Publication of a new edited volume of interdisciplinary essays on autonomy co-edited by Oliver Davis
Arising from a Warwick-Monash Alliance collaboration, with Dr Chris Watkin, undertaken during the Covid years, this new edited volume considers whether autonomy is still a useful concept today. Is the Enlightenment understanding of autonomy still relevant in addressing contemporary challenges? How have the limits and possibilities of autonomy been transformed by recent developments in artificial intelligence and big data, political pressures, intersecting oppressions and the climate emergency? The challenges to autonomy today reach across society with unprecedented complexity, and in this book leading scholars from philosophy, economics, linguistics, literature and politics examine the role of autonomy in key areas of contemporary life, forcefully defending a range of different views about the nature and extent of resistance to autonomy today. These essays are essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the predicament and prospects of one of modernity’s foundational concepts and one of our most widely cherished values. Oliver Davis's chapter, on conceptualising the role of patient autonomy in psychedelically assisted psychotherapy, can be viewed Open Access here.
Interested in a PhD in Modern Languages (French, German, Italian, Hispanic or Translation Studies)? Calls for Scholarship Applications Now Open
The School of Modern Languages and Cultures (SMLC) wamly invites applications from outstanding candidates for doctoral study commencing in September/October 2023. The SMLC will support pre-selected candidates for the Chancellor’s International Scholarships and Midlands4Cities scholarships
Interested in applying for a Midlands4Cities scholarship for doctoral study in Modern Languages or Translation Studies at Warwick? Register for the online Application Writing Workshops for M4C scholarship candidates on 19 November 2022, 10 am-1 pm. Registration details and the link to subscribe are on the M4C website.
The School for Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Warwick warmly invites expressions of interest in its MPhil/PhD programmes in French Studies, German Studies, Hispanic Studies, Italian, and Translation and Transcultural Studies (including a theoretical/academic and a practice-based route).
SMLC researchers enable Garifuna delegation to retrace their Ancestors' footsteps
Head of School and Professor of French Kate Astbury and her PhD student Abigail Coppins welcomed a delegation of Garifuna people to Portchester Castle on Wednesday 8th September 2021 to show them the fruits of Abigail's research into the prisoners of war from the Caribbean held their during the Revolutionary wars. You can watch the BBC South report of the visit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=JOVWmfZuDuU
and read the Portsmouth News article about it here: https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/people/descendants-of-banished-caribbeans-visit-portchester-castle-to-find-out-about-revolutionary-heroes-3376145
Teleworkability as a new digital divide – Webinar
July 14th, 11am-12pm
What has the extent of teleworking been in the EU before and during the Covid-19 outbreak? Are we seeing a trend of new teleworkers across occupations and types of workers who weren’t able to work remotely previously?
This webinar, facilitated by Professor Chris Warhurst from the Institute of Employment Research and Dr Enrique Fernández-Macías of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, examines how Covid-19 has changed the profile of the teleworker and what it means for the future of work. Find out more: https://warwick.ac.uk/research/priorities/productivity/webinars/teleworkabilityasanewdigitaldivide/
Warwick Dinner Party – Call for Place Settings
Warwick Food GRP and the Centre for Research in Philosophy, Literature and the Arts (CRPLA) seek contributions for the WARWICK DINNER PARTY - a creative project to highlight different food cultures, memories, ideas and goals, to be displayed on campus in July 2021. Deadline for brief proposals: 1 June, 5.00 pm.
Sponsored by the Warwick Food GRP and CRPLA.
Global Gallicisms Study Day launches Producing the Post-National Popular French Studies AHRC Network's series of academic events
The first in a series of events for this network Producing the Post-National Popular (warwick.ac.uk) took place this Friday 23rd April online, with 50 registrations and much dialogue generated.
New monograph: "Past Imperfect: Time and African Decolonization, 1945-1960" by Pierre-Philippe Fraiture, published by Liverpool UP (April 2021)
Bicentenary of the death of Napoleon: online afternoon of papers on Les masques de l’Empereur: Napoléon en spectacle (1796-1821) Thursday 23rd April 2021
Ahead of the anniversary of the death of Napoleon, SMLC colleagues Kate Astbury and Paola Perazzolo will be hosting an afternoon of papers exploring theatrical representations of Napoleon via YouTube.
13h00: Accueil et introduction (Katherine Astbury, University of Warwick)
13h15-14h30 – Session 1, Président Katherine Astbury (University of Warwick)
13h15-13h35 : Clare Siviter (University of Bristol), « Bonaparte et la censure du Directoire »
13h35-13h55: Paola Perazzolo (University of Warwick, Università di Verona), « Les « Journée(s) de Saint-Cloud » : les pièces de circonstance autour du 18 Brumaire »
13h55-14h15: Vincenzo De Santis (Università di Salerno) et Pierre Frantz (Université Paris-Sorbonne), « Les ombres de l’Empereur »
14h15-14h30 : Discussion
14h30-14h50 : Pause
14h50-15h45 – Session 2, président Pierre Frantz (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
14h50-15h10 : Maurizio Melai (Docteur des Universités de Pisa et Paris-Sorbonne) « "Otez à Sylla la mèche de Napoléon, et la pièce n'allait pas jusqu'à la fin" : sur un "succès de perruque" de Talma en 1821 »
15h10-15h30 : Laura O'Brien (University of Northumbria), « L’émergence de l’acteur "napoléonien" au XIXe siècle »
15h30-15h45 : Discussion
15h45-16h00 : Pause
16h00-17h00 – Session 3 Président Clare Siviter (University of Bristol)
16h00-16h20: Nicole Cochrane (University of Exeter), « La mise en scène de la défaite : expositions napoléoniennes et culture matérielle de la victoire à Londres au XIXe siècle »
16h20-16h40: Katherine Astbury (University of Warwick) : « Napoléon Harlequin »
16h40-17h00: Discussion et conclusion
Oliver Davis and David Lees appointed as Editors of Modern & Contemporary France
The Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France announced today the appointment of its new Editorial Team to lead the future development of the journal Modern & Contemporary France, now in its fifth decade, two of whom are based in French Studies here in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures:
- Executive Editor: Professor Oliver Davis
- Co-Editor: Dr David Lees
Modern & Contemporary France is an internationally prominent peer-reviewed journal, offering a scholarly view of France from 1789 to the present day. It is a multi-disciplinary journal, drawing particularly on the work of scholars in history and in cultural, literary and post-colonial studies, in film and media studies and in the political and social sciences.
Oliver and David are looking forward to taking over from the current team in September.
new article on philosopher Peter Sloterdijk by Oliver Davis
Oliver Davis has published a new article on the work of philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, as part of a special issue of Angelaki on Sloterdijk, edited by Patrick Roney and Andrea Rossi. 'Anthropotechnical Practising in the Foam-World' can be accessed here. Abstract: I begin by acknowledging the profusion of Peter Sloterdijk’s published work, the suggestion by Bruno Latour that it may be on the side of design, and Sloterdijk’s pugnacious aversion to professorial critique. I focus on what I consider to be the crucial and vexed relationship between the general immunology of the Spheres trilogy [1998–2004] and the general ascetology of You Must Change Your Life . I present an analytical reconstruction of Sloterdijk’s account of originary spheric being-with in the trilogy, focused on its culmination in the foam-world; I suggest this account is too ambiguous on key matters of basic ontological structure and I question whether the foam metaphor is adequate as a description of intersubjectivity today. Against the backdrop of this discussion I consider whether the general ascetology of Sloterdijk’s second anthropotechnics involves practising in, or practising on, the shells of symbolic immunity and conclude the latter. Setting this alongside the trilogy’s insistence that cells in the foam are “co-fragile,” I argue that anthropotechnical practising in the foam-world is suffused with a violence which Sloterdijk is reluctant to theorize. Registering one significant undeclared context of his discussion of self-enhancement, in postmodern management theory, I suggest that successful anthropotechnical practising in the foam-world requires the capacity to ignore other people and their interests. I note that Sloterdijk’s one-eyed embrace of competitive self-enhancement in You Must Change Your Life has since been qualified in brief remarks in What Happened in the 20th Century?  but not substantively reconsidered. In conclusion, I pay tribute to the anthropotechnical lesson of Sloterdijk’s theoretical project, notwithstanding its design flaws and continuity errors.
new free-to-view article by Oliver Davis: 'Neoliberal capitalism's bureaucracies of "governance"'
The account of bureaucracy under neoliberal capitalism which I present in this article, under the innocuous heading it prefers to use to describe itself (‘governance’), draws together recent critical work by the late David Graeber, Wendy Brown, William Davies and Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, which it repositions in relation to Jacques Rancière’s conception of the ‘police order’. I suggest that the massive production of insecurity by proliferating bureaucracies which structure neoliberalism’s project of competitive hierarchisation creates the ideal conditions for a vicious circle of securitarian inflation. To read the full article click here
New article: Kate Astbury and Diane Tisdall, ‘Sonorising « La Forteresse du Danube » : Functions of music in Parisian and provincial melodrama of the early nineteenth century’
The combination of spectacle and elaborate scenery, orchestra and obligatory dance number made early nineteenth-century French melodrama expensive to produce and, consequently, the genre is strongly associated with the Parisian boulevard theatres. Provincial performances required creative solutions, not least because the music composed for – and central to – the Paris performances remained in manuscript form and was not, therefore, distributed automatically to regional theatres, whereas the play text was printed and widely available. This means that different scores existed for the same play, opening up the possibility that provincial audiences were presented with a different concept of melodrama to Parisians. Using as a case study La Forteresse du Danube (1805) by self-proclaimed leading exponent of the genre, Guilbert de Pixerécourt, this article will explore how comparing scores through performance-led research can further our understanding of the changes needed to make a Paris hit performable in the provinces.
For more, see Studi francesi, 191 (autumn 2020), pp. 248-360.
The Ends of Autonomy I: July Colloquium
Oliver Davis and Chris Watkin co-hosted a major virtual colloquium in July on 'The Ends of Autonomy'. The conference had over 100 registered participants from all continents of the world. Recordings of some of the papers can be accessed here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/modernlanguages/research/french/currentprojects/beyondautonomy/warwick. Oliver and Chris will host a second Monash colloquium on the same theme on December 15 and 16 2020.
Professor Jim Shields discussed Macron’s government reshuffle and presidential reset in the France 24 Debate and News; he gave interviews to the Colombian daily Portafolio and online news site The Local (here and here) and had columns published in the Spanish daily La Razón on France’s municipal elections, rounds one and two.
Professor Ingrid De Smet has been admitted as a member of the Academia Europaea
Professor Ingrid De Smet has been admitted as a member of the Academia Europaea (Section of Literary and Theatrical Studies). The Academia Europaea (formed in 1988) is the pan-European academy of science, humanities and letters, with a membership of over 3800 eminent scholars, drawn from all countries of Europe, and all disciplines, nationalities and geographical locations.
The Annual PG Symposium of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Warwick, will take place on 23rd May 2018