Symposium: “Cultural ambivalence, intersemiotic translation and artistic identities”


This symposium will be held the 28th of May at Université de Liège (Place du 20 août) – Salle de l’Horloge (main building).

The main theme of this symposium is the study of the complex relations between music and literature from the perspective of popular musicians who, some on the margins of their musical career, have also built a literary oeuvre. The number of such ‘crossovers’ is extensive, and over the years they have acquired an institutional validity and identity. We hope to obtain a greater understanding of the internal dynamics at work within various artistic systems and at the same time bring into alignment a number of theoretical concepts from translation studies and comparative literature, such as ambivalence, intersemiotic translation, polygraphy and ethos.

How do the artists themselves view the relationship between these two practices? To what extent does intersemiotic translation occur, or reworking, adaptation or separation, between oeuvres? Why do these artists decide to produce a literary work at a given point in their career? Do they anchor this dual practice in one or two artistic identities? How are these interrelated? To what extent do the two practices overlap (textually or otherwise)? Do they focus attention on this hybrid identity in either their primary discourse (the literature and music) or secondary texts (interviews, paratexts, etc.)?

How are these works positioned in the literary system? Is it easier or harder to get them published and reviewed? Are different norms used to evaluate them? To what extent does the literary criticism draw comparisons to the musical work? What genres do musicians prefer – canonical (poetry, novels) or peripheral (crime fiction, science fiction, children’s books)?

Organizing committee

• Francis Mus (Université de Liège)
• Michel Delville (Université de Liège)
• Christophe Pirenne (Université de Liège)
• Denis Saint-Amand (FUNDP – Université de Namur)

Full progamme and registration :