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December 2005, Week 1


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Phil Powrie <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 4 Dec 2005 16:49:48 -0000
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[circulated to various lists; apologies for cross-posting]


SFC conference 2006: Transvergence and Francophone  cinema

Wednesday 19 April 2006

Petite Salle, Institut Français, London

(We gratefully acknowledge the continuing support of the Institut Français)

In seeking a term that could better embrace the cross-fertilisation practice that is cinema as a far-flung industrial practice and praxis, rather than use transnational or cross-fertilisation, we would like to propose the term coined by Marcos Novak, 'transvergence'. The aim of the conference is then to open up the concept of Francophone cinema to this term and concept. How we bring this about will be the very nature of our debates at the annual conference.

Why is this term attractive to us? Perhaps because it takes us beyond having to think in term of the binary national/transnational (which of course has its uses) and having to argue for what a cinema is not. We believe that the term transvergence might allow us to discuss cinema in a different way, and perhaps in a way that is more closely attached to what it really does. Novak writes:

'While convergence and divergence are simple linear extrapolations that proceed by strategies of alignment, transvergence advances translinearly, by tactics of derailment. While convergence and divergence are allied to epistemologies of continuity and consistency (...) transvergence is epistemologically closer to Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorem (...) and to complexity, chaos and catastrophe theories, dynamical systems, emergence and artificial life. While convergence and divergence contain the hidden assumption that the true, in either a cultural or an objective sense, is a continuous landmass, transvergence recognises true statements to be islands in an alien archipelago, sometimes only accessible by leaps, flights, and voyages on vessels of artifice.' (Marcos Novak, 'Speciation, Transvergence, Allogenesis: Notes on the Production of the Alien', Architectural Design 72/3, 2002; see here:

The idea of 'national' cinema is clearly too limiting; the idea of 'transnational' cinema is arguably too loose or vague (or self-evident). A transvergent cinema suggests that no cinema is a complete a-priori artefact in and of itself. This cinema is one that does what it says it does! It crosses lines, zigzags, derails, rerails, reroutes, jumps from one continent or island to another, relies on artifice to create its imaginary spaces. 

We welcome papers that use this concept as part of their exploration: a transvergent cinema as a cinema of transfusion, of infiltration; a cinema of the alien, of fractures; a cinema of hybrid bodies and genres; a cinema of transition and incompleteness; a cinema that disconcerts.

Please send an abstract of 200 words electronically to [log in to unmask] and [log in to unmask] by 2 January 2006. Potential contributors should bear in mind that papers for our conference are pre-circulated to delegates to enable discussion. If accepted, your paper should be 3000-6000 words long, and submitted to the conference organisers by 24 March 2006.


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