If you are a digital native, why would you open a book to enter the world of fiction when you have the possibility to immerse yourself in the interactive universe of video games and social media? Why would you subscribe to a magazine to learn a little more about the world every month when you can get the information from an android voice assistant on your smartphone? Have books had their last word yet? Digital age, hyper-mobilities and multi-cultural societies are renewing the experience of reading. What are the new technologies transforming this experience? How do children's books embrace the diversity of the modern world? Can reading remain a constructive and meaningful activity while adapting to today's children and tomorrow's adults?
Intended for teachers, parents, librarians and francophiles, this day conference will provide an in-depth reflection on reading in the digital age and, in a bilingual context, its purpose and practice at school and at home.
French writer Benoît Cohen is our guest of honor and will introduce the day together with Hervé Ferrage, from the French Cultural services.
Special Book Presentation by Ingrid & Isabella Rossellini From 3 pm to 4 pm
Isabella and Ingrid Rossellini, the twin daughters of Ingrid Bergman, will discuss their new books. Know Thyself, by professor and scholar Ingrid Rossellini, investigates the history of self-understanding from Ancient Greece to Renaissance. My Chickens and I, on the other hand, describes actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini's newfound passion for raising chickens—accompanied by beautiful, hand-drawn illustrations. The sisters' presentation, previously at BAM, results in a lively and surprising conversation, full of valuable knowledge, fun facts and witty remarks.
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9-9:30 am: Free Coffee
9:30-11 am: How to Inspire a Love of Reading?
11-12 pm: Free Brunch
12:30-1 :30 pm: Read Diversity
1:30-2:30 pm: Reading in the Future
French-speaking Cultural Fair
In parallel to the panel discussions, the French-speaking Cultural Fair will take place in the cafeteria of the Lycée from 11AM to 4PM, with no interruption. Don't miss the opportunity to meet and get information from various exhibitors who all help to spread French language and defend French-speaking cultures in New York, the U.S. and beyond.
Has the moving image and its fascinating appeal replacedthe pleasure of letting one's gaze read the words on a book's page? In a world of speed and immediacy, is there any room or time left to appreciate the slowness and investment required for reading? How do we help make young children and teenagers, often called digital natives, appreciate the value of reading books? Moderated by Head of Department of French at the Lycée Français de New York Isabelle Milkoff.
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Chista Japel is a Tenured Professor at the Department of Special Education and Training at University of Quebec in Montreal. A psychologist and researcher, she is interested in the different factors that foster the social-emotional, linguistic, and cognitive development of the child. She conducts research, among others, on the quality of preschool services. She also developed a linguistic program that aims to enrich the vocabulary of children living in disadvantaged areas. She is presently working on a project to encourage parents to read to their babies from birth.
Hilary Reyl has spent several years working and studying in France. She now lives in New York City and is the author of two novels. Lessons in French was an editor’s pick on Oprah.com. Her other book, Kids Like Us, tells the story of Martin, a teenager on the autism spectrum. Martin falls for Gilberte-Alice, a ‘normal’ French girl whom he mistakes for a character in Marcel Proust's novel In Search of Lost Time. Falling in love, with all its unpredictability, teaches Martin that he can in fact connect with others.
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The worldview of teenagers and children is shaped in part by books they have read or which have been read and re-read to them. Yet, children's literature is subject to editorial and economic constraints resulting in the standardization of the offer and thus, does not mirror the reality of a growing number of multicultural societies. Does literature impact children's and teenagers' identity which is built upon the culture and ideals of the community which they come from? Moderated by Head Librarian at the Lycée Français de New York Damien Renon.
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Sociologist Kaoutar Harchi conducts research at Cerlis and teaches at Sciences Po Paris and Reims 3, and is also professor in residence at NYU. She is the author of an essay, “Je n’ai qu’une langue et ce n’est pas la mienne” (I only have one language and it's not mine, Fayard, 2016), which derives from her thesis on the formation of belief in literary value in colonial and postcolonial settings. In this essay, she studies the individual paths of five French-speaking Algerian writers, Kamel Daoud, Rachid Boudjedra, Boualem Sansal, Kateb Yacine, and Assia Djebare, between 1950 and 2009 in France.
Zhora Tsouri is school-librarians at Lycée Francais de New York. She is co-author of a recent study on the importance of inclusive representations found in children's literature which exposes the reasons why this literature genre suffers from a lack of diversity. It also reveals that both editorial pressures and a patrimonial heritage are both quite difficult to circumvent,which have given Zhora the ability to foreground several innovative initiatives made by a number of children's literature authors and publishers.
Reading in the Future
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New types of reading materials not only modify individual experiences but also require socio-economic changes. How are libraries and publishers adapting their work to the digital age? Can new media genres (digital media, augmented reality, trans-media) enhance the experience of reading? Are the able to redesign the readers' relation to fiction and reality?
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Björn-Olav Dozo teaches popular cultures at University of Liège. After a thesis on the French-speaking literary life during the interwar years (La vie littéraire à la toise, 2010 ; Mesures de l’écrivain, 2011), he focused his research on comics and video games. He is the co-founder of ACME comic book research group, and Liège Game Lab, Liège video game university laboratory. Björn-Olav conducts research in digital humanities about video game press and on virtual reality used for teaching (Teaching with VR).
Vincianne D'Anna is a journalist specialized in children's literature and digital publishing. In 2016, she asked some specialists, including Daniel Delbrassine et Valérie Centi, to join her MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) project – Il était une fois la littérature de jeunesse(Once Upon a Time Was Children's Literature). The MOOC is only at the end of its second year and already welcomed close to 20,000 students from all over the world.
With the support of Délegation Générale du Québec
Under the patronage of the Cultural Services of French Embassy in the United States, represented by Deputy Cultural Counselor Hervé Ferrage.