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Essays in French Literature, Thought and Visual Culture


Edited By Georgina Evans and Adam Kay

This collection of essays arises from the 2005 Cambridge French Graduate Conference on the theme of threat. From the baleful and ubiquitous eyes of surveillance cameras to the ever-present possibility of total nuclear annihilation, threat is everywhere around us. Yet the phenomenon itself, if indeed it is a single phenomenon, has received little attention. This volume seeks to remedy this oversight with a collection of concise, hard-hitting essays on a variety of topics in French culture. Organized around central approaches to the problem of threat – (inter)cultural, philosophical, and approaches through the visual arts – the book examines anxiety, privacy, loss, invasion, and other issues related to the theme. Though emphasis is placed on the contemporary period, writers of the French Renaissance also receive due attention.


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Acknowledgements vii


Acknowledgements This book has its roots in the Cambridge French Graduate Conference held at Cambridge University in 2005. The project has changed significantly since this first, fruitful, exploration of the theme, and this volume brings together the later thinking of many of the contributors with that of other scholars whose work chimes with, and enriches, the earlier discussion. The conference could not have taken place without the support of the Department of French, University of Cambridge, of St John’s College, and of the Society for French Studies; to all of these we are indebted for their generosity. Certain individuals also deserve special thanks: Dr Victoria Best, Dr Peter Collier, Professor Philip Ford, Professor Sarah Kay and Dr Emma Wilson all provided support in many forms, without which this publication would not have been possible. Our gratitude is also owed to other contributors to the conference, whose work has found its continua- tion elsewhere, and to all those who participated in the debate; this book is the richer for their intellectual input. Georgina Evans and Adam Kay Cambridge

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