Propositions de conférences (non encore écrites)
1. «De Surréal à Montréel: Réflexion historique sur les futurs imaginés du Québec»
C’est une vérité de la Palisse que toute production culturelle, dont la littérature, exprime les angoisses, les espoirs et les questionnements identitaires de la communauté qui la produit. La science-fiction ne fait pas exception. Au contraire, la science fiction québécoise (SFQ) est parti- culièrement parlante sur les troubles identitaires du Québec depuis les années 1970. Les textes de SFQ révèlent toutes les configurations imaginables, heureuses ou malheureuses, du Québec projeté dans l'avenir.
Dans cette conférence, je présenterai les bases théoriques et méthodologiques de mon nouveau projet majeur de recherche: une approche historique de la SFQ en tant que production culturelle de la société québécoise permettant d’éclairer l’encyclopédie (dans le sens d’Umberto Eco), les habitus (dans le sens de Lévy-Strauss) et les identités de ce groupe, par le prisme des manières dont les auteurs ont collectivement imaginé l’avenir québécois, comme des narrations constitutives de la société, présentant les mythes des origines d’une communauté imaginée (dans le sens de Benedict Anderson), à la différence que ces mythes des origines sont ici projetés et extrapolés dans l’avenir.
2. Disappeared Heroines: Censoring Powerful Women in Comic Books from the Golden Age into the Silver Age.
In the 1930s and 1940s, English-language North American comics introduced readers of both genders to numerous female characters who used brains and brawn to fight crime, secure their independence and save the world. That Wonder Woman was introduced in 1941's All Star Comics #8 is well-known. Yet several dozen of her contemporaries donned superheroine costumes, became masked crusaders or gumshoes. From the skull-faced Fantomah, to the cleaver-wielding Kitty Keller, to Jill Trent Science Sleuth, pre-1954 female characters were unimpeachably powerful. But by the end of the 1950s, most of these magnificent female brawlers were gone from comics pages.
This paper will explore the process by which the progressive and transgressive women of Golden Age comics were stripped of their physical violence, desire and knowledge of law, science and technology, to be replaced by heroines who usually were straight female copies of male superheroes, with very few exceptions. From the end of the Second World War to the application of the Comic Book Code in 1954, female sluggers were all but erased. The 1960s marked the return of superheroines, though in a very different form; now, women in comics, even superheroines, were usually reduced to exaggerated bodies to be leered at by male readers. Sometimes, they also saved the world. Where once the fully-clothed Lady Satan knocked out criminals with nothing but her fists, now Captain America's super-powered girlfriend was stuffed dead in his refrigerator.
3. Better Aliens: Aboriginal Use of Western Popular Cultural Tropes About Extraterrestrials.
Though Native American and First Nations science fiction and non-fiction about extraterrestrials is by no means rare, it is nevertheless absent from mass culture, television and movies in North America. Still, Aboriginal film and television creations on these topics present an interesting dialogue with the similar works produced by Western mass culture. In this presentation, I will look at two Aboriginal works that directly address how using Western tropes about aliens and UFOs can serve to undermine and even upturn Western power hierarchies in the United States and Canada. Through the non-fiction television series INDIANS AND ALIENS (produced by APTN in Canada), writer and director Ernest Webb (a Cree from Chissassippi, Qc) uses purported alien encounters among the Cree of Northern Québec as a means to undermine how scientific and academic authority is constructed in North America. With the action adventure LEGENDS OF THE SKY, writer/director/producer Travis Hamilton Holt (ironically a Caucasian filmmaker from Flagstaff, AZ) aims to show how differing definitions of authority and alienness (in all the senses of the word) force a Navajo military veteran to re-situate himself and his Indian identity. In both cases, the common conventions of their respective cinematic genres allow their creators to negate Western cultural and political superiority. As such, these productions are as much satyre as they are escapist entertainment.