How does the fiction/non-fiction divide, which organizes bookstores and best-seller lists, shape the domain of the written word? How do readers distinguish factual from fictional representations and discourses, and what is at stake in this separation? In what ways are fact and fiction interwoven? This international conference, focusing on the French and American contexts as well as literary theory more broadly, examines the categories of fiction and non-fiction, and the boundary between them, as a point of departure for a dialogue on the kinds of truth we find in literature.  It also investigates the place of fiction and narrative form in non-fictional discourses that are usually placed outside the realm of literature. In addition to panels on the history, forms, and reception of fictional and factual writing, the event emphasizes literary practice through discussions with contemporary writers.

Organized by Alison James (University of Chicago) and Luc Lang (École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy) with the participation of Emmanuel Bouju, Aleksandar Hemon, Jeanine Herman, Jean-Louis Jeannelle, Lola Lafon, Françoise Lavocat, Maria Anna Mariani, Donald Nicholson-Smith, Aude Rouyère, Marianne Rubinstein, Luc Sante, and Jennifer Scappettone.

Papers in French and English.


Friday 13 November, 8:45 a.m.–5:00 p.m. 

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

915 E 60th Street. Chicago, IL 60637, room 802 (see map)

Friday 13 November, 6:00-7:20 p.m. 

Seminary Co-op Bookstore

5751 South Woodlawn Avenue (see map), Chicago, IL 60637

Reading and panel discussion: “French Literature in the United States: Trends, Translation, Reception” 

Saturday 14 November, 9:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 

Logan Center for the Arts, room 801

Event sponsored by:

The France Chicago Center

The Franke Institute for the Humanities

The Center for International Studies (Norman Wait Harris Fund)

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy

The Workshop on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Modern France and the Francophone World

This event is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should call 773.702.8481 for assistance.

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