Sex and Discursive Strategies Between Implicit and Explicit in Literature, Language and Translation
Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Culture (LILEC) University of Bologna, 26-27 October 2022
The PhD students of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (LILEC), with the support of the Project of Excellence "Dive-In" (Diversity and Inclusion) propose the following Call for Papers for the Graduate Conference of 26-27 October 2022.
Our PhD program, divided into four curricula (World Literature, Modern Languages, Women's and Gender Studies and European Literatures), is characterised by a strong interdisciplinarity that we hope to convey also to our Graduate Conference. The aim of the conference is to gather contributions that fall within the three areas of linguistics, translation studies and literary criticism, without excluding the possibility of interdisciplinary proposals. Doctoral students and researchers at the beginning of their career are welcome to submit their presentation proposals on the theme of sex and the discursive strategies that apply to it, within a continuum between the two extremes of implicit and explicit.
Censored, displayed, fetishized, reclaimed, sublimated, celebrated: we always talk about sex in various ways, even when we abstain from pronouncing it. The discursive strategies that we use to represent it in the collective imagery change according to the historical, cultural and social context and the positioning of the writer, speaker and translator. Among these, some approaches are considered fundamental, such as French philosophy and feminism of the 1970s, which have recently been advanced by pioneering perspectives such as those of transfeminist and postcolonial criticism. Today, the discourse on sex is not limited to theory alone; it rather invades the space of public discourse, questioning the paradigms through which it has been conceived, analysed and represented. And moving further, it is precisely the growing interest of popular culture and transmedial representations of sex that calls into question highly topical issues, such as identity, consent, desire, self-representation and self determination. Moreover, in this context, an extremely important role is played by activist movements which act both at a national and an international level. In the last ten years, two movements came to prominence, namely Ni una menos and Me too. They both contribute to reinforce the struggle against gender-based violence and gender inequality and they have overturned the ways in which we talk about sex all over the world.
The Graduate Conference aims, therefore, to analyse the theme through transversal methodological approaches, ranging from queer studies (Judith Butler, Paul B. Preciado, Jack Halberstam, Leo Bersani, Lee Edelman) and feminist criticism (bell hooks, Adrienne Rich, Luce Irigaray, Katherine Angel, Barbara Costa) to discourse analysis (Dominique Maingueneau, George Lakoff, Norman Fairclough, Kerbat-Orecchioni) and translation theory (Lawrence Venuti, Luise Von Flotow, José Santaemilia, Olga Castro), taking into account also perspectives offered by cultural and visual studies.
We accept contributions related to the following themes, without excluding others that may partially deviate from the guidelines below:
• reappropriation of sex and pleasure in repressive contexts and / or as a form of
• poetics of sex as a celebratory experience, of elation / ecstasy / jouissance;
• censorship, untold, concealed, taboo, and relation with sexual normativity / the
discourse on normativity;
• narratives, experiences, and memories of sexual violence, abuse, trauma;
• relationship between sex and power, also in war contexts;
• language and sexuality in education, and processes of disambiguation and
• implicit and explicit in pornography;
• implicitness or explicitness in translation contexts of various kinds (intralingual,
interlingual and transmedial translation);
• presence (or absence) of sex in paratexts (covers, strips etc.).
Terms of participation
We accept abstracts for a maximum of 250 words (bibliography excluded) for 15' contributions, accompanied by a 150-word biography. Proposals must be submitted by June 1st to firstname.lastname@example.org. Acceptance of the proposals will be communicated by June 15. The languages of the conference will be Italian and English. The mode of attendance will ideally be in-person, taking into account any restrictions in place during the period of the Graduate Conference.
Please check the website for more information and updates.