CFP (Conf): Time’s Excesses in Music, Literature and Art

May 27-28, 2011
Where: Caen, France
Deadline: January 15, 2011

This inter­na­tional con­fer­ence is intended to explore how time may be rep­re­sented aes­thet­i­cally in exces­sive, eccen­tric and unthink­able ways. Art appears to have found a means of get­ting around time’s dilem­mas by depict­ing it as irra­tional or por­tray­ing the impos­si­bil­ity of get­ting a firm grasp of it. In art, time has long been shaped as some­thing out of pro­por­tion, exces­sive, or even vio­lent, which is evi­denced by works such as Sat­urn Devour­ing his Son.

On the one hand, papers may address any aspect of excesses in rep­re­sent­ing time. Pos­si­ble con­tri­bu­tions could be con­nected to works that mag­nify time phe­nom­ena and exploit the extrem­i­ties of time expe­ri­ence. Sub­mis­sions could focus either on the aes­thet­ics of enlarge­ment, pred­i­cated on speed, fre­quency, and length, or, con­versely, on the aes­thet­ics of minia­tur­iza­tion or atom­i­sa­tion of time. Time’s excesses could also lead us to raise ques­tions about vio­lence, as in artis­tic phe­nom­ena of sud­den­ness, cuts or breaks.

On the other hand, as far as eccen­tric­ity is con­cerned, it would be inter­est­ing to exam­ine forms related to non tra­di­tional ways of depict­ing time, cov­er­ing areas of anachro­nism, dis­con­ti­nu­ity, ver­ti­cal­ity, sta­sis, or any other form of time sin­gu­lar­ity taken to extremes. One could also con­sider works pre­sent­ing us with exu­ber­ance, extrav­a­gance and eeri­ness of time, be it through pecu­liar for­mal aspects or ways of con­di­tion­ing uncanniness.

Finally, time’s excesses and pecu­liar­i­ties give rise to the idea of the unthink­able some works of art present us with by means of illog­i­cal, absurd or inco­her­ent por­trayal of time. Pos­si­ble stud­ies could incor­po­rate analy­ses of incon­ceiv­able itin­er­aries or dura­tions, overblown time con­tra­dic­tions, or sim­ply incor­rect and irra­tional temporalities.

Is time to be appre­hended only through exces­sive, extrav­a­gant and irra­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tions? Does art show us that time can be per­cep­ti­ble exclu­sively when it bor­ders on madness?

Pos­si­ble top­ics in music may include stud­ies related to over­sized dura­tion (Wag­ner, Mahler), minia­tur­iza­tion (Webern, Schoen­berg), frag­men­ta­tion (Stock­hausen, Cage) or exten­sive rep­e­ti­tion (Reich, Glass). In lit­er­a­ture, pro­pos­als may con­sider time aspects exhibit­ing excess in tra­di­tional gen­res (diaries, novel sequences), time ten­sions and imbal­ances, for instance, between story time and text time, or prob­lem­atic time-space rela­tion­ships (Borges, Danielewski). Sub­mis­sions may also focus on aes­thetic per­cep­tion (paint­ing, archi­tec­ture, instal­la­tion art), tem­po­ral­i­ties related to new tech­nolo­gies (dig­i­tal lit­er­a­ture, inter­ac­tiv­ity or hyper­me­dia), or any study deal­ing with time extrav­a­gance in cin­ema or photography.

This inter­dis­ci­pli­nary con­fer­ence will give spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion to papers grounded in lan­guage, lit­er­a­ture and cul­tural stud­ies, musi­col­ogy, phi­los­o­phy, aes­thet­ics, arts, his­tory of ideas.

Abstracts between 250–300 words for papers of 20 min­utes to be given in Eng­lish or French are invited by 15 Jan­u­ary 2011. Please sub­mit your abstract both to Marcin Staw­iarski ( and Gilles Coud­erc ( The con­fer­ence papers will be pub­lished as a spe­cial issue of LISA e-Journal.