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The Ethics and Language(s) of Care in Contemporary Literature and Cinema

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Organizer: Badreddine Ben Othman

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Since Foucault's Le souci de Soi, Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice and Nel Noddings' Caring, the notion of care has built bridges between philosophy, psychology, ecology, sociology, anthropology and feminism. However, significantly less work has been published in the field of literature and cinema and fewer theorists address issues related to care in their analyses of fiction. Therefore, the first goal of this panel is to create knots of tension between care ethics, care theory, care practices and fiction. It has been argued that institutional and social language draws mostly on the judicial, on "the language of rights" (Fukuyama), but what is implied or expected when we shift to a language of care? What does it mean in terms of metaphors, textual and narrative strategies? This panel is particularly interested in studying how the direct and indirect connections between lived space, lived experience and notions of care are articulated. It also seeks to amplify our comprehension of these terms by studying their relationality to literature and cinema. What is the role of caring, of worrying about ourselves, proximate or distant others, and objects in identitary and spatial contexts? Why is care a necessary component? How does it manifest itself in the literary and cinematographic texts? Is care gendered, sexualized? If it is, is it in a transgressive, transformative manner or does it tend to repeat heteronormative and patriarchal constructs? Does care go beyond words, is it (only) an affect? Can it be geographical, architectural? And in readings oriented towards the place of women and other marginal groups in the text and in the practice of writing, does a focus on care help us to reach beyond stereotypes and mainstream binaries? To whom does care benefit, and do we find care in particular places more than in others? Finally, we are also interested in exploring the reader's responsibility, the writer's hospitality and the conflicts or concerns related to notions of proximity and distance. Inspired by Selma Sevenhuijsen's concept of "judging with care," we also invite papers that address how we look at the Other and how the Other looks at us in contexts of writing and reading. We invite contributors to submit abstracts that address any of the questions raised above or one of the following topics, without being limited to them: Care and Politics Care and Animals Care and Objects Care and Nationalism Care and Decolonial studies Care and Postcolonial studies Care and Queer studies Care and Atrocity studies Care and Disability studies

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