Vêtements et parures. Dialogue entre la littérature française et la littérature japonaise
[Clothing and Self-Adornment. A Dialogue between French and Japanese Literatures].


6th of July, 13:00-16:30.


Kyoto University, Yoshida Campus, Graduate School of Letters, B1, Conference room.
(京都大学 吉田キャンパス 文学部校舎 地下大会議室)

Abstract of the event theme

According to some major essays in gender studies, the occidental culture imposes a gender-based injunction which leads women to dedicate a considerable amount of time and energy to self adornment and body cares. This “beauty work” is part of the “feminine mystique” which glorifies women on a symbolic ground while reinforcing their material dependence (Beauvoir, 1949; Friedan, 1963; Wolf, 1991; Chollet, 2012). Is this “beauty work” a contemporary characteristics or are there some earlier writings which mentioned such a “beauty work”? For instance, in a novel such as Artamène, the French female writer Madeleine de Scudéry pointed out how much time women lose in clothing: “I have a friend who needs so much time to get dressed every day that she can only go out when the sun goes down”, she wrote, encouraging women to spend their time more cleverly. Can’t such an ironical denunciation be considered as a pro-women speech in favor of women education?
The workshop “Clothing and Self-Adornment” intends to examine the history of this gender-based injunction related to clothing, jewelry, body accessories and body cares. It will focus on major medieval and early modern French and Japanese literary productions written by women, such as 『源氏物語』 and La Princesse de Clèves. What role does clothing and jewelry play in these narratives? What is the aesthetic, symbolic or anthropological value of the descriptions of clothing? Are they not also a subtle instruments of power negotiation between the characters?


13:00-13:15. Introduction.
13:15-14:00. Shuzo Muneyuki: “Clothes, characters and power in The Tale of Genji 『源氏物語』”
14:00-14:45. Justine Le Floc’h: “Dressing up in La Princesse de Clèves: anthropology, social game and lovers’ communication”.
14:45-15:00. Break.
15:00-15:45. Lucile Druet: “The queens of hearts and silks: feminine expression, emotions and kimono in Japanese poetry”
15:45-16:15. Marie Labarelle. “35センチの可能性”.
16:15-16:30. Conclusion.

URL for registration