Université de Valenciennes - CALHISTEColloque International Pouvoir(s) : Expressions et représentations
20 et 21 mars 2015 - Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis

Faculté des Lettres Langues Arts et Sciences Humaines
Laboratoire CALHISTE


Call for paper

The multidimensionality of power

In Book III of Politics, Aristotle advances that power regulates human relations between individuals in the family as well as in the state. The balance of power seems to be constructed on the premise that the individual who cannot, or does not know how to exercise power must be subjected to it.
Considered with the idea of culture as a foundation of human relations, the idea of power may be seen, then, through the double filter of the individual who exercises it and the individual who undergoes it. In situations of social and/or cultural transformation or conflict, power can also refer to those who oppose or refuse it as an absolute standard. It is then a question of taking into account the expressions which alter the imposed norm and which may be qualified as dissident, heretical, avant-garde, or even eccentric. The identities of those who support this counter-power become, as a consequence, a contingent facet of the idea of power. The problematic of the minority and of its identification may also be seen within this context, above all when the minority exercises, undergoes, influences or develops the powers that be.
Can we speak of power in the singular?
Without going into the detail of Foucaldian thought, the idea of power generally implies not only the authorized and legitimate exercise of specified action(s) but also the physical and material capability of carrying them out (and accomplishing tasks) in a determined field. Reciprocal to the infinite multiplicity of fields of application, power in the singular therefore becomes powers. And this multiplicity informs the parameters for defining power, whether it be in its exercise or in its relationship to norms.
The pluridisciplinary conference, Power(s): Expressions and Representations, invites researchers to reflect on the idea and the forms of power to be found in Hispanic and English-speaking geographical areas. In the interest of diversity, the conference welcomes historical, literary, and linguistic analyses that will evaluate such varied subjects as politics, religion, economics, and culture. The conference will also reflect on the ideas of dissidence, marginality counter-power, minorities and the avant-garde.

Organizing Committee

  • Edwige Camp
  • John Chandler
  • Daniel Grégorio
  • Ammaria Lanasri