SFPolitical Discourse: New Approaches to New Challenges?

Online conference organised by The University of Lorraine (Nancy) and Bordeaux Montaigne

University – Monday 7th March and Tuesday 8th March 2022

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 (…) What does the use of language in contexts we call ‘political’ tell us about humans in general? (Chilton 2004)


Political discourse is at a crossroads. Faced with an increasing number of challenges, it is said by some researchers to have reached a state of crisis (Wodak 2011; Ekström and Firmstone 2017). The challenges it faces take many different forms. In the case of the relationships between politicians and the public, and even politicians and journalists, this state of crisis has already been reached (Ekström and Firmstone 2017). Political systems are facing new, unprecedented challenges to their everyday functioning and, in some cases, to their very survival. These challenges have come from a variety of sources. Externally, they are the corollary of globalisation (including access to global media outlets, alleged interference from other states and institutions, and international conflict). Internally, political institutions face competition from populist waves (Wodak 2015), social media and fake news, all of which are capable of crossing international borders. What accounts for these challenges?

RESIST! Cover with art by Malika FravreColloque international : L’activisme artistique et la mondialisation de la scène de l’art (théorie, pratique, paradigme et circulations)

Lundi 4, mardi 5 et mercredi 6 mai 2020, à l’Université Bordeaux Montaigne.

“Artivism” encompasses artistic actions, which tackle social and political issues and revive agitational practices, in resistance to the planetary hegemony of the ideology of so-called neoliberal capitalism. This resurgent awareness of the political nature of artistic creation questions consensual discourses on the neutrality of art and aesthetics. Taking into account the need for a global approach to the phenomenon, and the exploration of its most diverse forms and concepts, this conference aims to contribute to the study of arts activism since the 1990s.

Ce colloque est organisé par l’axe ADS (Art/Design/Scénographie du MICA – EA 4426) de l’Université Bordeaux Montaigne, le CEIAS (Centre d’Étude de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud – UMR 8564-EHESS-CNRS) et CLIMAS (Cultures et littératures des mondes anglophones – EA 4196) de l’Université Bordeaux Montaigne

Sous la direction de Nicolas Nercam ADS-MICA (UBM) chercheur associé CEIAS (EHESS-CNRS) et Mathilde Bertrand CLIMAS (UBM).

(image: RESIST! Cover with art by Malika Fravre)

4289850727 1768c18447 nInternational Conference: Collaboration, participation and collective practices in contemporary photography in the UK and France.

Université Paris Est Créteil, 15th and 16th May 2020.

Organized by IMAGER (UPEC) and CLIMAS (Université Bordeaux-Montaigne)


The conference seeks to address collaboration and the spectrum of collective working methods which have defined and keep informing some of the independent practices in the field of photography in the 20th and 21st centuries. Our focus is on the UK and France, and seeks to envision case studies in a comparative approach.

(photo by Kevin Dooley - (CC BY 2.0))

affiche black humour001c smallL'humour noir sur la scène élisabéthaine et jacobéenne. Black Humour on the Early Modern English Stage

EA Climas, EA SPH, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, 10-11 October 2019

Notwithstanding the widespread opinion that ‘black humour’ (‘Humour noir’) was a phrase coined by André Breton, the co-founder of French Surrealism, in 1930s France; or that, as a mood, it epitomized a post-war American type of humour that persisted into the early 1970s as an expression of the disenchantment in the decline and fall of traditional values; research has shown how black humour was well instated in classical literature, not only in humorous epitaphs and epigrams that dealt with the theme of death (Stevanovic 2007), but in Greek philosophical literature (as in Plato’s Phaedon). Moreover, black humour is directly related to the humorism developed in ancient Greece by Hippocrates, Galen or Theophrastus, a theory introduced in classical comedy by Plautus and Menander and later borrowed and adapted by Elizabethan dramatists. Additionally, early modern research has shown how ‘[i]n plague time normal social decorum [was] breached as people put personal survival before established custom’ and that ‘this [was] productive of the characteristic black humour of observer accounts’, such as Dekker’s, who alludes to the ‘foolery, infidelity, humanity… villany, irreligion, and distrust in God’ which his stories ‘lay open’ (Healey, 1995). Parallel to the paradigm of death by disease, black humour, or gallows humour, summoned the tension that opposed hope and doom by joking about the convicted and their sense of despair as a strategy of coping with fear (Freud 1905) both witnessed and experienced.