University of Cergy-Pontoise and ENSAPC
November 16–18, 2015

Writing is an artistic practice and can be taught in the same manner as painting, video, dance, or music. That is the claim made for some years now by a group of pioneering art schools and universities that offer programs in creative writing. Such programs are effervescent spaces in which students learn writing as a creative material and medium. Cergy-Pontoise is emblematic of these experiments. Writer François Bon teaches at ENSAPC, one of the (too) few schools of art to have embraced writing. The nearby University of Cergy-Pontoise recently launched a master’s program in professional applications of writing and literary creation.

The Colloquium on Literary Research and Creation aimed to affirm the vitality and importance of teaching writing as an experimental artistic practice in its own right. The event set out to map the programs that had appeared in recent years. Participants included academics, writers, and artists teaching writing in art schools (Lyon, Le Havre-Rouen), creative schools (National School of Theater Arts, National School of Landscape Design, Versailles), and universities (Aix-Marseille, Paris 8, Le Havre). The encounter also benefitted from presentations on experiences outside France (including the United States, Quebec, Switzerland, and Belgium). It explored the links between research and creation and the various ways of planning and evaluating research work in this domain.

By virtue of their fundamental role in workshops on literary creativity, practical experiences took center stage at the event. Presentations of work by current students and alumni during two evenings of readings and performances stimulated reflection on what is produced in literary creativity programs and what “experimentation” really means.

Participants: Alain Beaulieu, Nathalie Bonnardel, Antoine Boute, Marc André Brouillette, Gilles Collard, Luc Dall’Armellina, Carla Demierre, Enzo Cormann, Marcelline Delbecq, Jean-Simon DesRochers, Célia Houdart, Marie Joqueviel-Bourjea, Laure Limongi, Jérôme Mauche, Claude Perez, Anne-Marie Petitjean, Jean-Marc Quaranta, Corine Robet, Lionel Ruffel, Laura Sellies, Marie-Laure Schultze, Cole Swensen, and Bruno Tackels.

Co-organized by Violaine Houdart-Merot (University of Cergy-Pontoise), François Bon (ENSAPC), and Antoine Idier (ENSAPC). With support from the University of Cergy-Pontoise Foundation, the University of Paris Seine, AGORA Laboratory, and the creative arts office of the Ministry of Culture and Communication.