The Broken Mirror: Christine and the Queens and Global Frenchness is a Winthrop-King Institute International Conference, co-sponsored by LUP journal Contemporary French Civilization, The Department of French and Italian and the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona.
The co-organizers plan to edit a future special issue of Contemporary French Civilization on the conference theme and invite submissions on a variety of topics for this project.
Speaking about the conference the co-organisers made the following comments:
Born in Nantes in 1988, Héloïse Adélaïde Letissier, known as Christine and the Queens or simply Chris is a star for our times: singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, and choreographer, she flits between roles, just as she does between identities, names, genders, genres, places, and languages. Describing her identity as a “broken mirror,” she exists in fragments, splinters, shards, broken parts that yet constitute a distinctive whole.
At once quintessentially French and unremittingly global, she is hugely popular in France and across the world. What is it that drives this success and this global appeal? In what does her originality consist? What does she take from the past and from her influences to create the newness that courses through her work? How do she and her work relate to contemporary ideas of identity and culture? To what extent does she reinvent “Frenchness”?
This conference (in-person and online) seeks to address these questions, and many others provoked by this singular yet plural figure. We welcome proposals for panels and papers on any aspect of Christine and the Queens’ work and life, its reception and significance.
Possible topics may include:
- Frenchness—to what extent does she redefine/reject it?
- Language choices—specific uses of French and English, artistic and commercial motivations Mediatization and export strategies
- In concert
- Collaborations, artist as autonomous and part of collectivities
- As producer
- Dance and choreography
- Social Media
- Social class
- Queerness and intersections
- Influences: Michael Jackson, Laurie Anderson, Madonna, Desireless, Prince, William Sheller, Mylene Farmer
- French chanson
- Contemporaries—her influence, comparisons with other artists
- Songs as fiction/songwriter as novelist
- Reception in different places
- Her work during Covid confinement
- Musical genres and formats
- The body and realms of memory
- Theoretical approaches
- Video art