » ; an author of Trafics de Proust, 2016 and La rumeur des distances traversées, to be published in 2018.  Her research focuses on disturbing relationships between philosophy and literature, and on zoopoetics.

Eliza Zingesser is Assistant Professor in the Department of French at Columbia University. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Stolen Song: How the Troubadours Became French.