Call for proposals


Savoirs en Prisme | 7 : Emotions in discourse and image(s)
Coordinated by Emilia Hilgert, Véronique Le Ru & Machteld Meulleman

As the etymology indicates (Lat. motio), emotions manifest themselves in a flow between incorporation and externalisation. They can be understood either as an internal reaction to an external or an internal stimulus (be it a sensorial or an intellectual one), or as an internal feeling leading to its expression (be it in an instinctive or a deliberate way, especially in art). Therefore it is not surprising that emotions give rise to multiple representations in speech and images, changing from one era, region and society to another.

Thus, on the one hand, certain kinds of discourse and images arouse emotion (e.g. the joy or sadness experienced when reading a poem or watching a drawing or a theatre play). If we can distinguish between the words of langue, which can name but not express emotion, and the linguistic devices allowing for linguistic expressivity, to what extent is it possible to determine the formal characteristics (prosody, structure, etc.) of the emotional power of discourse? Is there something as an emotional style? And what about the pictorial properties of those images that trigger our emotional reactions? Are those characteristics universal or is it possible to discern some cultural differences?

On the other hand, emotions can in turn inspire certain types of discourse and images. Indeed, emotions such as indignation or solidarity make people want to talk, whether elaborately (e.g. poems) or in very simple yet striking terms (e.g. formulae such as Je suis Charlie). Likewise, the expression of emotion may involve the creation of very complex images or on the contrary a very minimalist design (such as the Eiffel Tower as a sign of peace). What are the particularities of these different productions? What is their social dimension? If the signs of emotion vary from one era to another, and from one area to another, is it possible to reveal constants in this variation? Is there a link with the areas of the brain or neuronal circuits that are activated?

Last, there is important diachronic and synchronic variation in the representation of emotions in discourse and in images. Such representations often have a stereotypical aspect. Good examples would be, for instance, the endless laments of certain characters in love, the rugged sceneries of Romantic paintings, but also the archetypical sad clown, etc. One might wonder whether such stereotyped patterns rather favor or undermine emotional power.

As our journal has an interdisciplinary approach, the sixth issue of Savoirs en Prisme wishes to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines including philosophy, cultural studies, anthropology, sociology, literature, visual arts, linguistics, history, didactics, etc. on the different topics mentioned using varied but complementary approaches. Contributions related to any of the following three research axes will be preferred:

Axis 1 : (Un)intentional arousing of emotions

  1. through discourse (slogans, advertising, etc.)
  2. through image(s) (subliminal images, cute images of baby animals and babies, etc.)
  3. through other media (life performances, landscapes, food, etc.)

Axis 2 : (Un)intentional expression of emotions

  1. through discourse (artistic texts, silence, formulae such as Je suis Charlie )
  2. through images (visual artistic creations, but also brain imaging, etc.)
  3. through gestures or behavior (of human beings or other species)

Axis 3 : Representation of emotions

  1. in Humanities and Social Sciences (Philosophy, Linguistics, History, etc.)
  2. in Literature (poetry, novels, etc.)
  3. in Visual Arts (drawing, film, etc.) and life performances (circus, marionettes, etc.)

Proposals for articles (limited to 15 lines) should indicate the axis (or axes) to which they are related and be accompanied by a short biographical note mentioning institutional affiliation and email address. They are to be sent to the following address before September 1st, 2016:

  • Accepted languages: French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese.
  • Important information and dates for the full paper submission:
    • maximum length: 50.000 characters (notes and spaces included)
    • notification by the scientific committee: November 15th 2016
    • submission of full paper: March 31st 2017
    • notification of peer evaluation:  June 2017
    • publication in number 7 of the online journal Savoirs en Prisme: expected by december 2017