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Welcome to the latest issue of the EPOP Project Newsletter. The EPOP Project (Popular Roots of European Culture Through Film, Comics and Serialized Literature) is a research and popularization project funded by the European Commission in the frame of the Culture

List of Contents
1) Fantômas : Guinea pig of the EPOP database 2) The Limoges EPOP team 3) Finding the plot… 4) Events and books on popular fiction

Programme 2007 and is promoted by the Department of Music and Performing Arts of the University of Bologna, the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Limoges, the Pallas Institute for Art Historical and Literature Studies University of Leiden, the GRIT (Groupe des Recherche sur l’Image et le Texte) of the Catholic University of Louvainla-Neuve, and the Department for Culture of the Province of Pescara. The project started on 24 November 2008 and will be completed on 24 May 2010. If you have any suggestions regarding the newsletter or anything relating to the project, please send your message to:

With best wishes, EPOP Project Publication Committee


1) Fantômas: Guinea pig of the EPOP database
Over the last month, the teams involved in the EPOP project started to fill the database presented in the previous issue of this newsletter. Information about one hundred written texts and their translations, as well as fifty films, has been inserted so far. As an example of the geographical analysis which the database enables, we present here two maps referring to the circulation of the first five Fantômas books through their translations and reissues between 1911 and the mid-1930s. The first map clearly shows the speed at which a popular culture bestseller circulated among European countries, hinting at their cultural proximity. Long before the birth of any European political institutions in the postwar period, media culture created a shared background, of which Fantômas gives only a first glimpse. The second map shows how the circulation process does not stop inside Europe. These data suggest that further research might need to focus on those countries that function as bridgeheads to other continents, i.e. the United Kingdom as Fantômas’ link toward the US, where the character became famous through its British translations.

Fantômas : translation and circulation of the first five books in Europe (1911-1934)


Fantômas : translation and circulation of the first five books in the world (1911-1934)

2) The Limoges EPOP Team
CRLPCM: Research Centre on Popular Literatures and Media Cultures University of Limoges

The CRLPCM (Centre de Recherches sur les Littératures Populaires et les Cultures Médiatiques: Research Centre on Popular Literatures and Media Cultures) at the University of Limoges was founded in 1982 by Jean Claude Vareille and Ellen Constans. It is the only research group in France exclusively devoted to the analysis of popular fiction in modern media. From 1982 to 1995, the Centre worked on thematic and genre analysis, focusing especially on the nineteenth-century


and Belle Epoque popular novel, contributing to a reassessment of the anthropological and literary relevance of the ‘mauvais genres’, reviled by high culture and ignored by intellectuals. The results of this pioneering research were published in three collective reference books, collecting the proceedings of three international conferences: Littérature populaire. Peuple, nation, région, Limoges, Trames, 1988 ; Le roman sentimental, Limoges, Trames, 1990 ; Crime et Châtiment dans le roman populaire de langue française du XIXe siècle, Limoges, PULIM, coll. Littératures en marge, 1994. Since 1995, thanks to Jacques Migozzi, who now leads the team, le CRLPCM has widened the scope of its research. It promotes the interdisciplinary dynamics of an international group of researchers, through conferences, work meetings, and collective publications, such as the recent Le roman populaire en France (1836-1960). Du roman-feuilleton aux premières tv adaptations, published by Editions Autrement). Along with their network of partners (currently the Catholic University of Louvain, the University of Versailles Saint Quentin in Yvelines, the University of Bologna, the University of Leeds, the University of Leiden, the UQUAM in Québec, the PUC of Sao Paulo), the Limoges researchers provide a critical view of multimedial fiction content produced and distributed by cultural industries and circulating in the public space since the rise of the romanfeuilleton. During the last five years, the CRLPCM has collaborated with the teams of CRELIQ (University Laval, Québec), of the UMR L.I.RE (Lyon 2, Grenoble 3), of the University of Mannheim and the University of Cergy-Pontoise. Important conferences have come out of this constantly evolving collective work. The conference proceedings were published by Presses Universitaire de Limoges in their specialized series ‘Littérature en marge’ and ‘Médiatextes’: Zila Bernd and Jacques Migozzi (ed.), Frontières du littéraire. Littératures orale et populaire. Brésil / France, Limoges, PULIM, Littératures en marge, 1995; Jacques Migozzi (ed.), Le roman populaire en questions, Limoges, PULIM, Littératures en marge, 1997; Jacques Migozzi (ed.), De l’écrit à l’écran, Limoges, PULIM, Littératures en marge, 2000; Myriam Boucharenc and Joëlle Deluche (ed.), Littérature et reportage, Limoges, PULIM, Médiatextes, 2001; Philippe Le Guern and Jacques Migozzi (ed.), Productions du populaire, PULIM, Médiatextes, 2005. More recently, the CRLPCM team has extended its activities to the World Wide Web as well, collaborating with peer-reviewed electronic journals, above all Belphégor


(, directed by the International Coordination of Research on Popular Literatures and Media Cultures. A work meeting held in Limoges in May 2003 (‘Genres and mass culture’) led to the contents of Belphegor vol. 3 no. 2, December 2003, and a forthcoming thematic issue will collect contributions from the 2006-2007 Limoges international conference series (‘Idéologie et stratégies argumentatives dans les récits imprimés de grande consommation. XIXe-XXIe siècles’). A second part of these contributions will be published online in June 2009 by the electronic review A contrario, as a ‘dossier’ entitled ‘Journalistic Narrative and Media Culture’. Besides these collective works and the monographic studies of its individual members, the CRLPCM edits the Médiatextes series with a strong interdisciplinary approach (co-editors: Jacques Migozzi and Myriam Boucharenc, Paris X). This series concentrates on the publication of original research focusing on the production of mass culture texts (media, institutional and formal strategies, classification/declassification, canonical dichotomies), from the oldest forms of media culture connected with the mass press to the most recent ones, largely dominated by images. Ten titles have been published since 2001: Littérature et reportage (2001) ; Daniel Couégnas, Fictions, énigmes, images. Lectures (para ?) littéraires (2001) ; Vittorio Frigerio, Les Fils de Monte-Cristo. Idéologie du héros de roman populaire (2002) ; La légitimité culturelle en question(s), ed. Sylvette Giet (2004) ; Productions du populaire (2005) ; Jacques Migozzi, Boulevards du populaire (2005) ; Jean-Pierre Bacot, La presse illustrée au XIXe siècle. Une histoire oubliée (2005) ; Marc Guillaumie, le Roman préhistorique. Essai d’un définition d’un genre, essai d’histoire d’un mythe (2006) ; Ellen Constans, Ouvrières des lettres (2007) ; Loïc Artiaga, Des Torrents de papier. Catholicisme et lectures populaires au XIXe siècle (2007). An essay written by Matthieu Letourneux devoted to the adventure novel will be published in 2009 (for further information please visit the website of the Presses Universitaires de Limoges: In addition to their current scientific activities, CRLPCM researchers often participate in professional sessions or round-tables addressed to librarians or cultural mediators. From an institutional point of view, the CRLPCM is one of the sub-teams of EA 1087 ‘Human Spaces and Cultural Interactions’, within which it carries out a research project entitled ‘Literary Value and Media Culture’.


Short presentation of the team members The two founders of the Centre, now deceased, had a decisive influence on its development. Their major works include: Jean-Claude Vareille, Filatures : itinéraires à travers les cycles de Lupin et de Rouletabille, Grenoble, PUG, 1980. Jean-Claude Vareille, L’Homme masqué, le Justicier, le Détective. Essais sur le roman populaire et le roman policier, d’Eugène Sue à Simenon, Lyon, PUL, 1989. Jean-Claude Vareille, Le Roman populaire français (1789-1914). Idéologies et pratiques., Limoges/Montréal, PULIM/ Nuit Blanche éditeur, coll. Littératures en marge, 1994. Ellen Constans, Parlez-moi d’amour. Le roman sentimental des romans grecs aux collections de l’an 2000, Limoges, PULIM, 1999. Ellen Constans, Ouvrières des lettres, Limoges, PULIM, Médiatextes, 2007. Currently the permanent nucleus of the CRLPCM is formed by Jacques Migozzi, Loïc Artiaga, Natacha Levet et Marc Guillaumie. A professor of French literature specialising in contemporary fiction will reinforce the team from 1 September 2009. Jacques Migozzi is Professor of modern and contemporary French literature. Starting with a specialist study of Jules Valles (to whom he devoted his dissertation) and of the socially committed novel of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, he has both widened and redirected his research since 1992, recognising the anthropological significance of mass culture fiction and questioning the symbolic hierarchies of culture. This critical re-examination of his position as cultural mediator within the university as an institution led him towards a research programme entitled ‘Popular writing, popular literatures: Nineteenth-century and Belle Epoque literature between social commitment and entertainment’, then to publish a synthesis of that research in the essay Boulevards du populaire. His individual work focuses in particular on the socially committed or edifying popular literature (Erckmann-Chatrian, Eugène Le Roy, Le Tour de la France par deux enfants…) and attempts to build theoretical frameworks, and to place his research subject into a wider critical perspective, aiming to capitalize on the results of twenty years of research on the popular and to prepare the ground for further collective work.


Recent selected bibliography : – ‘Littérature(s) populaire(s) : un objet protéiforme.’, in Hermès no. 42, 2005. – ‘Sociocritique, rhétorique, pragmatique : le cas Vallès’, Littérature no. 140 ‘Analyse du discours et sociocritique’, December 2005. – ‘Récit populaire et prêt à penser / prêt à rêver : balises et perspectives’, in Belphégor, may 2006, ‘Idéologie et stratégies argumentatives dans les récits imprimés de grande consommation. XIXe-XXIe siècles’ ( – ‘Lignées et racines : De Claude Michelet et de l’Ecole de Brive’, in Michel Beniamino et Claude Filteau (ed.), Mémoire et culture, PULIM, 2006. – ‘La révolution française du roman-feuilleton (1836-1848)’, in M.-F. Cachin, D. Cooper-Richet, J.-Y. Mollier, C. Parfait (eds.)., Au Bonheur du feuilleton. Naissance et mutations d’un genre (France, EtatsUnis, Grande-Bretagne, XVIIIe - XXe siècles), Paris : Créaphis, 2007. – ‘Mauvais genres et bons livres : ce n’est qu’un début, continuons le débat’, in Loïc Artiaga (ed.), Le roman populaire en France (1836-1960). Du roman-feuilleton aux premières adaptations télévisuelles, Paris, Editions Autrement, 2008. – ‘Cet obscur objet du désir universitaire : coup d’œil dans le rétroviseur sur 15 ans de recherches sur les fictions populaires.’ (ENS Conference june 2008 ‘Fictions populaires’), in Revue d’Histoire littéraire de la France, forthcoming. Loïc Artiaga is ‘maître de conférence’ of History. His first works were focused on the attempts by Catholics to control media culture between 1830 and 1860. This subject was analysed through an interdisciplinary approach: religious and cultural history, book and readership history, the history of literature and of censorship. Discussing the aesthetic value related to these works, he works on their social meaning and their critical reception in a cultural history perspective. Selected Bibliograhy : Loïc Artiaga (ed.), Le Roman populaire (1830-1960). Des premiers feuilletons aux adaptations télévisuelles, Paris, Autrement, 2008. Loïc Artiaga, Des Torrents de papier. Catholicisme et lectures populaires au XIXe siècle, Limoges, Pulim, 2007.


Loïc Artiaga, ‘James Bond : modes d’emploi (1965- années 1990)’, in Françoise Hache-Bissette, Fabien Boully, Vincent Chenille (eds.), James Bond (2)007. Anatomie d’un mythe populaire, Belin, 2007. Natacha Levet is ‘maître de conférence’ of French literature. Her research work focuses on the notion of the genre in media culture, in particular in the French noir novel, to which she devoted her dissertation. She also worked on authors of noir novels Jean-Patrick Manchette and Thierry Jonquet. In 2007, she participated in the conference in Cerisy-la-Salle on ‘The detective novel today’. Furthermore she collaborates in a research programme on the cultural practices of 8-18 year old children. She teaches at the Limoges University Institute for Teachers Training where she conducts seminars on media culture (detective novel and film, fantasy and science-fiction) addressed to high school teachers. Recent publications: Levet N., ‘Les ‘Chéries noires’ : écriture féminine et roman noir’, Revue Belphégor (Vol. VII, no. 2, 2008), Levet N., ‘Jean-Patrick Manchette entre paralittérature et littérature, les paradoxes d’un auteur’, Temps Noir, no. 11 / May 2008, Nantes, Editions Joseph K, p. 156-164. Levet N., ‘French Noir fiction, a blurred identity’, Questions of identity in detective fiction, dir. Linda Martz, Anita Higgie, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, 2007, p. 129-138. Levet N., contributions to the second édition of the Dictionnaire des Littératures Policières, directed by Claude Mesplède, Editions Joseph K., 2007. Levet N., ‘Thierry Jonquet, la puissance de la fiction’, Temps Noir, 9 / March 2005, Nantes, Editions Joseph K, p. 4-33.


Marc Guillaumie lives and teaches in Limoges. He studies the prehistoric fictions imagined by writers and artists. In Le Roman préhistorique : essai de définition d’un genre, essai d’histoire d’un mythe (PULIM, 2006) he attempts to demonstrate that these fictions belong to a tradition which first appeared in the nineteenth century, fixing themes, motifs and the principal characters of a coherent group of representations for a long time, using the authority of science, but above all disseminating the preconceptions of their historical period. Therefore the fictions reflect an ideology marked by racism and the apology of progress; today they show for example an apparent feminist or ecological commitment, but with the same goal of building the modern myth of our origin. From novel to engraving, film and comics, the same figures and processes are repeated with only few variations.

3) Finding the Plot…
Call for papers: ‘Finding the Plot: On the Importance of Storytelling in Popular Fictions’ (14-16 April 2010). A conference co-organised by the Popular Cultures Research Network (University of Leeds) and the Centre de Recherches sur les Littératures Populaires et les Cultures Médiatiques (University of Limoges). Story-telling is a basic human function. By telling stories we make sense of our own lives, of our society and of history. We live in time, our lives circumscribed by an inevitable end or dénouement, yet also woven into the lives of others, or into innumerable sub- or parallel plots. Yet plotting — the skilful structuring of event into story — has generally been considered, in Peter Brooks’ words: ‘the element of narrative that least sets off and designs high art’. Meanwhile, popular fictions are acknowledged to owe their success to the craft of story-telling, of compelling the reader to turn the pages. This compulsion was defined by Barthes as ‘le plaisir’ (instant gratification), in contrast to ‘la jouissance’ (intellectual fulfilment) that awaited those prepared to engage with the properly literary text. However, in recognition of the enduring appeal of the popular forms of the novel, researchers have recently begun to challenge the barthesian view by presenting the story rather than the text as the key locus of the reading experience. This repositioning of the story has allowed not only for the re-evaluation of the relationship between ‘high’ and low’ forms of fiction, but also for the exploration of the interface between production


and reception and of the numerous extensions and diversifications of the literary into the cinematic and other fields. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, with contributions welcomed from scholars working (for example) in the fields of literature, sociology of culture, cultural studies, text/image, psychology, philosophy, this conference will explore the relationship between storytelling, reading and pleasure, within popular French/francophone and English/anglophone literature and associated cultural forms. The definition of ‘popular’ remains open and debatable: some highly ‘literary’ texts have also achieved massive popularity with readers. Both theoretical papers and ‘case-studies’ are welcome. Questions to be asked will include: - How does the re-evaluation of story affect our understanding of literary history since the nineteenth century? - How have the pleasures of fiction been theorised and evaluated in anglophone and francophone cultures? - How have hegemonic notions of cultural legitimacy shaped the experience of reading and the reception of texts? - What is the significance of storytelling now, and what new forms does it take? - What is the nature of literary pleasure, and is this significantly different between ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultural forms? - To what extent, and in what ways, does the transnational and multi-media nature of contemporary texts alter the nature of reading pleasure? - What is the relationship between the cognitive and the affective in the experience of reading fiction? - Are the pleasures of consuming fiction necessarily gendered, and how? - Beyond the limitations of a critical discourse that accords literary value only to the high brow, can we distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fictions? The conference will be held at the University of Leeds, UK, 14-16 April 2010, and will include the AGM of the international research network Coordination Internationale des Chercheurs en Littératures Populaires et Culture Médiatique. Languages of communication: English and French. Keynote speakers will include the novelist and essayist NANCY HUSTON.


Proposals (MAXIMUM 300 WORDS/ 1500 CHARACTERS – in English or French) are invited for papers or panels on the themes outlined above, deadline 15 September 2009 (, The focus of the conference will be on francophone and anglophone literatures and related forms (e.g. film and other adaptations) from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, and on the theoretical questions defined above. Convenors: Diana Holmes, David Platten (LEEDS PCRN), Jacques Migozzi, Loïc Artiaga (Limoges CRLPCM)

4) Events and books on Popular Fiction
24 June 2009, ‘Policy and the Popular’ (Leeds)
The workshop will compare ways in which we think and theorise the relationship, explicit or implicit, between policy and the popular in a variety of senses and settings. The settings will certainly include government policies for the arts but not exclusively so. Some will be geographic (the UK, France); others will involve specific modes of cultural action: live music, the politics of canonisation in the Catholic Church, and the ‘lay probing of policy’. Papers will be broadly linked by a concern with the conceptualisation, theorisation or discursive representation of the relationship between policy and the popular, using a variety of disciplinary perspectives and methods. Convenors: David Looseley ( for PCRN and the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies (CCPS), University of Warwick.


25 June 2009, ‘Poor text/ rich context? Approaches to popular film and television’ (Leeds)
This workshop will compare and contrast ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ methodologies for the study of popular television and film, including the study of audiences as well as texts. The workshop will begin with a keynote address by John Corner (Visiting Professor at Leeds) setting out the condition and possibilities of popular screen studies. This will be followed by sessions devoted to television and cinema, in which short position papers will lead to discussion. Other speakers include: Robert Gordon Leeds). Organised by Alan O’Leary, Leeds: a.o' (Cambridge), Helen Wood (De Monfort), Stephen Coleman (Institute of Communications Studies, Leeds), Stephanie Dennison and Antonio da Silva (Modern Languages,

27 June - 4 July 2009, ‘Cinema Ritrovato’ (Bologna)
Il Cinema Ritrovato, the festival sponsored by the Mostra Internazionale del Cinema Libero and the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna, invites film lovers from around the world to Bologna from Saturday 27 June through Saturday 4 July 2009. Eight days and evenings of cinephilic pleasure to be experienced in various locations: the twin screens of the Cineteca’s Lumière cinemas, one dedicated just to silent cinema, the other to sound; the Bologna Opera House and the Arlecchino Cinema (where we can experience the miracle of big screen projection as films were meant to be seen, but almost never are these days). The festival also sponsors the Film Publishing Fair (Books, DVDs, Antiquarian and Vintage Materials) and Il Cinema Ritrovato DVD Award (6th edition). Il Cinema Ritrovato will host two seminars: the continuation of the Film Restoration Summer School / FIAF Summer School 2009, organized by the Cineteca di Bologna, and a workshop for European cinema exhibitors organized by Europa Cinemas and Progetto Schermi e Lavagne. Enrollment in each seminar requires separate registration, available on the website.


20 - 30 July 2009, ‘Comment rêver la science-fiction à présent ?’ (Cerisy)
La science-fiction serait-elle moribonde? Elle est moins populaire que la Fantasy. Mais surtout, elle peine à se renouveler, tant du point de vue du contenu que de la forme (rien de bien nouveau depuis le Cyberpunk ou le Steampunk, oubliées les expérimentations d’un Ballard ou d’un Dick). L’avenir du genre sera-t-il assuré? Ce colloque tente de dresser un constat de l’état de la SF contemporaine en abordant, sans exclusive, tout en favorisant une approche pluridisciplinaire, les interrogations suivantes. La SF peut-elle prolonger son existence en rejouant de vieux mythes dans des contextes futuristes? Peutelle trouver des sources de régénération dans de nouveaux supports et/ou dans des civilisations ou aires géographiques autres que celles qui ont produit les chefs-d’oeuvre de son âge d’or? Comment le processus d’hybridation avec d’autres genres l’a-t-elle transformée? D’où proviennent les nouveaux modèles? L’hybridation est-elle le signe d’un renouveau ou au contraire le symptôme d’une crise profonde? Url de référence :

Eugène Sue, Les Mystères de Paris,
A new edition of Les Mystères de Paris was recently released in the Quarto series (Gallimard), edited by Judith Lyon-Caen.

Claudio Gallo e Fabrizio Foni (eds.), Ottocento nero italiano, Aragno, Torino 2009
Ottocento nero italiano is an anthology of nineteenth-century Italian fantastic literature. Along with more famous authors (Emilio De Marchi, Salvatore Di Giacomo, Carolina Invernizio, Emilio Salgari and Matilde Serao), Gallo and Foni have collected stories by less known writers such as Giuseppe Bevione, Franco Mistrali, Armando Silvestri, Giuseppe Zucca and others. Gallo and Foni reveal the richness of an often disregarded if not forgotten genre in Italian fiction.