Les biographies littéraires: théories, pratiques et perspectives nouvelles

Friday and Saturday, December 11 and 12, 2015
at the University of Chicago, Center in Paris, 6 rue Thomas Mann, Paris 13ème

Organized by Daniel Desormeaux (University of Chicago) and Philippe Desan (University of Chicago)

This international conference, conducted entirely in French, will map out and explore various aspects of new biographical literature, while seeking to define the limits of possible theoretical models. Collectively, the participants seek to arrive at a better understanding of what distinguishes classical biographies (written in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries) from new biographies of great writers of the sixteenth through the twentieth century—such as Rabelais, Montaigne, Molière, Toussaint Louverture, Dumas, Balzac, Proust, Gide—which have appeared over the last ten or fifteen years.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11

Keynote Address
9:30 am, François Dosse (IUFM - Créteil) “La biographie entre science et fiction”

Panel 1 — Roland Barthes
10:30 am, Tiphaine Samoyault (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle)
11:00 am, Claude Brémond (EHESS)

Panel 2 — Rabelais
12:00 noon, Mireille Huchon (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
12:30 pm, Richard Cooper (University of Oxford)

Lunch Break

Panel 3 — Montaigne
2:30 pm, Philippe Desan (University of Chicago)
3:00 pm, Jean Balsamo (Université de Reims)

Panel 4 — Molière
4:00 pm, George Forestier (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
4:30 pm, Alain Viala (University of Oxford)

Panel 5 — Honoré de Balzac
5:30 pm, Gérard Gengembre (Université de Caen)
6:00 pm, Stéphane Vachon (Université de Montréal)

Dinner

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12

Panel 6 — Toussaint Louverture
10:00 am, Jacques de Cauna (CNRS, Bordeaux)
10:30 am, Alain Foix (Paris)

Panel 7 — Alexandre Dumas
11:30 am, Claude Schopp (Paris)
12:00 noon, Daniel Desormeaux (University of Chicago)

Lunch (provided)

Panel 8 — Marcel Proust
2:00 pm, Michel Erman (Université de Bourgogne)
2:30 pm, Luc Fraisse (Université de Strasbourg, Institut universitaire de France)

Panel 9 — André Gide
3:30 pm, Frank Lestringant (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
4:00 pm, Pierre Masson (Université de Nantes)

Closing Remarks
5:00 pm, Thomas Pavel (University of Chicago)