“Beside Ourselves: Re-pairing the Image of the Human Animal,” 20th/21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, San Francisco, April 2011.

Posted by Natalie Strobach on May 30, 2012
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This was my first time at the 20th and 21st Century French Conference and it  was extremely productive. This essay was part of a two-day panel on Cixous’ use of the animal and my paper focused on her naming of writing “Isaac.” This then brought into question the exchange of Isaac for sacrificial animal and the implications of a sacrificed text.

Sacrifice of Isaac by Pedro Orrente 1616

There was a lively Q&A at the end–one member of the audience was   particularly concerned with how Abraham would have viewed the sacrifice–how for him the human/animal exchange was impossible–unequivocal. It’s a difficult debate to unfold here, but it certainly lead to some interesting additions to my reworking of this scene in later chapters–namely more emphasis on a lesser-known Midrash that reinforces Abraham’s dedication to the animal/human exchange. All in all, a great success!




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