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Call for papers - Vol. 9, no 2

Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 2018

THE WRITER IN RESEARCH: PERCEPTIONS AND APPROACHES
Under the direction of Nadine Desrochers (U. de Montréal) and Marcello Vitali-Rosati (U. de Montréal)

On May 8, 2017, the 85th congrès de l’Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) included a colloquium entitled «L’écrivaine, l’écrivain : sujet, objet, facettes, profils » (“The Writer: Subject, Object, Facets, Profiles”). During the colloquium, writers were presented as individuals, professionals, and public personalities who are described, perceived, and studied from a multitude of angles. This panoply of possible aspects and approaches portrays the writer as a figure who is complex and fascinating, but also elusive and, at times, illusive. Artist, subject and object, designer of digital objects, user of digital tools, collector of books, witness of influences, source of inspiration, defender of traditional forms that she or he also pushes to the limit, actor in the field of literature . . . the writer is, in society as in collective perceptions, a figure who is difficult to grasp but who continues to give rise to questions and research that contribute to making sense of the act of writing.

This thematic issue is a continuation of the dialogue initiated by that colloquium in order to pursue the exploration and creation of links among the various ways that writers are perceived as subjects and objects of research. Open to studies conducted in disciplines as diverse as literary studies, sociology, information science, and digital humanities, among others, this issue will bring together articles that pose a variety of research questions, questions which mirror the range of preoccupations driving research around writers. This collection of articles, whether they be empirical studies or theoretical reflections, will combine approaches that would not necessarily find themselves disseminated through the same academic channels, despite their common interests. In so doing, we hope to incite discussions around possible cross-referencing among the methods used to conduct these studies, and around disciplinary issues that emerge when potential complementarities are considered.

Possible themes include but are not limited to:

- Today’s writers: Who are they? What is it about them that we study? What do we seek to understand about them? What perceptions do we have of them and how are those perceptions constructed? The theme here is that of the figure, the person, indeed, the public persona of the writer and of the instruments that construct her or him in today’s context.

- Yesterday’s writers, today’s research: How do we, today, study writers from eras long before our own? What approaches does the passage of time privilege? This theme calls for papers that feature the use of contemporary tools, digital, of course, but also theoretical or methodological, to discuss the history of writing, whether it be in its practices or in its distribution.

- Digital practices and writing tools: In a world where platforms inform, guide and orient, what tools do writers use? What influences do these tools have on the digital presence of writers and, on a larger scale, on writing practices? Which part of the process remains writing and which part becomes editorialization?  Here, we focus on the influence of digital technology on writers, and vice-versa.

- Distribution and sharing: What is to be distributed freely at a time when everything seems possible? Given that phenomenal amounts of information seem to be available everywhere and for everyone, this theme invites discussions around borrowing and re-using material in the creative process, as well as the distribution of written works and issues regarding open access.

- Professional writers: What are the criteria that establish writers as professionals in their milieu, as well as in society? How does this profession fit into today’s socio-economic context? This theme focusses on the perceptions of and stakes involved in writing as a profession, both here and now, and in its evolution through time and across borders.

Submissions for papers in either French or English must include an abstract of approximately 250 words and a short biographical note, and should be sent to Geneviève Gareau (genevieve.gareau@umontreal.ca) by July 1, 2017. The editorial committee will inform authors of its decision around the end of July. Selected contributors will be required to submit their full paper before October 15, 2017 for peer-review. Final versions are to be submitted by January 30, 2018 at the latest. Publication is scheduled for spring 2018. 

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