The female face: between literature and photography



Some contemporary authors, such as Annie Ernaux and Marie NDiaye, show a desire to escape stereotypical representations of women by resorting to portraits or self-portraits in their literary works.

Catherine Mavrikakis, herself an author (Le ciel de Bay City, Les derniers jours de Smokey Nelson) and researcher in the Department of French Literature at Université de Montréal, became interested in this approach, along with her colleague Martine Delvaux at UQAM.

This question of the female face is central to contemporary women's artistic productions.

The two researchers studied the different forms of aesthetic and political resistance to stereotypical representations of the female face. This question of the female face is central to contemporary women's artistic productions, but had hardly been studied from an intermedial perspective, such as works combining literature and photography. The work of the two researchers has contributed to the advancement of theoretical intermedial studies in women's literature, and could also have echoes in research in the visual arts, especially on work that focuses on the union of the visual arts with other art forms.

This theme is at the heart of a book entitled Guerrières et Gorgones – Galas et Goldin, on the work of Diamanda Galas and Nan Goldin, scheduled for publication by Héliotrope in September 2013. It has also been the subject of numerous articles published in Frontières, Women in French, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Belphégor, Dalhousie French Studies, La Revue littéraire, ETC. Revue de l'art actuel and Dialogues francophones, and at an international symposium organized by Martine Delvaux at UQAM and entitled "Elusive Faces of the Feminine".