Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chance & Destiny - Grad. Conf. UCSB

Xth Graduate Colloquium in
French and Francophone Studies

Department of French and Italian & Department of Philosophy
University of California, Santa Barbara
May 14-15, 2009

Chance and Destiny

"Someone said that Providence is the Christian name of Chance,
Some devout person might say that Chance is a familiar name of Providence"

Chamfort, Maximes et pensées

A tile on a roof withstands harsh weather conditions, such as rain, frost,
ahil, or wind. As a result it may break or even become dislodged and slide
down off the roof. And it falls on the head of an unsuspecting passerby. We
often explain away such occurrence as unfortunate destiny or bad luck,
perhaps attributing it to a higher order, to some mystical intention or to
fortuitous contingency.

This colloquium will explore the immense field of study that is
simultaneously epistemological, metaphysical, historic, and aesthetical
concerning the tension between chance and destiny. We will focus our
interests, in particular, on literature as well as other artistic
expressions contemplating the central questions of this colloquium.
Priority will be given to French and Francophone Studies, however we
welcome approaches from other disciplines as well.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to :

Possibility, Probability, Certainty and Uncertainty
Divine Law and Natural Law
Providence and Free-Will
Objective Chance, Psychological Chance
Individual Destiny and Collective Destiny
Chance Encounters
Picaresque Novels, Coming-of-Age Novels ("Bildungsroman")
Heroic Destiny
Moment, Opportunity, Circumstances
Journalism and Diverse Incidents
Metaphors and motifs : Labyrinth, Games of Chance, Wheel of Fortune
Social, Hereditary, Divine Determinism
Fatality, Tragic and Deus Ex-Machina
Situational Comedy ("comique de situation")
Luck Created or Created Luck
Random, Hazard, Contingency, Necessity
Sign Interpretation, Rituals of divination, Clairvoyance, Occult Sciences,

We invite those interested in theme of this colloquium to submit an
abstract of 250 words or less, as well as a short bio, no later than
January 15th, 2010, to the following address:

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