Symposium "Tales on triage : work, enterprise, and ethical conflicts in 20th and 21st century literature and films"

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Colloque Tri
12 14 October 2022
9h 18h
MISHA - University of Strasbourg

The symposium "Tales on triage : work, enterprise, and ethical conflicts in 20th and 21st century literature and films" is part of the theme "triage" and with the historical approach of LETHICA. It will examine how the logics of sorting in the work process are represented, and therefore thought about, in the literature and cinema of the industrialized capitalist countries, in all its scope (large companies, hospitals and geriatrics, personal care, teaching, agriculture, crafts, culture, publishing, etc.). In particular, it will examine the textualization/staging of ethical conflicts to which workers from many different professions are subjected.

Today's worker is subject to regular sorting, from entry into the company (where he or she must be selected by recruiters) to exit (where the grounds for exclusion leading to unemployment vary: economic reasons, misconduct, redundancy plans, professional harassment, etc.). Other employees (HRDs, site managers, etc.) orchestrate the turnover. These situations give rise to moral conflicts and, more generally, raise ethical questions: what should one do, for example, when one is in charge of the surveillance of a hypermarket and a colleague, who is appreciated by all, is caught in the act of "stealing" discount coupons? This is the dilemma faced by Vincent Lindon in Stéphane Brizé's film, La Loi du marché (screened on Tuesday 11 October at 6pm): a recently hired security guard in a department store, he has to decide whether to save his morals or to keep his job (on which his family depends)?
The colloquium of 12-13-14 October is interested in the way in which French, European and African literature and cinema think about sorting out not only in the world of the company or the working class, but also in the world of the peasantry or in the public employment services. It welcomes researchers in literature and cinema, two French novelists (Arno Bertina and Gérard Mordillat), a psychologist specialised in suffering at work (Marie Pezé) and a former HRD, whose job consisted in dismissing employees.

This symposium is co-funded by Lethica, Configurations Littéraires (UR1337 - Strasbourg University) and THALIM (Théorie et histoire des arts et des littératures de la modernité - UMR 7172 - Sorbonne University/CNRS)

Attendance will allow PhD students to validate hours for mandatory doctoral training: 17 hours of training for the whole symposium → it is recommended to follow all the communications but in case of impossibility, it will be possible to validate the effective hours of attendance per day).
PhD student please register by email: imahoudeau[at]