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Cercle Benveniste

Welcome back faithful adherents of the Circle, and warm greetings newcomers! The Circle is open to all – colleagues as well as students – who are interested in language, in any and all of its aspects.  The working sessions alternate seminars (discussion in French around a text) and conferences (presented in French or in English). Just as Émile Benveniste laboured to build bridges between the world of linguistic signs and various fields of study, so will our sessions take place in a spirit of disciplinary openness.

 
Cercle Benveniste (Season 8 – 2019-2020)

Fridays  |  Room CHD 420 (*unless otherwise indicated)  |  2:00 – 3:00 pm
 

Meetings and Conferences:

September 13 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

A chance to get reacquainted, and do a bit of planning.                                   
September 27 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

Discussion around the work of ethnologist Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957), best known for his inverted ethnology in Les Demi-savants (1911), in which he draws attention to studies that are too narrowly specialized to understand the vitality of social facts. We’ll look at Chapter 2 « La langue No 22, ou les méthodes linguistiques ».
October 11 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

Discussion around the work of ethnologist Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957), best known for his inverted ethnology in Les Demi-savants (1911), in which he draws attention to studies that are too narrowly specialized to understand the vitality of social facts. We’ll look at Chapter 9 « Les bons confrères, ou la critique littéraire scientifique ».

October 25 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHE 212*

Discussion around the work of ethnologist Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957), best known for his inverted ethnology in Les Demi-savants (1911), in which he draws attention to studies that are too narrowly specialized to understand the vitality of social facts. We’ll look at Chapter 7 « MACL, ou l’épigraphie intégrale ».

November 8 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

The Voice and the Memory a literary reading, by Luis Torres (Co-organized with the Division of Spanish and Italian Studies)

November 22 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

Art Periodical Culture in Late Imperial Russia (1898-1917): Print Revival, Words, Images and Gérard Genette’s Thresholds presented by Hanna Chuchvaha

The primary function of books and periodicals in their traditional format is to carry the verbal textual information, however, in order to decode the meaning of the words, the reader has to become a viewer first. Before beginning to interpret the meaning of the verbal text, the reader faces the material and the visual – binding, jacket, cover page, fly-leaf, title page, half titles, frontispieces, illustrations, typeface, and general layout of the text – everything that constitutes the whole “package” which is called the book or periodical. This frame is a “mediator” that enables communication between the author and the reader, but also it suggests a communication between the author and the designer, who “translates” the verbal text into the visual commentary.

The presentation will explain how the modernist art periodicals, World of Art (Mir Iskusstva, 1899-1904), The Golden Fleece (Zolotoe runo, 1906-1909) and Apollo (Apollon, 1909-1917), the symbols of the print revival in late Imperial Russia, altered the understanding of periodical culture, influenced graphic design and established the conception of ideal book with words and images in the centre of book and periodical production. In exploring journals as art objects, this presentation engages Gérard Genette’s notion of “paratext”, which serves as an umbrella approach to the explanation of the material dimension of the periodicals analyzed as complex artifacts that combine text and image, which together affect meaning. 

December 6 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

Multilingual Poetic Session. Participants to bring your own text to share, in the language of your choice.
January 10 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

Discussion around the work of ethnologist Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957), best known for his inverted ethnology in Les Demi-savants (1911), in which he draws attention to studies that are too narrowly specialized to understand the vitality of social facts. We’ll look at Chapter 6 « Le sujet de recherches, ou le folklore insondable ».
January 24 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

Discussion around the work of ethnologist Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957), best known for his inverted ethnology in Les Demi-savants (1911), in which he draws attention to studies that are too narrowly specialized to understand the vitality of social facts. We’ll look at Chapter 5 « Le questionnaire  ou les enquêtes ethnographiques ».
February 07 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

TBD

February 28 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

“Country Club” and Global City in The Widows of Thursday by Claudia Piñeiro presented by Nayibe Bermúdez Barrios

This talk explores Henry Lefebvre’s theory of social space as a mediating force between capitalism and the imagined worlds it offers. According to Lefebvre, a mode of production is only affirmed as such and only merits this name if it has given rise to a space (and a social time) (217). Thus, and in response to discourses and institutional practices tied to global financial capitalism, or neoliberalism, the physical space of the represented city is transformed and compartmentalized. As Buenos Aires vies for the status of global city, able to accommodate and satisfy the needs of national and transnational companies, the very wealthy retreat into ‘country clubs’ or luxury-living housing quarters with golf courses, security guards, and other amenities. In Piñeiro’s novel, these enclaves function as satellites of the global city of neoliberalism, and as imagined worlds, in which affect, aesthetics, and ideology ‘enable collective life to live’ the illusion of transnationality.

March 06 (Friday)
3:00-4:00 pm  |  CHD 420

"Language between the Divine and the Human: Signification in Classical Arabo-Islamic Thought" presented by Rachel Friedman

Discourse about language figures prominently in the classical Arabo-Islamic tradition. Scholars in the 9th and 10th centuries CE developed a robust body of thought on a set of interrelated topics that include the properties of language, the means by which it signifies, and its origins. One of the principal foci of these discussions of language was the Qur’an, with attention to means of understanding its content, its literary form, and its ontological status as a communication from the divine through the medium of language. This talk will engage with the work of three key figures in this tradition—al-Jāḥiẓ (d. 868), Abū Bakr al-Bāqillānī (d. 1013), and ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jurjānī (d. 1078)—to examine ways in which the classical Arabo-Islamic tradition theorized language, its power to signify, and its power to provoke emotion. It will show how discourse on Qur’anic language was a site of theorizing language and signification more broadly and discuss the ways that the focus on divine speech shaped classical Arabo-Islamic theories of language.

March 20 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

Pierre Loti – Mustafa Kamel : l’amitié, le nationalisme et la question de l’orient presented by Nadia Sherbini

L’académicien français Pierre Loti, dont l’œuvre d’inspiration autobiographique est connue pour être nourrie de ses voyages, s’est lié d’amitié avec l’écrivain, orateur et personnage politique égyptien, Mustafa Kamel, avec lequel il partage un intérêt pour la défense des causes justes. Cette conférence explore ce lien d’amitié et analyse leur traitement (forme et contenu) de la cause nationaliste égyptienne ainsi que de la question de l’Orient, alors sous la tutelle Ottomane.

April 03 (Friday)
2:00-3:00 pm  |  CHD 420

Conference by Aziz Faty (Pearson College, Victoria, BC).

 
 
Should you wish to be added to the mailing list in order to receive the texts or simply to be kept informed of the activities, please contact the coordinator at: s.amedegnato@ucalgary.ca. Similarly, should you wish to share a paper, or test a hypothesis, please email a title and a brief abstract.
 

 
The Cercle Benveniste is a research group of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary. For more information, please visit the website: www.cerclebenveniste.org. / Le Cercle Benveniste est un groupe de recherche de la faculté des Arts de l’Université de Calgary.