CFP: SERIAL RECYCLING – Reflexivity, reiteration and resumption in contemporary popular fiction

For French and English speakers

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SERIAL RECYCLING: Reflexivity, reiteration and resumption in contemporary popular fiction

The Serial Recycling research group, in collaboration with Pop-en-stock, invites you to reflect on the issues surrounding the creation, revival and circulation of contemporary popular culture during the second edition of the International Pop- en-stock, which will take place on June 7 and 8, 2018.

Conscious of itself from upstream to downstream, popular culture has now entered a neo-Baroque phase (Calabrese: 1987) dedicated to the game of reflexivity, reiteration and recovery. Between reboot and update, between reboot and remake, between generic hybridity and metafiction, she puts in place many strategies to recycle the universes, characters and motifs that have made her fortune since the end of the 19th century. During a work of crystallization of the imaginary, some characters (Sherlock Holmes, James Bond) have become true cultural myths and, moreover, some worlds of fiction (the “Marvel Universe”, the “distant galaxy” , very far away from Star Wars). This mythopoetic evolution is intrinsically linked to commercial strategies that have made these figures great “franchises” of fiction (and the imaginary) that corporations now exchange billions of dollars. Never will such a large amount of resources have been devoted to keeping these beings and places alive, or so meticulously planned.

Convergence culture (Jenkins, 2006), developed by these transmedia multinationals, also aims to maximize the profitability of these franchises by declining them to infinity on a multitude of constantly expanding media. However, paradoxically, the logic of the genre series, which had founded the success of these franchises, becomes less and less productive, at the level of fiction, on the textual level, due to several factors: rhizomic deployment some fictional worlds that make it difficult for new viewers to join (how to navigate 75 years of Superman adventures, for example?); the thematic exhaustion provoking in the long run a narrative combinatorial which is difficult to produce significant variations (the more we know a series or a genre, the less they surprise us in the long run); the public’s knowledge of the series themselves makes the naive production of a new genre narrative perilous, aesthetically and commercially. The logic of contamination intrinsic to popular cultures – as much mainstream as in the framework of more marginal practices – conditions modalities of production (recovery, recycling, transmedia narrations, gamification of sales strategies) and reception (reading in the mode of the investigation, easter eggs, augmented reality online games, etc.). These modalities urge us to re-evaluate certain fundamental concepts regarding transtextuality and transfiction, as well as to analyze the essential modifications to the theories of narrative and fictional universes in the new context of transmedia, globalized, convergent and participatory creations. What stories can we tell today to people who have already heard the same story a hundred times? Conversely, why do we want to collectively re-listen, in a loop, these same stories?

Reflection paths :

1) FRANCHISES: Examining the past and present evolution of relatively old or recent franchises that continue to produce iterations today;

2) REBOOT: Observing the means by which genre series are now returned on their own, reset, update, refocus, reset, redo, duplicate, etc.;

3) THE MANUFACTURE OF GENDER-GENRE: Studying the trend in genres to the subdivision, hybridization and reflexive exposure of codes, also to reflect on the heuristic role of the notion of gender in current discourses.

The event will be held on June 7 and 8, 2018 at the Université du Québec à Montréal. This conference will be the closing event of the 2017-2018 programming of Serial Recycling: Reflexivity, reiteration and resumption in contemporary popular fiction, a program that consisted of three one-day conferences.

This conference is also a follow-up to the first international Pop-in-stock conference held in June 2016.

The symposium can accommodate proposals for papers in French and English. It is also possible to make your communication by videoconference (Skype) if your travels are limited this summer. Please send your proposal including the title of your paper, a short 300 word abstract, and your bibliographic form to before January 15th, 2018 at 11:50 pm.

Scientific comittee :

Antonio Dominguez-Leiva
Samuel Archibald
Catherine Côté
Megan Bédard
Fanie Demeule
Jean-Michel Berthiaume
Sarah Grenier-Millette


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