The Angel or the overcoming of the Human. APEF-AUF International Conference (Coimbra)

The Angel or the overcoming of the Human International conference APEF-AUF (20 years of APEF – /) Faculty of Letters of the University of Coimbra 30 and 31 March 2023 (1er call)

The Portuguese Association for French Studies (APEF), within the framework of a project of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), has engaged in a series of moments of intellectual sharing around the issue of Human Limits. The problem selected, dramatically current, is so to speak inexhaustible, and likely to challenge all knowledge (from artificial intelligence to sports), and above all all minds. A permanent French-speaking forum has thus mobilized us around an attractive and comprehensive theme, capable of arousing the interest of all, and fulfilling one of the major missions of the contemporary University: to contribute – reflexively and critically – to the development sustainability of society and its environment.

In the wake of the perspectives opened up by science and technological revolutions – the machine, the artificial, genetic manipulation, the infrahuman, the augmented human –, we now invite you to reflect on the theme of The Angel or the overcoming of the Human.

Whether guardian or exterminator, good or bad, white or black, smiling or melancholy, theAngel accompanies the human species since the mythological Fall. Far from having faded away, like so many other fabulous and marvelous creatures, before the progress of modern thought, he remains, visible or invisible, this mysterious guide, faithful or deceitful, of Intelligence. Abundantly represented in medieval painting and sculpture, as suggested, among others, by the study of Jeanne Villette[1], he solicits and inspires, with or without wings, contemporary filmmakers; the study of Maité Vienne is exemplary in this respect, because the author analyzes the presence of this emblematic figure in some twenty films[2]. Since Romanticism, poets and novelists – from Victor Hugo to Daniel Pennac or André Gide[3] -, resorted to his prestige and aura of a supernatural Stranger, tempted by our mortal condition. Finally, science fiction, this metaphysics in images, shows in him, extraterrestrial par excellence, the messenger of our cosmic future.

makeAngel the theme of Symposium commemorating the 20th anniversary of the APEF is undoubtedly an excessive challenge, but everyone, for this unforgettable fight, will have the freedom to choose their own terrain (symbolic, anthropological, theological, poetic, spiritual, etc.) as well as their own adversary, adjuvant or messenger: Michel, Gabriel, Raphael, Beelzebub, among many other immaterial and spiritual beings.

Also, the Section of French Studies of the Faculty of Letters of the University of Coimbra, and the Association of French Studies (APEF) – (/) – to celebrate the 20 years of scientific and cultural activity of this Association, it organizes, at the University of Coimbra, the March 30 and 31, 2023 the international symposium The Angel or the overcoming of the Humanand run this call for papers to researchers who may be interested in this topic.

Thematic axes:

The figure of ” mediator” and ” messenger in revealed religions (or not) and the questioning of the invisible;
Literary and intermedial representations ofangel, and its avatars: from the angel to the dark and fallen angel of detective novels, science fiction, series, etc. ;
L’angel as a variation of the posthuman, or the foretaste of eternity;
Angels, Fairies or Elves in the arts[4](painting, sculpture, cinema, music, theatre): visions of being simultaneously present and impalpable;
the angelin mysticism, spirituality and popular religion;
Any other approach to angelic configuration and action.

Working language(s): French (preferred), Portuguese

Calendar :

  • December 15, 2022: deadline for submission of proposals – abstract of 200 words maximum and a biobibliographic record short of 15 lines maximum – for an oral communication which will not last more than 20 minutes.
  • December 31st2022 : deadline for return from the organization.

Organization :

Cristina Robalo Cordeiro – A. Coimbra

João Domingues – A. Coimbra

Rosário Mariano – A. Coimbra

E-mail :

Registration fees :

– APEF associates in good standing: €75.00

– Other: €100.00

The payment of the registration is a support for the publication. The texts will be subject to a preliminary double-blind evaluation.

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[1] Jeanne Villette (1940). The Angel in 12th century Western arte in the 16the century.

[2] Maite Vienna (1995). The figure of the angel in the cinema.

[3] Um ange passe: angels in literaturecollective work, published by Gallimard (2003).

[4] We took the work of Lain Zaczek (2006) as inspiration. Angels and fairies: by the greatest painterspublished by Le Pré aux clercs, an album devoted to fairies, elves and angels who have always been a source of inspiration for artists.

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The Angel or the overcoming of the Human. APEF-AUF International Conference (Coimbra)

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