Call for papers

« Fabulating /Fabuler »

n° 43 (spring 2024)

Intermediality. History and Theory of the Arts, Literature, and Technologies

Intermédialités. Histoire et théorie des arts, des lettres et des techniques

Guest editors :

Michèle Garneau, Université de Montréal

Barbara Le Maître, Université Paris Nanterre


Deadline to submit proposals: Extended to April 3rd, 2023
Announcement of selected proposals: April 1st, 2023
Submission of completed texts for peer review: August 31, 2023
Publication of the texts approved by the Selection Committee: Spring, 2024



This issue aims to consider the act of fabulation by questioning anew, in today’s media space, its presence and action, its reasons and powers. Taking an expansive approach to the fable (with its diverse meanings and its multiple powers, its modes of insertion, and the hermeneutic challenges posed by its veiling and unveiling); to the act of fabulating (its anthropological, philosophical, poetic, or scientific grounds; and those who revel in it from within different transdisciplinary and (inter)medial contexts); and to the function of fabulation (the various political contexts where it is deployed and upon which it wants to act creatively), this issue proposes to focus on the need to fabulate that emerges throughout history. With this in mind, proposals may focus on literary, pictorial, cinematic, or theatrical works and performances from any period or geographical region, or even mobilize other disciplines and fields of knowledge—any approach is welcome, as long as the analysis delves into some dimension of fabulation.

Following Aurélia Gaillard, we propose an open definition of the fable: “any representation where the detour through fiction is a mode of access to the truth” (1996). The fable is thus diversely embodied in literature (in verse: La Fontaine’s Fables, 1668-94, and in prose: Boccaccio’s Decameron, 1349-53), in painting (cf. Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s allegorical fresco series on the effects of good and bad government, c. 1338), in the theater (Vercors’s Zoo ou l’assassin philanthrope, 1959), in film (whether documentary: Pierre Perrault, Jean Rouch; or fiction: Eric Rohmer), in artistic or, even more, ritual performance. We could also mention the “legal fabulation” that the jurist and philosopher Bernard Edelman has illustrated and defended, citing examples in literature (most notably, Kafka’s fables) and philosophy (the cavern in Plato, the black bile in Aristotle), to argue for the use of the imagination in law and jurisprudence. The strength of “fabulating” stems from this aptitude: the fable adapts itself to any medium, passing through multiple materialities and expressive traditions. Traversing multiple media, fabulation disregards any specificity—all means are valid!—which is why the fable is not only changeable but also composed of heterogenous elements.

The fable often provides the necessary conditions to access the real of history, and its setting touches on the political. In continuity with Thomas More’s seminal work (Utopia, 1516), we can underline the possibly utopian—critical, political—qualities in fabulation. The challenge here consists in understanding how the fable is articulated upon the real of history (which it targets by way of a detour) and how it projects what has not (yet) happened. In 28 Days Later(Danny Boyle, 2002), fabulating involves recuperating classic literary material—displacing the Decameron’s plague into zombie territory—and combining it with a revival of Lorenzetti’s allegorical frescos, evoked above. Throughout the Americas, indigenous fabulations have been revitalized and disseminated on a large scale through new media; in the wake of Pour la suite du monde (Pierre Perrault, 1962), the Inuit film Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner (Zacharias Kunuk, 2001) set in motion a powerful function of fabulation. Within another emerging context, linked to the ecological crisis, the need to fabulate has been reaffirmed by theorists working in science, cultural studies, and eco-feminism (Donna Haraway). In the intertwining of autobiography and fiction, the gesture of self-fabulation has recently been redeployed by the writer Dominique Rollin, the filmmaker Nanni Moretti, and the cartoonist Seth (to mention only a few examples), allowing these subjects to project themselves into imaginary, fabulous, or implausible situations. If “life is a fable,” as the neurobiologist Jean-Didier Vincent maintains, wouldn’t fabulating be an essential and vital act? We are interested in other contexts and case studies that could be used to enrich these considerations by opening them up to new perspectives.

The aim of this thematic issue, in summary, is to question the instigating experience of fables, those primordial and oblique representations, insofar as such an experience engages with: 1) the plasticity of forms: the fable is a matter of dissimulation, of unveiling, of metamorphosis, in short, of the elaboration of figures and the modulation of time; 2) the construction and value of nuanced knowledges—with its “veiled teaching” (Gaillard), the fable always carries a lesson—and, consequently, an epistemological register; 3) the critical potential of a discourse which, while playing on differentials, while masking or “projecting” its views, nonetheless aims at the real and its historical complexities. Proposals could focus on the many poetics of fabulation as well as on the modalities of inscription of the fabular within a larger narrative—of which the fable constitutes only a moment, a fragment.


Intermédialités/Intermediality is a biannual journal, which publishes original articles in French and English evaluated through a blind peer review process.


Proposals (350–400 words) in English or French should include an abstract, a preliminary bibliography (five books or articles) and a brief biographical note (academic program, fields of interest, 5–10 lines). Proposals will be evaluated by the journal’s scientific committee, based on the originality of the approach and the relevance of the problematic. They should be sent before April 3rd, 2023 at the following email addresses:

Completed texts should be sent before August 31, 2023. They should be no longer than 6,000 words (40,000 characters, including spaces) and can incorporate illustrations (audio, visual, still or animated) whose publication rights should be secured by the authors.


Authors are requested to follow the submission guidelines available at:




For more information on Intermédialités/Intermedialities, please consult the journal issues available through the online portal Érudit:




ARMAND, Guilhem, Les fictions à vocation scientifique de Cyrano de Bergerac à Diderot. Vers une poétique hybride, Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, 2013.

BOUCHARD, Vincent, « Les dispositifs fabulant dans le cinéma de Pierre Perrault », Traversées de Pierre Perrault, Michèle Garneau et Johanne Villeneuve (dir.), Québec, Éditions Fides, 2009, p. 53-68.

DELEUZE, Gilles, « Les puissances du faux », Cinéma 2 L’Image-Temps, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit, 1985, p. 165-202.

DESCOLA, Philippe, La Fabrique des images. Visions du monde et formes de la représentation, Philippe Descola (dir.), Paris, Musée du Quai Branly & Somogy Éditions d’Art, 2010.

DIDI-HUBERMAN, Georges, L’homme qui marchait dans la couleur, Paris, Minuit, 2001.

EDELMAN Bernard, « La fabulation juridique », revue Droits, 2005/1, No 41, p.199-218.

GAILLARD, Aurélia, Fables, mythes, contes. L’esthétique de la fable et du fabuleux (1660-1724), Paris, Honoré Champion, 1996.

GASPARINI, Philippe, Poétique du Je, Lyon, Presses universitaires de Lyon, 2016.

GAUTHIER, Jennifer, « Speaking Back with Similar Voices: The Dialogic Cinema of Zacharias Kunuk and Pierre Perrault », Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Volume 27, Issue 2, 2010, p. 108 :

HARAWAY, Donna, SF: Speculative Fabulation and String Figures, Kassel, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2011.

HARTMAN, Saidiya V. “Venus in Two Acts.” Small Axe, vol. 12, no. 2, 2008, pp. 1–14.

LE MAÎTRE, Barbara, Zombie, une fable anthropologique, Nanterre, Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, 2015.

MORETTI, Nanni, Palombella Rossa (1989); Journal Intime (1993); Le caïman (2006).

NYONG’O, Tavia, Afro-Fabulations : The Queer Drama of Black Life. New York University Press, 2019

PERRAULT, Pierre, Caméramages Pierre Perrault, Éditions de l’Hexagone / Edilig, 1983.

PROST, Antoine, « L’expérience imaginaire », in Douze leçons sur l’histoire, Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 1996, p. 175-187.

RANCIÈRE, Jacques, La Fable cinématographique, Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 2001.

RICŒUR, Paul, « L’imagination dans le discours et dans l’action » dans Henri Van Camp (dir.), Savoir, faire, espérer : Les limites de la raison, vol. 1, Bruxelles : Presses de l’Université Saint-Louis, 1976, p. 207-228.

ROLIN, Dominique, Le Gâteau des morts, Paris, Denoël, 1982.

SCHEINFEIGEL, Maxime, « La Fable documentaire », in Jean Rouch, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2008, p. 101-116.

VEYNE, Paul, Les Grecs ont-ils cru à leurs mythes ? Essai sur l’imagination constituante, Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 1983.

VINCENT, Jean-Didier, La vie est une fable, Paris, Odile Jacob, 1998.


Collective volumes :

Traversées de Pierre Perrault, Michèle Garneau et Johanne Villeneuve (dir.), Québec, Éditions Fides, 2009.

Fabulations nocturnes, Écologie, vitalité et opacité dans le cinéma d’Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Érik Bordeleau, Tony Pape, Ronald Rose-Antoinette et Adam Szymanski (eds), Open Humanities Press, coll « Immediations », 2017.