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The members of the Zones of Tension research team aim to study diverse expressions of conflict within contemporary literary and cultural spaces. Their studies focus on the narrative, enunciative, discursive, and affective dimensions of conflict.

I. Different “sites” of conflict in literature:

  • language conflict
  • class conflict
  • conflict related to cultural belonging
  • conflict based on the axiology of values

II. Different areas of meaning:


Conflictual identities describe antagonisms in an isotopic universe, a community where there is, on first impression, a shared referential universe. Examples of such conflictual identities include the literary figure of the outlaw, the rebel, and the marginal.


Conflictual belongings describe antagonisms in an allotopic universe, where the community is diverse (through immigration, practices of dissensus) and where several referential universes intersect. Examples of such conflictual belongings include the literary figure of the migrant, the refugee, or the believer (within a secular world).


Conflictual loyalties occur when societies are destabilized by the violence of exclusion, the disintegration of the social body, and the precariousness of material and psychic survival. The literary figure of the stigmatized “stranger” is an example of conflictual loyalties.