Wrongdoing: Realities, Representations, Reactions
Abstr. due: 31.12.2014
Dates: 23.06.15 — 25.06.15
Organizing comittee e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers: Université du Havre
Crime, punishment and violence have always held a gruesome fascination with us. The idea of crowds congregating to witness the hanging of a criminal is barbaric to us. Yet violence is intrinsic to the material we run into every day, such as literature, films and videogames, and to modern culture at large, where wrongdoing persists, and where our fascination with it continues. This project thus provides a safe space within which sensitive issues that provoke reactions such as hostility, excitement and horror can be examined. Crossing a variety of disciplines, it engages with wrongdoing as a complex cultural phenomenon, a cultural object for consumption as well as a momentous and vital concept for society.
The term ‘'rongdoing' is used to encompass a large variety of aspects, covering what is 'morally unjust, unfair, amiss or improper; the opposite or right or justice; the negation of equity, goodness or rectitude' (OED). It will include on the one hand a formal scope ranging from acts forbidden by the law, through acts forbidden by religious principles and by the Church (and conveyed through encyclicals, catechisms and sermons), to more philosophical questions of responsibility and agency, and on the other hand more popular attitudes to wrongdoing (conveyed in particular through ephemeral publications).
The 'Wrongdoing' project sets out to explore three strands: the realities of wrongdoing, the varied representations (with particular reference to popular culture) and the issues related to our 'consumption' of these cultural products. The intention of the project is to explore society's understanding of wrongdoing, and the way that this is translated into the world of culture. It is thus concerned not just with wrongdoing, but with the social and cultural responses it prompts. Such responses include anxiety, anger, desire for retribution, ignorance or indifference (especially as regards slavery or domestic violence), identification with perpetrators or victims of wrongdoing, the potential for vicarious engagement with wrongdoing through cultural artefacts. It allows for questioning of the processes through which it is evident that we, as cultural consumers and patrons, take a type of pleasure in wrongdoing.
In 'Realities' we hope to include papers on historical, social, legal and medical ('mad or bad?') understandings of wrongdoing while in 'Representations' we will consider cultural formulations and re-formulations of wrongdoing, including the visual aspects of such formulations. Sessions on 'Reactions' will include reaction to cultural products representing wrongdoing, including thrill, voyeurism and horror, the relationship between violence and glamour (admiration for glamorous highwaymen and their cunning to outwit the police), together with consideration of questions such as the aesthetics and ethics of the reception of cultural products relating to wrongdoing and the issue of censure.
We anticipate that most papiers may come from those working within 18th-century studies, but welcome contributions from a broad range of disciplines. The working languages of the conference are English and French. Presentations should not exceed 25 mn so as to be comfortably complemented by a discussion.
Publication: We plan to publish peer-reviewed proceedings. These may be in English or French, and will be expected to be no more than 6000 words each. The editors reserve the right to select or reject papers, and to commission further papers additional to those given at the conference. To ensure a rapid and smooth progress through the steps of publication, contributors will be requested to present final versions of their papers by 15 September 2015.
Conference Web-Site: https://gric.univ-lehavre.fr/spip.php?article133&lang=fr