6th April: Amphitheatre, ground floor, Maison internationale des langues et des cultures (MILC), 35 Rue Raulin, 69007 Lyon
7th April: Amphitheatre Descartes, ENS de Lyon, 15 Parvis René Descartes, 69007 Lyon
In a contemporary era defined as an age of crisis, the notion of consolation has gained cultural visibility as a response to collective suffering, even more so in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. While the notion was once dismissed as a mere diversion, distraction or sugarcoating of pain imbued with religious connotations, its identification as a “critical instrument” (Foessel 23) has led to a flurry of publications on the topic in recent years, notably by philosopher Michaël Foessel (Le Temps de la consolation, 2015), literary critics David James (Discrepant Solace, 2019) and Jürgen Pieters (Literature and Consolation: Fictions of Comfort, 2021), essayists Anne-Dauphine Julliand (Consolation, 2020) and Michael Ignatieff (On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark Times, 2021) or psychiatrist Christophe André (Consolations, 2022).
The aim of our conference is to theorise, contextualise and exemplify consolation (its forms, limits and aporias) as a “critical tool” in contemporary British and postcolonial literatures.
The guest writer, Salena Godden, will give a reading and will take part in a discussion on 6th April at 5.30pm.
The keynote speaker, Professor David James, will deliver a lecture entitled “Whose Consolation? Medical Writing and the Caregiver’s Gain” on 6th April at 4.15pm.
Entrance free to all.
Salena Godden: A reading and conversation