Maisons de Poètes / Homes of Poets – Entretiens (in) situ

Suite au récent lancement de leur Carnet Hypothèses Maisons de Poètes / Homes of Poets (, Marie-Clémence Régnier (Université d’Artois) et Bertrand Bourgeois (The University of Melbourne) sont heureux de vous annoncer la création d’une rubrique “entretiens (in) situ”.

La première série d’entretiens podcastés « Maisons de poètes hors les murs » porte sur les entreprises contemporaines de valorisation de Maisons de poètes qui interrogent la « dématérialisation », la « déconstruction », voire la « destruction » au propre comme au figuré, des maisons originelles, soit que la valorisation se fasse hors site (musée, galerie…), soit « virtuellement » grâce à des dispositions numériques (« e-musée », « visite virtuelle » par exemple).

Le premier podcast vidéo vous propose une présentation de l’e-musée Annie Ernaux par sa fondatrice et curatrice, Michèle Bacholle (Professor of French Studies, Eastern Connecticut State University), suivie d’un entretien avec Michèle Bacholle. Les vidéos de la présentation et de l’entretien peuvent être visionnées ici :   

Un second podcast vidéo constitué d’une présentation du site et d’un entretien avec sa curatrice, Constance Krebs, sera très prochainement mis en ligne.


Following the recent launch of their research blog Maisons de Poètes / Homes of Poets (, Marie-Clémence Régnier (Université d’Artois) and Bertrand Bourgeois (The University of Melbourne) are pleased to announce the creation of a new “entretiens (in) situ/interviews (in) situ” section.

The first series of video podcast interviews “Homes of poets beyond the walls” examines contemporary projects based on Homes of Poets that explore, literally and figuratively, the “dematerialisation”, “deconstruction” or even the “destruction” of the original houses – whether it be through off-site activities (such as in museums, galleries, or installations) or through digital ventures (e-museums, virtual visits, etc.).

The first two video podcasts include a virtual presentation of the Annie Ernaux e-museum and an interview with e-curator Michèle Bacholle (Professor of French Studies, Eastern Connecticut State University). You can watch both videos here:

The next forthcoming video podcast will be devoted to the site and will include an interview with its curator, Constance Krebs.

Conference, Nov 20-23: ‘Life Writing: Transnationalism, Translingualism, Transculturalism’

Colleagues are invited to attend the fourth IABA – Asia Pacific conference, which focuses on the theme of life narratives, encompassing a variety of languages, nations, and media forms.

Transnationalism is an increasingly popular phenomenon, reflecting and responding to the heightened interconnectivity between people and the receding economic and social significance of boundaries among nation states. The current global pandemic has brought issues of interconnectivity sharply into question. In this context, this conference will explore life narratives across a broad variety of contexts.

By discussing life narratives, including in a variety of languages, this conference aims to expand the boundaries of literary studies and its relationships with other media and nations.

The conference will be held in two modes, incorporating face to face and zoom sessions. The face to face location will be announced to registrants, and a zoom link will be circulated to those who plan to attend online.

Conference Dates: 20-23 November 2021

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Ricia Chansky, University of Puerto Rico,

Prof. Anne Pender, University of Adelaide

Prof. Liu Jialin, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Prof. Kate Douglas, Flinders University

Organising Committee:

Professor Natalie Edwards, Dr. Christopher Hogarth, Dr. Kylie Cardell, Professor Kate Douglas

IABA Asia-Pacific emerges from the central disciplinary association for auto/biography scholars—The International Auto/Biography Association (IABA). IABA was founded in 1999 as a multidisciplinary network that aims to deepen the cross-cultural understanding of self, identity and experience, and to carry on global dialogues about life writing/narrative. IABA Asia-Pacific aims to foster new region-specific conversations and to encourage regional participation in the global IABA conference. Our goal is to develop scholarly networks between life narrative scholars and practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region that support the circulation and publication of high-quality life narrative theory, practice, and pedagogy.

This conference forms part of an Australian Research Council funded Discovery Project on Transnational Narratives of Migration to Australia (Natalie Edwards and Christopher Hogarth, DP190102863). Visit our website here.

Header image photo by Dariusz Sankowski via Unsplash.

Winner of the 2021 ASFS-AJFS Postgraduate Essay Prize

The Australian Society for French Studies and the Australian Journal of French Studies are thrilled to announce the winner of the 2021 ASFS-AJFS Postgraduate Essay Prize, Emma McNicol of Monash University. Emma’s essay entitled “The Pessimism Problem in Simone de Beauvoir’s Le deuxième sexe et La vieillesse » will receive a $500 cash prize and publication in the Australian Journal of French Studies.

The Society will celebrate Emma’s achievements at the upcoming ASFS Conference, Un.Sited, held virtually by the University of Queensland from 8-10 December 2021. Registration for the conference is currently open and available here.

Thanks to all our postgraduates who submitted an essay for this year’s competition. Each applicant has received detailed feedback to support them to pursue publication of their work. For future reference, the guidelines for the annual ASFS-AJFS prize can be found here.

Congratulations, Emma!

CFP: Women in French Postgraduate/ECR International Symposium

Call for Papers

The Immersive Potential of Literature and Hybrid Media in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Women in French Postgraduate/ECR International Symposium

Symposium: Wednesday, January 12 to Friday, January 14, 2022

Proposals due: 17 September 2021.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Diana Holmes (Leeds).

Women in French invites papers for a virtual international symposium focusing on immersion in women’s literature and hybrid media (including photo-texts, bande dessinée, theatre, spoken word, blogging, other internet-based media, etc.), with a focus on immersivity as both a pleasurable and productive feature. This online event welcomes presentations from postgraduate students and early career researchers working on questions of gender or feminism in French studies.

The immersive potential of literature and other media has become particularly apparent during periods of lockdown, when picking up a good book became a crucial way of escaping from the world and, conversely, of feeling more deeply connected to others while we remained physically distanced. Others, however, have simply not had time to engage with literature or other media because of increasing workloads, felt especially keenly by women across the world having to balance home-schooling, télétravail and domestic responsibilities. At the very least, people have had to choose between which sources to read, watch or listen, which calls into question the value of specifically immersive literatures and hybrid media. What can these works afford us in terms of pleasure, enjoyment, personal wellbeing, interpersonal connection, cultural acumen, and political awareness, particularly from a feminist perspective? What gives rise to the immersive potential of literature and hybrid media in the first place? 

These questions build on a long history of efforts to bridge the divide between popular and academic reading practices; a division that is inherently gendered. France in particular fosters a literary culture preoccupied with the satisfying challenges of formalism, which is thus regarded as sophisticated and cerebral (Holmes and Looseley 2013, 6). Consequently, a literary experience that is associated with pleasure, enjoyment and immersivity is framed as a frivolous, unintelligent ‘feminine’ approach to literature (Holmes 2018). Yet, these modes of reading are arguably more culturally democratic and representative of broader societal values and interests. It is for this reason, among others, that a renewed interest in the ‘middlebrow’ has recently gained in critical momentum, a field of scholarship that places great stock in the value of immersive literatures and media.

In her recent study, Middlebrow Matters (2018), Diana Holmes argues that middlebrow matters precisely because its immersive and plot-driven narrative have the potential to ‘extend [one’s] cognitive and emotional range beyond that of direct, lived experience, enabling an experimental assent to alternative ways of seeing and reacting to the world’ (17). In this way, the immersive potential of literature, as well as other media, can allow for both personal and interpersonal transformation; immersivity can enable us to blur the boundaries between the public and the private – what Judith Butler calls a ‘threshold zone’ (Butler and Athanasiou, 2013) – and to ‘identif[y] with [an]other who is not like ourself’ (Huston 2008, 182-183). Immersivity is an exemplar of what reading fiction can achieve, which allows us to simulate other people’s experiences based on our own ‘repertoire’, ‘encyclopedia’ or ‘experiential background’ (Alderson-Day et al 2017, 99). This symposium therefore aims to explore the pleasurable, productive and transformative capacity of immersivity, taking into consideration contemporary concerns and applications, and to extend the study of immersive literature to a broader consideration of hybrid media.
Francophone women writers have been and remain at the forefront of such liminal and re-creative writing and expression. These authors use an immersive experience in the service of socio-political or interpersonal comment, with examples including Amélie Nothomb’s narration of eating disorders, most notably in Biographie de la faim (2004), Kim Thuy’s description of migration across her corpus (Ru 2009; À toi 2011; Mãn 2020), Annie Ernaux’s representation of an unashamedly feminine desire in her photo-text L’Usage de la photo (2005), co-authored with Marc Marie, and Nancy Huston’s Le Club des miracles relatifs (2016), which invites a visceral response to the climate emergency and the global North’s investment in fossil fuels. Other examples may relate to the ways that authors use the formally immersive aesthetic of the archive to plunge readers/viewers into a labyrinthe of material. This use of immersivity appears in Leïla Sebbar’s photo-textual series Mes Algéries en France (2004; 2005; 2008; 2018), in which she enacts a postcolonial return to the origins of her own and others’ identities. In a slightly different direction, an archival poetics emerges in Nathalie Léger’s trilogy of texts (L’Exposition 2008; Supplément à la vie de Barbara Loden 2012; La Robe blanche 2018), works which layer reflections on art to, among other things, interrogate the ways that art can assist women in understanding their own identity and in escaping the dominant and dominating power of the male gaze and other means of prescribing women’s societal roles.

We invite papers that explore literatures and hybrid media using immersivity, plot-driven narrative, realism and mimesis, or other textual modes of engaging readers to connect with broader cultural or political concerns, and in particular those that affect female-identifying readers. Papers may also focus on haptic and affective representation, as immersive experience may be said to involve the body or to appeal to the emotions and thus a lived experience of the world. 

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Pleasures of reading/the text 
• Networks and mediation 
• Escapism as a theme in female authored narrative/works
• Divergence and convergence
• Feminist discourse and its relation to both marginal and popular culture 
• The materiality of the book 
• The marketing of immersive fiction
• Literary prizes and questions of gender and inclusivity
• Relationships between the work and the body (haptic or affective qualities)
• Political or cultural messages delivered through the immersive qualities of a work (mimesis, plot-driven narrative, etc.)
• Immersive aesthetics or poetics
• Immersion as a theme itself in immersive works (e.g. in water, the archive)

Proposals are welcome in both English and French.

Please send abstracts to by 17 September 2021. Individual papers will be 15-minutes long. All submissions should be accompanied by a short (100-word) biography of the presenter(s). Please ensure that your abstracts and biographies are included in the same document, that the title of this document includes your name, and that you specify the time zone that you will be presenting from:
• Individual proposals should be no more than 250 words.
• Panel proposals should not exceed 1,000 words, and should include a brief description of the panel and of the individual papers included in the panel.
Please do not hesitate to send us any queries, and we hope to hear from you soon.

With best wishes from the organisers,

Pooja Booluck (British Columbia), Françoise Campbell (IMLR), Polly Galis (Bristol), Beth Kearney (Queensland) and Eric Wistrom (Wisconsin-Madison)


Alderson-Day, Ben, Marci Bernini and Charles Fernyhough. 2017. ‘Uncharted Features and Dynamics of Reading: Voices, Characters, and Crossing of Experiences’. Consciousness and Cognition 49: 98-109.

Butler, Judith, and Athena Athanasiou. 2013. Dispossession: The Performative in the Political. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Ernaux, Annie and Marc Marie. 2005. L’Usage de la photo. Paris: Gallimard.

Holmes, Diana. 2018. Middlebrow Matters: Women’s Reading and the Literary Canon in France since the Belle Époque. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Holmes, Diana and David Looseley (eds). 2013. Imagining the Popular: highbrow, lowbrow and middlebrow in contemporary French culture. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 

Holmes, Diana, David Platten, Loic Artiaga and Jacques Migozzi (eds). 2013. Finding the Plot: Storytelling in popular fictions. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publications.

Huston, Nancy. 2016. Le Club des miracles relatifs. Arles: Actes Sud.

Huston, Nancy. 2008. L’Espèce fabulatrice. Arles: Actes Sud.

Léger, Nathalie. 2008. L’Exposition. Paris: P. O. L.

Léger, Nathalie. 2012. Supplément à la vie de Barbara Loden. Paris: P. O. L.

Léger, Nathalie. 2018. La Robe blanche. Paris: P. O. L.

Nothomb, Amélie. 2004. Biographie de la faim. Paris: Albin Michel.

Sebbar, Leïla. 2004. Mes Algéries en France. Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule: Bleu autour.

Sebbar, Leïla. 2005. Journal de mes Algéries en France. Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule: Bleu autour.

Sebbar, Leïla. 2008. Voyage en Algéries autour de ma chambre. Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule: Bleu autour.

Sebbar, Leïla. 2018. Le Pays de ma mère, voyage en Frances. Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule: Bleu autour.

Thùy, Kim. 2009. Ru. Québec: Libre Expression.

Thùy, Kim et Janovjak, Pascal. 2011. À toi. Québec: Libre Expression.

Thùy, Kim. 2020. Mãn. Québec: Libre Expression.

New French Studies Seminar Series: DRAFT

DRAFT is a new research seminar series organised by the departments of French and francophone studies at the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne and the University of New England.

As part of this initiative, Australia’s researchers from various disciplines are invited to participate and share their current research activities relating to French and francophone studies. The seminars are first and foremost an opportunity to give visibility to research in progress and to facilitate new collaborations across universities in Australia. Instead of presenting communications based on research that is already published and disseminated, presenters discuss and exchange ideas about their work in progress. The DRAFT seminar series aims to promote collaborative and interdisciplinary projects involving academics from different universities whose current research activities complement each other, thus fostering future joint publications and/or grant ventures.

If you would like to discuss your research in progress at one of our monthly seminars, please send a title and a short abstract (150-200 words) to

Follow DRAFT on Facebook here.

Organising Committee

Bertrand Bourgeois (University of Melbourne)

Michelle Royer (The University of Sydney)

Nathalie Ségeral (The University of Sydney)

Victoria Souliman (University of New England)

Léa Vuong (The University of Sydney)

Postgraduate Research Scholarship on Multilingual Australia

ASFS members and future postgraduates may be interested in the following postgraduate research scholarship on multilingual Australia offered by the University of Sydney as part of the Australian Research Council’s Discovery project “Opening Australia’s Multilingual Archive”.

This scholarship provides financial assistance for a PhD student undertaking research in multilingual Australia. 


ValueEligibilityOpen dateClose date
$28,612 p.a. (up to 3 years)PhD student
Research into multilingual Australia
Archival research
Hold an honours degree or master’s degree
28 July 202127 August 2021

How to apply

Apply here.


The scholarship will provide a stipend allowance of $28,612 per annum (indexed on 1 January each year) for up to three years, subject to satisfactory academic performance.

Who’s eligible

You must:

  • be an Australian Citizen, New Zealand Citizen, or Australian Permanent Resident
  • have an unconditional offer of admission, a conditional offer of admission, applied for admission or be planning to apply for admission to study full-time in a PhD within the School of Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • be willing to conduct research into multilingual Australia
  • be willing to conduct archival research
  • hold at least one of the following:
  • an Honours degree (first class or second class upper) or equivalent in a relevant discipline, or
  • Master’s degree
  • have a background in History, cultural studies or related area
  • be able to work with documents in at least one Asian or European language other than English.


This scholarship has been established to provide financial assistance to a PhD student who is undertaking research in multilingual Australia.

This scholarship is funded by Australian Research Council’s Discovery project “Opening Australia’s Multilingual Archive”.

Interested candidates can visit the scholarship page here for more information and contact ASFS member Sonia Wilson with specific queries at

New Association: the Asie du Sud Est Research Network (ASERN)

Members of the ASFS may be interested in following the Asie du Sud Est Research Network (ASERN), an Australian-based group of international scholars of Southeast Asian literature and film in French. The aim of ASERN is to create a space for dialogue, provide mentoring and support, and foster individual and collaborative research projects within the field. The group meets regularly at conferences and symposia and hosts a Work-in-Progress series.

Members hold editorial positions for a number of journals and presses, including Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Liverpool University Press (Francophone Postcolonial Studies series), and Texas Tech University Press (Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network series, DVAN/TTUP).

Learn more about the group at, or follow them on Twitter.

The logo for ASERN was created by Yiyun Zhou.

Winner of the inaugural Colin Nettelbeck Prize

The Executive Committee of the Australian Society for French Studies is pleased to announce that Beth Kearney of the University of Queensland has received the inaugural ASFS Colin Nettelbeck Prize.

Beth will use the scholarship to fund her travel to France (once this becomes safe under pandemic conditions) to support her doctoral project, “Unfixing the Self: The Role of Photography in Women’s Autobiography in French in the Early 21st Century”. Her research topic emerges in response to a growing trend in women’s autobiographical writing in French, according to which authors are increasingly integrating photographs into their autobiographical texts, adding another layer of complexity to the task of self-representation. She will access archival materials at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) in Paris
and at the Institut Mémoires de l’édition contemporaine (Imec) in Caen to conduct this exciting work.

The ASFS thanks all applicants to the 2021 scholarship, and encourages them to apply in future rounds, which will be announced on this site. Created in honour of founding Australian Society for French Studies member, Emeritus Professor Colin Nettelbeck, and his long-term contributions to the support of postgraduates in French Studies, the Prize supports research and travel costs for a French Studies-related project undertaken by a postgraduate or precariously-employed early career researcher member of the Society.

Congratulations, Beth!

Deadline Extended: ASFS/AJFS Postgraduate Prize

The deadline for the co-sponsored ASFS/AJFS Postgraduate Essay Prize has been extended!

Deadline for submissions: 23 August 2021.

A prize of AU$500 will be awarded to the best article (5,000 to 6,500 words including notes) on any aspect of French Studies (except French language Studies) by a postgraduate student. The winning essay will be published in the Australian Journal of French Studies.

Submission Guidelines

  • Entries are open to anyone enrolled in a Masters or PhD in an Australian or New Zealand university on the date of the submission deadline.
  • All applicants must be members of the Society.
  • Essays on any aspect of French and Francophone Studies (except French language Studies) will be considered.
  • Essays must be an original piece of work not already under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • Essays must not exceed 6,000 words (6,500 including notes) and must be presented according to the Australian Journal of French Studies guidelines (attached),
  • Essays must be anonymised and not include the candidate’s name, that of their supervisors or institution.
  • Essays should be submitted to the Postgraduate Officer along with the Submission Form (attached).

A panel of three members of the Society will evaluate all applications. The panel members will be selected from institutions other than those at which the applicants are candidates. All applicants will receive written feedback from the panel.

The following prizes will be awarded to the winner:

  • Publication of the winning essay in Australian Journal of French Studies, subject to the journal’s refereeing.
  • A certificate award at the annual ASFS conference
  • A cash prize of AU$500 jointly awarded by the ASFS and AJFS.

Submissions and enquiries should be directed to ASFS’s Postgraduate Officer, Clara Sitbon (

Extended Call for Papers, ASFS 2021, Un.Sited

The call for papers and panel proposals for the 2021 ASFS Conference, Un.Sited, held online by the University of Queensland from December 8-10, has been extended until 31 August. Submit your paper and panel proposals via the conference submission page here and direct any questions to the organising committee at

Australian Society for French Studies Conference 2021

8-10 December 2021

Un.sited: “Sites” in French Studies

Online conference

Hosted by the French Discipline, School of Language and Cultures

University of Queensland

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which the university stands.

It is intended that scheduling will accommodate speakers from a range of time zones – from other states in Australia and around the world.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

Professor Charles Forsdick, University of Liverpool

Professor Celeste Kinginger, Penn State University

Professor Valérie Loichot, Emory University

The label “French Studies” is applied to research and teaching in a range of disciplines united by the common thread of interest in phenomena related to particular sites, those where French is spoken. The notion of site, one from which practitioners are most usually distanced, is thus a primary enabler of our work, but is taken up in a wide range of ways. Rather than being neutral places, spaces or localities, sites carry specific meaning or have particular functions that may vary between disciplines and individuals. The significance of “sites” has been underscored by the restrictions on mobility enforced in response to the pandemic: many of us have found ourselves “un-sited”, removed from a specific point of contact, our sites more than ever out of sight. Yet we have also sought out alternative (often virtual) spaces with which to engage. New locations have become available through Zoom and our own homes have taken on new functions. 

Therefore, at a time when mobility and access have been restricted and transformed in ways unimaginable a few years ago, in this conference we want to explore the notion of “site” and what it means in the various disciplines represented in French Studies through papers which illustrate its mobilisation (papers drawing on specific sites) or tackle the significance of “site” directly. How do specific physical spaces (their existence, accessibility or inaccessibility) become meaningful for your work, research, teaching and identity? How are notions of particular places given value? How do certain sites take on meaning through historical or sociocultural events? How do certain spaces exclude or include particular socio-cultural groups? Do they take on different meaning depending on identity categories? What alternative spaces have now become available?

Presentations might consider:

  • sites of authenticity
  • sites of imagination
  • sites of learning
  • sites of marginalisation/ marginalised sites
  • sites of memory
  • sites of pleasure
  • sites of suffering and infection
  • sites of tourism
  • sites of work
  • archives; archaeology
  • fieldwork
  • filming on location
  • imagined or mythic sites
  • literary and cinematic topographies
  • para/sites: questions of contiguity, interdisciplinarity, intersectionality
  • regional variations
  • student im/mobility; virtual mobility
  • télétravail and WFH
  • terroir
  • universities as transnational spaces

We invite proposals – in French or in English – for:

  • Individual research papers: presentations of 15 minutes, followed by 10 / 15 minutes of discussion.
  • Panels: three x 15-minute papers, followed by discussion.
  • Roundtable discussions: these might relate to research practice, to teaching practice, to language policy (for example).

As is the usual ASFS practice, we will consider proposals on topics other than the conference theme, within the constraints of the programme.

Proposals to be sent to by 31 August 2021

Conference emails:

Registration: (Payment details to be provided later)

$30 flat rate for all attendees

This nominal fee will contribute to the costs of administrative and technical support. The Australian Society for French Studies will also sponsor the conference and you are therefore encouraged to renew your membership or become a member:

Postgraduates: $10

Sessional staff; retired; unwaged: $20

Fulltime staff: $30

Organizing committee:

Barbara Hanna; Joe Hardwick; Amy Hubbell; Jenny Davis Barnett; Beth Kearney; Peter Cowley