Volume 1 (2021) How Bodies Matter

From the day we are born we are surrounded by ever-changing representations of bodies and notions of what it means to be human in modern society. Every day we must decide how to represent ourselves, how to interact with other individuals and bodies of work and how to navigate through a range of socio-political, cultural, and creative spaces. Scholars from various disciplines of Humanities and Social Science like feminist studies, medieval studies, ecocriticism, postcolonialism, diaspora studies, migration studies, and others have all been involved in understanding how bodies are created, represented, rejected, subjugated, and how these subjugated bodies in turn, create subversive discourses. Our scholarship stems from these discourses of understanding the nature, attributes and dynamics of these bodies and are located in the global crisis that we are facing right now.

Faced with both international political unrest and the threat of an ongoing global pandemic, it is more important than ever to consider how we conceive bodies, their representation, and expressions of human embodiment. Sociopolitical rhetoric concerning the body can be used to create barriers and exclude others. However, it is imperative to remember that it can also be used to inspire and to foster belonging and global awareness based on our shared humanity. Such discourses leave traces in our literary and cultural traditions.

In that vein, we organized LSU’s CPLT-FREN spring 2021 conference “Bodies that Matter”. A diverse body of scholars convened for three days of virtual round tables and rousing academic discussion. Our experiences led us to conceive this journal in order to create an archive of this academic cooperation. Written by scholars from various parts of the globe, what these essays have in common are that provide voices for bodies, which have been excluded, marginalized, and othered in one way or another. They offer pathways to understanding embodiment, resistance, and reclaiming the right to exist, becoming “bodies that matter.”


Pharos the Egyptian and the Gothic Other as Excess
Shruti Jain and Kaushik Tekur Venkata


Editors in Chief for French
Anoosheh Ghaderi & Ashley Holt
Editor in Chief for Comparative Literature
Aparajita Dutta

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to our guest editors in Comparative Literature, French, and other subject specific areas:
Andisheh Ghaderi, Amir Barati
Liz Maione, & Leslie Quezada