Cold: Adaptation, Production, Representations, Effects

Event Type: Conferences and Workshops

When: 12 December 2013 to 14 December 2013

Where: Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France

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The objective of this multidisciplinary conference is to think about the idea of “cold” in all of its multiple disciplinary variations—geographical, cultural, medical, biological, climatological, engineered, physical, linguistic and sociological. Defined by Étienne Lalou as “both a relative and subjective sensation,” cold is invisible. Its manifestations can only be appreciated in the effect it has on bodies and objects as well as through human adaptation (architecture, transportation, clothing, social and cultural practices), representation (literary, filmic, pictorial) and its technical or technological production (refrigeration and cooling, air conditioning, freezing, etc.)

Organizers welcome contributions that bring together more than one discipline and that address both general and specific issues associated with the idea of cold. For example:

  • The effects of cold on human activities, bodies and matter
  • The idea of cold as a variable, universal experience
  • The axiological and spiritual dimensions of cold representations
  • The biological effects of cold temperatures
  • Cold prevention
  • Cold architecture and architectural adaptation to cold temperatures
  • The use of, adaptation to and constraints associated with cold in terms of transportation
  • New medical, industrial and technological uses of cold temperatures
  • The idea of cold as cultural object built by discourse
  • The effects of cold on cultural and social practices
  • The idea of cold in mythology, art and philosophy
  • Experiencing cold in terms of metaphysics and identity
  • Physical properties of cold temperature
  • Biological adaptation to the cold in flora, fauna and humans
  • History of technical and industrial cold and cooling production
  • The idea of cold as a sign of invisibility
  • The effects of cold on food consumption (refrigerated/frozen food)
  • Representations of cold as a sign of climate change

The event is co-organized by the "Cultures, environments, Arctic, representations, climate" research centre of the Observatoire de Versailles Saint-Quentin and the Laboratory for the Comparative Multidisciplinary Study of Representations of the North at the Université du Québec à Montréal, as part of a France-Québec cooperation project. Selected papers will be published.

This conference is organized by Daniel Arsenault (Université du Québec à Montréal), Jan Borm (Université de Versailles—Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines), Daniel Chartier (Université du Québec à Montréal), Odile Parsis-Barubé (Université de Lille 3—Charles-de-Gaulle) and Alain Sarkissian (Université de Versailles—Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines).