David Bowie, Landscapes & Heritage

Posted on May 6, 2016

“New ways ever free”:

David Bowie, Landscapes & Heritage

Symposium, December 2, 2016

Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France


Station to Station.

In the wake of Bowie’s passing, images and voices have multiplied to evoke the diverse landscapes of his work, from the musical styles to the characters he imagined to the many facets of a career that has seen Bowie take on several roles, sometimes simultaneously, leading him from music to drama (The Elephant Man) to cinema (The Man who Fell to Earth, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Hunger, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me) and the visual arts—a wide array of fields which he explored with passion and managed to leave his indelible and sometimes decisive mark on.

Changes (“Turn and face the strange”).

The call of the strange—as the title of the 2012 conference on Bowie “A Strange Fascination?” emphasized—resonates in his work, to the point of becoming the signature of many records, performances, music videos or cult songs. It is a signature made manifest in the countless figures of openess that traverse the whole. The themes of expansion, escape and alienation combine with motifs such as rifts and wanderings, which constantly resound in his music through a multiplicity of influences, stylistic editing, with the novel suddenly shooting forth, often via the plasiticity of his voice, which likewise follows the many corridors of the strange, the transgeneric and the transborder.

Bowie is.

From stardust to blackstar to the various forms of “black suns” his characters inhabit, Bowie’s œuvre is an exploration of atmospheres, a confluence of literary and artistic discourses, a memory and an anticipation of history, a neverending odyssey ceaselessly opening on vistas that involve art, redefinitions of gender and genre, and discourses on the human and the post-human.

Bowie remains.

It is what “remains” of Bowie that we wish to explore, in its various artistic, literary, sociological and historical manifestations—all testify to the fact that his œuvre is open to a wide variety of theoretical approaches (aesthetics, musicology, gender and queer studies, cultural studies, philosophy, semiotics, etc.), that it is an œuvre whose identity, like that of its creator, is characterized by fluidity, movement and an ongoing quest.

Proposals in English or French, including a title, an abstract (200-300 words), a short bibliography and a biographical blurb, should be sent by June 16, 2016 to Nathalie Vincent-Arnaud (nathalie.vincentarnaud@sfr.fr), Emeline Jouve (emeline.jouve@gmail.com), Philippe Birgy (birgy@univ-tlse2.fr) and David Roche (mudrock@neuf.fr).



Nathalie Vincent-Arnaud (Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, CAS EA 801)

Emeline Jouve (Albi-Champollion, CAS EA 801)

Philippe Birgy (Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, CAS EA 801)

David Roche (Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, CAS EA 801)

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