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Research seminars: December 2011

Seminars highlighted in blue form part of this semester's School research seminar theme, literature and memory. They will be delivered in English.

1 December 2011
PG Seminar
Marissa Munderloh
Urban Identity and Rap
4pm, Swallowgate room 11

7 December 2011
Department of French
Prof David Walker (University of Sheffield)
‘Gender in French narratives of shops and shopping’
5.30pm, Buchanan room 216

This presentation takes as its source material four French novels published between 1880 and the mid 1920s. Broadly women are initially depicted as victims of manipulation and exploitation both as customers and as employees. And yet from the first creation of department stores, the effect on the character of the men employed in them generated misgivings, by virtue of the work they were called upon to do and their relations with female customers. In Emile Zola’s novel 'Au Bonheur des dames' the fiercely macho culture of the owner and management is tempered by a female presence developed through a love story. The assertion of female resistance to the influence of the big store is articulated in 'M. de la Nouveauté', a novel by Rachilde (Marguerite Aymery), which also denounces the effect on men of the retail environment. By the 1920s women are seen to have the upper hand, as is seen in the story of the lesbian shop-owner in Victor Margueritte’s novel ' La Garçonne' ; while Valmy-Baysse writes a novel , 'Les Comptoirs de Vénus', about the world of the big retail store in which women have found it possible to flourish and men are subordinate and mere auxiliaries.

David H. Walker is Professor of French at the University of Sheffield and was formerly President of the Society for French Studies and President of the Association of University Professors of French. His books include 'Outrage and Insight: Modern French Writers and the ‘fait divers’' (Oxford, Berg French Studies, 1995) and 'Consumer Chronicles : Cultures of Consumption in Modern French Literature' (University of Liverpool Press, 2011). He has contributed critical editions of texts by Gide and Camus in their respective 'Romans et récits' and 'Œuvres complètes' in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade.

15 December 2011
PG seminar
Morven Fraser
Catherine Cusset as a Normative Influence within Autofiction
4pm, Swallowgate room 11