The Variations of Work in Francophone Cultural Production in the 21st Century (2023 APFUCC Colloquium)

Les déclinaisons du travail dans la production culturelle francophone au XXIe siècle (Colloque 2023 de l

Colloquium 2023
From May 27 to 30
York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Keele and Glendon campuses
Call for paper proposals

Workshop 9
The variations of work in Francophone cultural production in the 21st century

Workshop leaders:
– Dominique Hétu, Brandon University,
– Élise Lepage, University of Waterloo,

As shown by the works, among others, of Dominique Viart (2012), Aurélie Adler and Martine Heck (2016) and Corinne Grenouillet (2015) on the writings of work in France, and those, in Quebec, of Rachel Nadon (2020) on the stereotypes of the “social novel” and Camille Robert and Louise Toupin on the recognition of domestic work (2017, 2018), contemporary issues related to work, precariousness and the inequalities that underlie it are of concern to French-speaking human and social sciences.

Labor writing, whether creative, scholarly, or essayistic, is historically associated with the development of the bourgeoisie, agricultural labor, or working-class experience. Nowadays, it unfolds through a diversity of practices and forms linked to our contemporary societies: “ [l]he tertiarization of jobs, the infiltration of managerial discourse at all levels of life, and the resulting impoverishment of the human experience are attracting the growing attention of writers [sic] (Alder and Heck 10). The writing of the work is then perceived as “a partner in reflection” (Viart), a prism through which to think about democracy (Nadon), precariousness (Soucy), neoliberalism, globalization, feminism (Hamrouni, Bourgault), patriarchy (Arcan, Slimani), or even colonialism (Agnant, Fontaine, Magloire, Appanah). In addition to more historical perspectives (Viart, Grenouillet), one of these crises, the covid-19 pandemic, amplified the contribution of the perspective of care to a critical resignification of the work and tasks of caring.

We believe, however, in light of the knowledge produced at the intersections of care and creative and artistic activity (Ibos, DeFalco, Hétu), that this perspective goes beyond the framework of care and can be used to review our habits of thought around work situations more broadly and their contemporary issues, to go beyond the daily and to invent new ways of life (Lequin)?

We would therefore like to continue the reflection on the engagements of texts with work and see how literature, and more broadly contemporary cultural productions in French approach, mobilize, question work and its relations to the social, to the body, to language, to togetherness and the construction of the subject. In other words, in what ways is the human relationship to work – understood in the very broad and conceptual sense of the term – explored in contemporary literature and arts?

In addition to literary forms (fiction, story, essay, poetry, life writing, etc.), we invite reflections on discourses, issues and artistic representations,
cinematographic and television work and its many variations, such as, but not limited to:

• The writing work: the work of creation, production, remembrance,
interpretation, language work, translation work, responsibility
criticism, the work of form, writing as work-value (Barthes), etc.
• The language of work : Employment, labor, task, care, vita activa (Arendt),
work, production, service, retirement, etc.
• The body at work : injury, wear and tear, old age, sedentary lifestyle,
dehumanization, commodification, instrumentalization, displacement, etc.
• L’exploitation from/to work: wage struggles, domestic services and
reproductive, subaltern, slavery, colonialism, sexism, racism,
ableism, etc.
• The values of work: work as a bourgeois value (capitalist logic
enrichment and production); work as a vehicle for (trade union) revolt,
work as a service, the myth of the “self-made man”, the career, the executioners
work, etc.
• The affects work: pain, exhaustion, pride, shame, care,
alienation, work-family balance, etc.
• The geographies of work: urban/rural, interior/exterior, labor market
work, the visible/the invisible, the top/the bottom, the private/the public, the body,
intellectuality, business, farmland, cubicle, house, etc.
• The temporalities work: the shift, seasonal work, retirement,
labor relations/the labor of relations, hours of work, “time
additional, etc.

Deadline for sending proposals (title, abstract of 250-300 words, address, affiliation and bio-bibliographic notice of 150 words) to and the December 15, 2022.

The 2023 APFUCC annual conference will be in person (unless the health situation does not allow it) with, possibly, some online activities or interventions (we will communicate about this later). It will be held as part of the annual conference of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada.

People who have submitted a communication proposal will receive a message from the people responsible for the workshop before January 15, 2023 informing them of their decision. Membership in the APFUCC is required to participate in the colloquium. It is also necessary to pay the costs of participation in the Congress of Human Sciences as well as the conference costs of the APFUCC. Further information will be sent to you on this subject. You can only submit one communication proposal, presented in French (the official language of APFUCC), for the colloquium.

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