The aim of our research group is to investigate first-person narrative, and especially the evolution of autobiography as a genre, from a historical, theoretical, and comparative approach.
Our group originates from a series of seminars focusing on first-person writing whichwere organized by Gabriella Bosco at Università di Torino – Facoltà di Lingue e Letterature Straniere in 2003, and which saw the participation of scholars and authors both from Italy and abroad (Philippe Sollers, Philippe Forest, Marie-France Ionesco, Mario Giorgi, Antonio Moresco, Dario Voltoliniamong others). A fruitful academic cooperation was then established with Prof. Philippe Forest (Université de Nantes) and his research team, through the organization of conferences in both Nantes and Torino, the participation in international events held in Paris, the activation of co-tutored PhD programs, the foundation of a series of books about first-person narrative and the publishing of translations, essays and creative works.
Two main aspects delimitate our field of research: the acknowledged impossibility, in the “era of suspicion”, of talking about one’s personal life; and the constant need to talk about it, so that the violence of certain events and the scandal they involve at any level – be it collective or individual, historical or private – are preserved from oblivion.
Thus, our research group focuses on writings which, despite using the first-person pronoun, reject the illusion of autobiographical realism and contribute to a deep transformation of the narrative subject – from an I that is biological and personalized to one that is textual and de-personalized.
Main areas of research:
- mapping contemporary first-person narrative in France;
- analysing the work of XX century and contemporary authors who have turned to first-person writing after experimentally concealing it during the avant-garde years;
- formulating a theoretical discourse on post-autobiographical narrative, in the aim of providing a broader framework for literary criticism;
- investigating the establishment of a new pact between narrator and reader;
- determining a renovated notion of engagement in contemporary French narrative;
- creating a corpus of theoretical and creative worksfocusing on the substitution of the autobiographical subject with the witness subject.