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Conférence de J. Riquet : Trains, Interrupted: Railway Fiction and the Accidents of Modernity
26 février – 16:00-18:00
Nous aurons la chance de recevoir Johannes Riquet, professeur de littérature anglaise à l’Université de Tempere (Finlande). Voici un résumé de sa conférence :
In this talk, I will present my current book project, a comprehensive study of the complex intersections of aesthetic experience and the project of modernity in British and American representations of the railroad from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. The book offers a cultural history of the railway journey in literature, cinema, and the visual arts as a multisensory and specifically modern experience of multiple accidents, interruptions, and interferences. Starting with a discussion of the poetics of contingency in early railroad fiction, it goes on to examine the figure of the train at the intersection of modern physics and modernist aesthetics. The second part of the book turns to narrative, poetic, and perceptual interruptions and interferences in railway crime fiction and cinema, Cold War cinema, and terrorist fiction, ending with a discussion of the changed significance of trains in the postindustrial present. In my talk, I will begin by outlining the project as a whole with various brief examples before zooming in on Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer (2013). In my discussion of the film, i will examine how the film imagines the (im)possibility of a global train to explore the limitations of dystopia in thinking about planetary crisis.
Johannes Riquet is Associate Professor of English Literature at Tampere University (Finland). He is the author of The Aesthetics of Island Space: Perception, Ideology, Geopoetics (Oxford University Press, 2019) and the co-editor of Spatial Modernities: Geography, Narrative, Imaginaries (Routledge, 2018) as well as Imaging Identity: Text, Mediality and Contemporary Visual Culture (Palgrave, 2019). He is currently working on a new book on railway journeys in British and American fiction and the PI of the collaborative project “Mediated Arctic Geographies: Geopolitics, Climate Change and Arctic Imaginaries, 1997-Present” (funded by the Academy of Finland, 2019-2023). He is a founding member of the international research group Island Poetics and the head of the research group “Spatial Studies and Environmental Humanities” at Tampere University. His research interests include the Arctic, islands, spatiality, travel writing, phenomenology, and railway journeys in literature and cinema.