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Workshop Program & Abstracts

The Corona Fictions Workshop will take place online from December 9 to December 10. If you wish to attend the workshop, please fill out the registration form or write a short mail to corona.fictions[a]uni-graz.at to receive the access link and code shortly before the workshop.

(last update 09/12/2021)

Thursday, December 9, 2021 (time: CET)

17:00- 17:30

Workshop Opening: Deconfining Pandemic Fictions!

17:30- 18:00

Petr Kyloušek, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic:
Une dystopie abhumaniste : le cas de J.D. Kurtness et de Christiane Vadnais

18:00- 18:30

Albert Göschl, University of Graz, Austria:
Utopianism Clean and Pure. The Interconnected Hygienic Discourse of 19th Century Science and Literature.

18:30- 18:45

CoFi Break
18:45- 19:15

Guido Furci, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France:
"Sinon ça va ? Ça va (pas)" : sur les activités du Mouvement Transitions en temps de confinement

19:15- 19:45

Nicole Perry, University of Auckland, New Zealand:
A Pandemic-Themed Television Series Premieres during Lockdown in New Zealand: The Creamerie (2020), Dystopic/Utopic Futures, and COVID-19

19:45- 20:00 CoFi Break
20:00- 21:00

David Chapon, Lyon, France:
Reading from Éloge du Cygne (2021)


Friday, December 10, 2021 (time: CET)

15:00- 15:30

Susanne Grimaldi, TU Dresden, Germany:
Portuguese and Spanish Poetry in Times of Pandemic Crisis

15:30- 16:00

Marina O. Hertrampf, University of Passau, Germany:
On the Humorous Lightness of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Case Analyses of Poetic and Narrative Texts by Jacques Moulin and François Varay

16:00- 16:30 CoFi Break
16:30- 17:00

Pénélope Cormier, Université de Moncton, Canada, & Sandrine Duval, McGill University, Canada:
La pandémie comme inspiration et contrainte en Acadie : le cas de Pépins de Satellite Théâtre

17:00- 17:30 Julia Obermayr, University of Graz, Austria:
'Confinés. Égalité. Fraternité’? Corona Fictions as Cultural Indicators of Social Cohesion and Resilience in 8 Rue de l’Humanité
17:30 Concluding Remarks
   

Abstracts

(in alphabetical order)

Loïc Bourdeau, University of Louisiana at Lafayette [cancelled]
French Cultural Response to Covid-19: Lockdown Diaries, Stuck, and The Hook Up Plan

In his second and perhaps most memorable televized address to the French population on March 16, 2020, President Emmanuel Macron declared war on the the virus: “nous sommes en guerre”. Calling on everyone’s “sens des responsabilités et de la solidarité” — and implementing a strict lockdown — he nevertheless noted that this measure should not “prevent us from staying connected, to call our family . . . to invent new forms of solidarity between generations”. He added that “culture, education, the meaning of things are important”. Turning then to the cultural response, from lockdown diaries to series and films, this presentation explores the ways in which cultural actors tackled COVID-19, what representational tropes were deployed (e.g., the “germ-freak”, the “Parisian moving to their country house”, the “tired healthcare provider, etc.), and how these productions were received. From the controversial “journals” (Slimani and Darrieussecq) to the comedic Netflix-produced shows, the ongoing pandemic has shed new light on exacerbated class inequalities, privileges, the neoliberal model, and once again, who speaks and who is heard.

*****

Sandrine Duval, Université McGill & Pénélope Cormier, Université de Moncton
La pandémie comme inspiration et contrainte en Acadie : le cas de Pépins de Satellite Théâtre
The Pandemic as Inspiration and (Sanitary) Restriction in Satellite Théâtre’s Pépins, an Acadian Production

La pièce Pépins : un parcours de petites détresses (2020) de Satellite Théâtre (Moncton, Canada) s’inscrit dans le nouveau phénomène des « Corona fictions ». Pépins fut présenté une première fois en premier octobre 2020, dans un moment de précarité liée à la crise sanitaire, et les représentations suivantes furent d’ailleurs annulées en raison d’une hausse des cas de Covid-19 dans la région. La pièce fut présentée à nouveau en août 2021, après que le gouvernement provincial ait déclaré la fin de l’état d’urgence, entre deux vagues de la pandémie.

Il s’agit d’un ensemble de cinq monologues, écrits par Caroline Bélisle, présentant autant de femmes racontant leur expérience de la pandémie. En plus d’être sujet de l’œuvre, la pandémie a imposé un cadre particulier au spectacle; les représentations ont pris place dans un verger de pommes spécialement aménagé, où les spectateurs circulaient en petits groupes d’une actrice à l’autre, dans un sentier parsemé d’œuvres d’art. En l’occurrence, les contraintes du contexte de création ont permis à la compagnie de présenter une production expérimentale (dans un lieu non théâtral, avec des partenariats non théâtraux), mais aussi à l’autrice de développer une forme d’écriture théâtrale (le monologue plutôt que le dialogue) permettant au théâtre d’exister malgré les exigences sanitaires.

Dans notre examen de cette pièce, nous allons rendre compte, d’une part, de l’expression des différentes expériences de la pandémie révélées dans les monologues et, d’autre part, de l’expérience de la pandémie qui est celle du consommateur d’un « art vivant », particulièrement touché par les restrictions sanitaires.

Langue de présentation : français (avec appui visuel en anglais)
Language : French (with English support)

*****

Albert Göschl, University of Graz
Utopianism Clean and Pure. The Interconnected Hygienic Discourse of 19th Century Science and Literature.

Since Thomas More and already before, Utopian literary writing has integrated hygiene issues into its reflections. Already in the Renaissance utopias, questions of cleanliness, canalization systems, and the orientation of the city to exploit the winds for a purification of the air are concerned. But above all in the 19th century, the scientific discourse on hygiene increased and consolidated in literary and non-literary utopias. Here we have Richardson’s utopian city Hygeia (1875), which merges into Jules Verne’s The Begum’s Fortune (Cinq Cents Millions de la Bégum, 1879), but also leaves its mark on other European utopians such as Ricardo Mella (La nueva utopía, 1890) or Paolo Mantegazza’s Year 3000 (L’anno 3000, 1897). In Jules Verne’s utopian city of France-Ville, this leads to a hygiene doctrine that reaches down to the micro level of private space, for example, prohibiting the use of carpets and wallpapers to combat bad evaporation and disease germs with the effect that problems such as epidemics do not exist any longer. The primary task of the state therein is to protect the population from diseases that are conceived as dystopian horror scenarios: ‘To clean, clean unceasingly, so as to destroy the miasmas constantly emanating from a large community, such is the principal work of the central government’ (Verne 1879, 152). This paper examines therefore the complex status of hygiene control for utopias as well as the consequences for the creation of the utopian space of the outgoing 19th and beginning 20th century.

*****

Susanne Grimaldi, TU Dresden
Portuguese and Spanish Poetry in Times of Pandemic Crisis

In the Iberian Peninsula, the health crisis caused by the pandemic partly can be understood as a legacy of the previous socioeconomic crisis. Although cultural life took a hard brake, poetry experienced a revival as "instrument of resilience" and "emotional support" in Spain and Portugal. This paper seeks to study the influence of the coronavirus in the Spanish and Portuguese poetry during the spring months of 2020.

*****

Petr Kyloušek, Université Masaryk, Brno
Une dystopie abhumaniste : le cas de J.D. Kurtness et de Christiane Vadnais

Résumé
Ma présentation a deux objectifs. Le premier, méthodologique, concerne l'ethos en tant que composante du style. En quoi consiste-t-il ? Se réduit-il au thème ? Ou existe-t-il d'autres procédés, et à quel niveau structurel, qui contribuent à la tonalité du message ? Le deuxième objectif émerge du matériel textuel dont l'analyse et la présentation illustrent l'approche méthodologique. Il s'agit de deux dystopies récentes - Aquariums (2019) de J. D. Kurtness et Faunes (2018) de Christiane Vadnais - qui semblent se démarquer par leur éthos abhumaniste des apocalypses et dystopies du discours majoritaire.

 

Abstract
My presentation has two objectives. The first, methodological, concerns ethos as a component of style. What does it consist of? Is it reduced to the theme? Or are there other processes, and at what structural level, which contribute to the tone of the message? The second objective emerges from the textual material whose analysis and presentation illustrates the methodological approach. These are two recent dystopias - Aquariums (2019) by J. D. Kurtness and Faunes (2018) by Christiane Vadnais - which seem to stand out in their abhumanist ethos from the apocalypses and dystopias of the majority discourse.

*****

Julia Obermayr, University of Graz
‘Confinés. Égalité. Fraternité’? Corona Fictions as Cultural Indicators of Social Cohesion and Resilience in 8 Rue de l’Humanité

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, European societies have seen a return to conventional pre-existing responses to counteract the health-related effects of the pandemic: On a political level, numerous European countries reinforced national borders and restricted travelling; on a social level, the debate on binary gender roles has resurfaced, particularly regarding care work in the private sector. These and other consequences have had an impact on our individual and collective understanding of what it means to be a European (on a macro level) as well as belonging to a cohesive group (on a micro level).

Cultural productions function as an enabler of social cohesion, fostering mutual understanding, a feeling of togetherness and strengthening individual resilience. While using Slavoj Žižek’s (cf. 2020) idea of 5 phases of a pandemic – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – we examine the protagonists in the audiovisual Corona Fiction, the Netflix production 8 Rue de l’Humanité, posing the following questions: In which areas is social cohesion shaken or fractured? How is social cohesion in Europe experienced, processed, and expressed? Which role do gender issues play in this context?

 

*****

Nicole Perry, University of Auckland
A Pandemic-Themed Television Series Premieres during Lockdown in New Zealand: The Creamerie (2020), Dystopic/Utopic Futures, and COVID-19

Called the “post-pandemic comedy we need right now” (The Spinoff), The Creamerie (2020) debuted during New Zealand’s first Level 4 lockdown in an attempt stop the spread of COVID-19. The 6 episode series debuted 19 April 2020, less than a month after a lockdown that would last until the 13 May. It is somewhat surprising that the series was allowed to proceed, as another show Fresh Eggs (2019) was suspended after the Christchurch Terrorist Attacks as it dealt with murder. The setting is 8 years after a fictional pandemic killed 99.9% of all men, leaving women to rule and what ensues is a reverse Handmaid’s Tale (1985) of sorts.

This paper will examine The Creamerie as an example of a female dystopia/utopia, focusing on the commentary of such things as women’s rights, the Wellness Movement (Goop, etc), and this idea of a reverse Handmaid’s Tale, and the reception of the series taken into consideration with the actual COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns in New Zealand constantly in the background.

*****

 

 

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Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr.phil.

Yvonne Völkl



Mag. Dr.phil.

Albert Göschl

Telefon:+43 316 380 - 2512


Mag. Dr.phil.

Julia Obermayr


Mag. Dr. phil. Bakk. phil.

Elisabeth Hobisch



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