Université François-Rabelais
3 rue des Tanneurs
BP 4103
37041 Tours Cedex 1 - France
Re-Nascent Joyce
XXIst International James Joyce Symposium
June 15–20, 2008
Université François-Rabelais, Tours

The biannual International James Joyce Symposium, held in a European city to mark the anniversary of Bloomsday, is an occasion for Joyceans from all over the world to take stock of the latest research and methodologies in their field.
It has been over thirty years now since the last International Symposium took place in France. With an inaugural address by Jacques Lacan at the Sorbonne, the 1975 Paris Symposium marked an important step in the spread of what is now called “Post-Structuralism” in English-speaking countries.
For 2008, the Université François-Rabelais in the city of Tours has been selected as the venue for the XXIst Symposium by the International James Joyce Foundation.

An ancient Gallo-Roman city and later the capital of the kingdom of France, Tours enjoys an exceptional location at the centre of the famous Loire valley châteaux (Chenonceau, Azay-le-Rideau, Villandry, Chambord, Langeais, Amboise, etc.). Its major historical and architectural features include Saint Martin’s Basilica (5th century), the Saint Gatien Cathedral, and the “Place Plumereau” with its timber-framed houses and Renaissance mansions — all located near the university.
Lovers of the arts can plan visits to the Prieuré de St Cosme where the poet Ronsard lived and is buried; la Devinière, near Chinon, birthplace of Rabelais; Saché, home and inspiration to Balzac; or the Clos Lucé at Amboise, Leonardo da Vinci’s last residence.

The Tours Symposium will also feature a full range of social events in the evenings, where scholars can meet informally and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Tours and the Loire Valley. There will be a boat ride down the Loire and a concert of Madrigal music. On Bloomsday itself there will be a reception and banquet hosted by the Mayor of Tours. There will also be a closing banquet at the Château d’Amboise. And the organisers are planning to treat the Symposium’s participants to a range of local cuisines and wines.

Tours is only an hour away from the Gare Montparnasse in Paris by high-speed train (TGV). Trains are also available direct from Charles de Gaulle-Roissy airport in Paris as well as from Lille. Tours is also served by a small airport that has flights to and from London-Stansted on Ryanair.

The Symposium is offering scholarships to a few young scholars from Eastern European countries in addition to the scholarships funded by the International James Joyce Foundation. The amount is 300 Euros and registration fees will be waived (or reimbursed if already payed). Send applications with CV and abstract of proposed paper to: daniel.ferrer@ens.fr

Link for the North American James Joyce Conference, Buffalo, NY, June 13-16, 2009:

Guest speakers


Born in Oran in 1937, Hélène Cixous spent her childhood in A lgeria. In 1955 she moved to Paris for her studies. She received her “Agrégation” in English in 1962 and wrote a dissertation on Joyce that was published in 1968; of which an English translation, The Exile of James Joyce, was published in 1972. After the events of 1968, in which she took part, she participated in the creation of the Université Paris VIII, where philosophers such as Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault taught. Both as a novelist and a critic, Cixous, in the wake of Structuralism and Psychoanalysis, works on questions of femininity, sexual ambivalence, and the body as the language of the unconscious. The author of numerous novels — such as Dedans, which was awarded the prestigious Prix Médicis in 1969 — she does not make any distinction between her fictional writings and her critical work because what is essential for her is the emergence of a new “écriture féminine.” More recently, she has collaborated with Ariane Mnouchkine's Théâtre du Soleil, for which she has written plays, such as L'Indiade and Tambours sur la Digue . She continues to write essays and novels, such as Insister: To Jacques Derrida (2006) and Le Voisin de zéro: Sam Beckett (2007). Novelist, essayist, poet, philosopher, and literary critic: Hélène Cixous weaves together all the strands of writing and puts them, above all, under the sign of Feminism.

  • Le Prénom de Dieu (Grasset, 1967)
  • Les Commencements (Grasset, 1970)
  • Neutre (Grasset, 1972)
  • Souffles (Des Femmes, 1975)
  • La (Gallimard, 1976)
  • Le Livre de Prométhéa (Gallimard, 1983)
  • Les Rêveries de la femme sauvage (Galilée, 2000)
  • Hyperrêve (Galilée, 2006)
Essays and Criticism
  • L'Exil de James Joyce ou l'art du remplacement (Grasset, 1968)
  • Prénoms de Personne (le Seuil, 1974)
  • La Jeune Née (U.G.E., 1975)
  • La Venue à l'écriture (U.G.E., 1977)
  • Voiles (avec Jacques Derrida , Galilée, 1998)
  • Portrait de Jacques Derrida en jeune saint juif (Galilée, 2001)
  • Le Voisin de zéro : Sam Beckett (Galilée, 2007)
  • L'Histoire terrible mais inachevée de Norodom Sihanouk, roi du Cambodge (Théâtre du Soleil, (1985), nouvelle édition corrigée 1987)
  • L'Indiade, ou l'Inde de leurs rêves, et quelques écrits sur le théâtre (Théâtre du Soleil, 1987)
  • Rouen, la Trentième Nuit de Mai '31 (Galilée, 2001)


Emeritus Professor of French at the University of California , Berkeley

A world-renowned specialist in Comparative Literature, Leo Bersani has been a Professor at the University of California , Berkeley for many years and has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard and Northwestern. His critical work focuses on the links between Psychoanalysis and literature, but also deals with cinema, painting, and homosexualities.

In 1990, he wrote a polemical essay on James Joyce, “Against Ulysses,” which appearded in his book The Culture of Redemption. Some Joyceans have responded to this work, notably Derek Attridge who included it in his anthology of essays on Joyce's novel ( James Joyce's “Ulysses”: A Casebook, 2004). Inviting Bersani thus serves as an occasion to re-evaluate our readings of Joyce in the perspective of Bersani's work on art, psychoanalysis, and subjectivity.

Extract from “Psychoanalysis and the Aesthetic Subject”, Critical Inquiry , Vol. 32, n°2, 2006:

We are neither present in the world nor absent from it. The intelligibility of this assertion will depend on our success in redefining the usual referent of "we," a success made problematic by the fact that the redefining agency is a function of the very object—or, more properly, subject—to be redefined. We may, however, be encouraged by the thought that both art and psychoanalysis offer ample evidence of the human subject's aptitude for exceeding its own subjectivity. By that I mean an aptitude for modes of subjecthood in excess of or to the side of the psychic particularities that constitute individualizing subjectivities. Only those modes of subject-being can both recognize and initiate correspondences between the subject and the world that are free of both an antagonistic dualism between human consciousness and the world it inhabits and the anthropomorphic appropriation of that world .”


  • Intimacy: A Dialogue, avec Adam Phillips, à paraître University of Chicago Press, 2008
  • Forms of Being: Cinema, Aesthetics and Subjectivity (BFI, 2004)
  • Caravaggio (BFI, 1999)
  • Caravaggio's Secrets (MIT, 1998) ; Les secrets du Caravage (EPEL, 2002)
  • Homos (Harvard University Press, 1995) Homos : Repenser l'identité ( Odile Jacob, 1998)
  • Arts of Impoverishment: Beckett, Rothko and Resnais ( avec U. Dutoit, Harvard University Press, 1993)
  • The Culture of Redemption (Harvard University Press, 1990)
  • The Freudian Body: Psychoanalysis and Ar t (Columbia University Press, 1986)
  • The Forms of Violence (avec U. Dutoit, Schocken Books, 1985)
  • The Death of Stéphane Mallarmé (Cambridge University Press, 1981)
  • Baudelaire and Freud (UC Press, 1979)
  • A Future for Astyanax (Little, Brown, 1976)
  • Balzac to Beckett (Oxford University Press, 1970)
  • Marcel Proust: The Fictions of Life and of Art (Oxford University Press, 1965)


JUNE 15-20, 2008