The Resnais Archipelago, Duke University (FHI, Smith Warehouse, Bay 4), 29-31 October 2015

The Resnais Archipelago
A three-day interdisciplinary conference at Duke University hosted by the Center for French and Francophone Studies (CFFS), as part of its Francophone Digital Humanities project, and co-sponsored by the departments of Romance Studies, Music, and the Program of the Arts of the Moving Image.

Convenors: Anne-Gaëlle Saliot and Jacqueline Waeber
October 29-31, 2015

Program Committee
Anne Garréta (Duke University)
Markos Hadjioannou (Duke University)
Anne-Gaëlle Saliot (Duke University)
Jacqueline Waeber (Duke University)

Over six decades, French film director Alain Resnais (1922-2014) has built one of the most original cinematographic oeuvres of his time. Tirelessly exploring new directions, forms, and genres, Resnais impacted durably on several generations of filmmakers in France and in the rest of the world, stimulating intense debates that continue to resonate in contemporary film theory and philosophy.
Yet Resnais’ universe forms a most ungraspable and singular landscape, favoring blurred frontiers and unexpected topographies (a trope still conveyed by the “wild grass” of one his most recent films).
In their seminal monograph on Resnais (Alain Resnais: liaisons secrètes, accords vagabonds, Paris, 2006), Jean-Louis Leutrat and Suzanne Liandrat-Guigues draw on the image of the archipelago as a point of entry into Resnais’ both dense and elusive world: a world made out of multiple and scattered territories that can be nevertheless linked together through a tenuous and subterranean thread.
Our conference intends to (re)map the “Resnais archipelago” by tracing Resnais’ numerous legacies and sources of influences. Fostering an interdisciplinary dialogue, the conference will welcome participants from film studies, visual studies, art history, music and sound studies, literature, philosophy, history, and other fields. It will also serve as a springboard for an edited collection of innovative essays on Resnais.
Keynote speakers will be Professors Suzanne Liandrat-Guigues (Université Vincennes à Saint-Denis-Paris 8), François Thomas (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3), and Steven Ungar (University of Iowa).

The Program Committee encourages submissions within the following areas of Alain Resnais’ oeuvre, including, but not limited to the following topics:

Genres and influences: Genres and their boundaries; Resnais and America; Resnais and surrealism; realism and artificiality.

Cinema and the other arts: The graphic arts, comic strip and photography; architecture, the mapping of spaces and territories; theater, theatricality, and decors; Resnais and literature; the serial novel.

The art of narration/the art of the image: Uses of voice-over and soundtrack; frame and montage; polyphony and mosaic; the miniature/the scale-model.

History as material: Memory and the politics of remembrance; history and its traumas; temporal resurgences; uses and functions of fragments and archives.

Philosophical readings of Resnais: Temporal and spatial topologies; Resnais and utopia; Deleuzian approaches to Resnais; the brain and neurosciences.

Resnais cinéphile: Resnais and the French New Wave; silent film; cross-cultural perspectives on Resnais in national and international cinemas, especially Asian cinema; Resnais’ actors.

Please submit an abstract of up to 500 words, including your name, affiliation, contact information, and brief curriculum vitae, to Anne-Gaëlle Saliot ( and Jacqueline Waeber (, no later than February 8, 2015.
The Committee will make its final decision on the abstracts during February 2015, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the program, registration, travel and accommodation will be announced during Spring 2015 and will be posted on this blog.