Call for Papers – Inaugural ASFS / WiF:Oz Research and Networking Event

The Australian Society of French Studies, in collaboration with Women in French: Australia, is delighted to announce its first mid-year Australian French Studies symposium. For this inaugural one-day event (split over two half days on account of time differences) we would like to invite colleagues in French Studies from around the world to present any aspect of their research – whether it is a work-in-progress, full paper or an overall taste of what they do – in order to encourage new collegial collaborations. 

Instead of requesting papers around a specific theme, we are particularly keen to hear from colleagues working on new projects, undertaking research Fellowships, testing out new ideas, or who wish to hear the thoughts of others as they shape their research. We are also interested in creating a ‘speed-dating’ style session where researchers can give a brief, 10-minute outline of what they do. We welcome colleagues at any stage in their career, from PhD and Early Career through to leading researchers and senior academics. We are also keen to hear from those working on new collaborative projects who wish to share their experiences through round table discussion. 

The event will take place online on 14th and 15th July 2022. Please send a 200-250 word abstract for papers (approx 15 minutes) as well as a short author bio to by 31st May 2022. If you would like to submit a full panel, please add to the above a brief 100 word introduction to your panel.

N.B.: Timezones

The first half day will be run from the UK and will take place on 14th July (this will be accessible to European time zones (afternoon of 14th July) and also EDT and CDT in North America (morning of 14th July)).

The second half day will be run from Australia and will take place on 15th July (this will be accessible to Australian and South Pacific time zones (morning of 15th July) and also all other North American time zones (afternoon of 14th July)).

Women in French Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher International Symposium

Please consider attending Women in French’s postgraduate and early career researcher international symposium. Organised by several ASFS members, this virtual symposium focuses on immersion in women’s literature and hybrid media (including photo-texts, bande dessinée, cinema, journals, and other media), with a particular emphasis on immersivity as both a pleasurable and productive feature. It will include presentations from postgraduate students and early career researchers working on questions of gender or feminism in French studies.

Dates: Thursday 13th to Saturday 15th January 2022

Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Diana Holmes (Leeds)
  • Professor Michèle Bacholle (Eastern Connecticut)
  • Dr Alexandra Kurmann (Macquarie)

See the webpage and download the programme here.
Please register for the event here!

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

Day One: Thursday 13th January

Start Times: 4:00 p.m. (UK); 11:00 a.m. (US Eastern Daylight).

Introduction and Opening Remarks

Arline Cravens (Saint Louis), Women in French President

E. Nicole Meyer (Augusta), Women in French Vice-President

Panel 1: Immersive Multimedia

4:15 p.m. (UK); 10:15 a.m. (Madison, U.S.).

Chair: Eric Wistrom

Emma Rossby (Pennsylvania State), “Still Heroes, Moving Parts: Interactivity Redefined in Exaheva’s 2021 Digital Comic Installation”

Andrea Jonsson (Georgia Institute of Technology), “Les friandises et la parole libre: the unexpected joy of listening to strangers speak about anything and nothing in the podcast À bientôt de te revoir” 


Panel 2: Immersive Texts by Women and for Women

5:30 p.m. (UK).

Chair: Michèle Bacholle

Viviana Pezzullo (Florida Atlantic), “Feminist Journals in the 1970s as Textual Collective Performativity”

Sandra Daroczi (Bath), “Reading (between) the lines in Monique Wittig’s fiction”

Marie Velikanov (Lorraine), “Texte avec ‘x-reader’: un genre immersif de la fanfiction”


Keynote 1: Michèle Bacholle

7:00 p.m. (UK); 2:00 p.m. (US Eastern Daylight); 5:00 a.m. (Brisbane, Aust.).

Chair: Beth Kearney

Michèle Bacholle (Eastern Connecticut), “Losing (and Finding) Oneself in the Lives of Others and in Photo-texts: Isabelle Monnin and Clara Beaudoux”


Day Two: Friday 14th January

Start Times: 8:00 a.m. (UK);  7:00 p.m. (Australia – Syd./Melb./Can.).

Keynote 2: Alexandra Kurmann

Chair: Françoise Campbell

Alexandra Kurmann (Macquarie), “Immersion in Literature as Other: The Sartrean Gaze and the Production of Empathetic Reader-Consciousness”


Panel 3: Disruptive Waters: Maternity and Political Protest

9:15 a.m. (UK); 8:15 p.m. (Australia – Syd./Melb./Can.).

Chair: Egle Kackute

Josephine Goldman (Sydney), “Intertextual mothering in Guy Gabon’s “La montée des eaux” and Maryse Condé’s En attendant la montée des eaux

Dakshayani Shankar (Emory), “Womb as Forestry: Feminine Tyranny battling African Despotism in Sony Labou Tansi’s La Vie et demie


Panel 4: Land, Water and Gender

10:30 a.m. (UK).

Chair: Caroline Verdier

Dalila Villella (London), “Maestri’s land-textes: an instrument to rethink social relations and female identity”

Elly Walters (Oxford), “Water and mental unhealth in Amélie Nothomb’s Soif (2019) and Marie Darrieussecq’s La Mer à l’envers (2019)”


Day Three: Saturday 15th January

Start Times: 10:00 a.m. (UK); 9:00 p.m. (Australia – Syd./Melb./Can.); 5:00 a.m. (US Eastern Daylight).

Keynote 3: Diana Holmes

Chair: Polly Galis

Diana Holmes (Leeds), “The everyday miracle of reading fiction (and Leila Slimani’s turn to the family saga)”


Panel 5: Immersive Cinema

11:15 a.m. (UK); 10:15 p.m. (Australia – Syd./Melb./Can.); 6:15 a.m. (US Eastern Daylight).

Chair: TBC

Sophie Coombs (Queensland), “Portrait de la Cinéaste en tant que Jeune Femme : a Re-reading of Chantal Akerman’s News from Home (1976) as a Journey to Artistic Subjectivity”

Maddalena Eccher (Goldsmiths), “‘Another Word Another Image’: Poetic and Visual Experimentation in the Transformative Narratives of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha”

Alice Hagopian (St Andrews), “Who is Madame Bovary’s Bad Reader? Reflecting on Immersion and the Ethics of Reading with Anne Fontaine’s 2014 Film” 


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.

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.

Call for Papers: ASFS 2021 Conference, ‘Un.Sited’

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 30 July 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

CFP, SFPS Annual Conference: ‘(Re)thinking (Post)Colonial Landscapes in the Francophone World’

Call for Paper/Appel à contribution

Annual Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies Conference 2021

(Re)thinking (Post)Colonial Landscapes in the Francophone World 

Friday 12th & Saturday 13th November 2021 – online conference 

Land and landscape are at the heart of both colonial project and anti-colonial struggle: in its conquest, possession, exploitation, development and representation, these are, literally and metaphorically, the battleground of colonialism. Seminal works such as Alfred Crosby’s Ecological Imperialism (1986) and Richard Grove’s Green Imperialism (1995) have demonstrated how European colonialism has transform­­­ed landscapes. Both human landscape and natural world are physically altered through urban planning, aggressive agricultural practices, the introduction of animals, plants and diseases, and the extraction of natural resources. Yet such transformations also occur on the level of the imaginary, in the ways in which colonisers and colonial writers, travellers, artists and historians have portrayed the landscapes around them, as exotic, hostile, uninhabitable or devastated, violated and destroyed, as is evident in texts such as François Leguat’s Voyage et avantures de Francois Leguat et sescompagnons, en deux isles desertes des IndesOrientales (1708), R.P Jean-Baptiste Labat’s Voyage aux îles de l’Amérique (Antilles) 1693-1705 (1722), Louis Antoine de Bougainville’s Voyage autour du monde (1771), or Pierre Odinot’s Monde marocain (1926). 

Reconfiguring the landscape has been central in the postcolonial era, in such diverse sites as the architecture of Mobutu Sese Seko’s ‘recours à l’authenticité’ in the DRC, or the Caribbean ‘jardin créole’. Yet the legacies of the transformations brought about by colonialism, both physical and mental, remain not only in the continued imprints of the past on the landscape but also in new forms of neocolonial territorial exploitation, and contemporary environmental movements which reproduce colonial practices of conservation (John Mbaria and Mordecai Odaga, 2016) and exclude activists from the Global South from Western environmentalist narratives. Socio-environmental scandals such as the use of chlordecone in Martinique, the exploitation of the Montagne-d’or mining project in Guyana, and French nuclear testing in Algeria, Moruroa and elsewhere, foreground the question of the neocolonial relationship between France and its (former) colonies. As Deborah Jenson (2010) and Martin Munro (2015) have argued, contemporary neoliberal humanitarian narratives also portray countries from the Global South, such as Haiti, as synonymous with catastrophe.  

In a context of global climate emergency and increasingly urgent calls for action, the ever-growing field of ecocriticism has also drawn attention to the importance of the study of landscapes and environments in artistic works. As preparations are made for the COP26 UN climate conference in November this year, the need to rethink our relationship to the environment and radically transform our behaviours has become imperative, its urgency only increased by the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic in a digital world replete with images of ecological disaster. The global imbalance in the intensity with which the effects of climate disaster are felt also underscores the need, as Malcom Ferdinand argues in Une écologiedécoloniale(2019), to bridge the divide between environmentalism on the one hand and decolonization and anti-racist struggle on the other.    

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to interrogate how landscapes past, present and future have been portrayed, developed, responded to and remembered. What role does the landscape play – and what role is played out on the landscape – in colonial, anti-colonial and postcolonial literature, arts and critical studies in the Francophone world? We encourage a debate on the problématiques concerning urban and environmental studies, memory of place, colonial history, and modes of thinking about the world which highlight the contribution of cultural and literary studies to mapping new paradigms. We welcome theoretical and critical contributions on topics including, but not limited to:    

·         The shaping of urban, rural and natural landscapes   

·         People/nature relations   

·         Indigeneity and ancestral land   

·         Belonging, displacement and nostalgia   

·         Imaginary geographies   

·         Decolonizing environmentalism  

·         Landscapes as artistic genre    

·         Links between colonialism and ‘green imperialism’   

·         Disaster study and stories of disaster   

·         Neo-colonial exploitation    

·         Relationship between landscape, time and memory   

·         Conceptions and critiques of the anthropocene 

·         Postcolonial responses to climate emergencies   

·         (Post)colonial maps and borders   

·         Extractivism    

·         Petro-exploitation and petrofictions   

·         Territorialisation and appropriation   

·         Eco-tourism and travel writing   

·         Heritage sites and nature reserves   

·         Greening the canon   

·         Ecofeminism   

·         Exoticism   

·         Ecocriticism and ecopoetics  

·         Geocriticism and geopoetics  

Please send abstracts of 200-250 words plus 50-100 words of biography in a Word document to Conference Secretaries Sky Herington and Orane Onyekpe-Touzet at Papers can be in English or French. The deadline for the receipt of abstracts is 31 of May 2021.  

The conference will take place entirely online on the 12th and 13th of November. Registration to the event will be free however, presenters will be expected to become members of the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies ( Free associate membership is available for scholars and students from the Global South.  


­­­­Colloque annuel 2021 de la Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies 

(Re)penser les paysages (post)coloniaux dans le monde francophone 

Vendredi 12 & samedi 13 novembre 2021 – colloque en ligne

Terres et paysages sont aux centres à la fois du projet colonial et de la lutte anticoloniale et représentent, dans le processus de conquête, de prise de possession, d’exploitation, de développement et de représentation, les véritables champs de batailles, aussi bien littéralement que métaphoriquement, de l’entreprise coloniale. Des ouvrages fondateurs tels que EcologicalImperialism(1986) d’Alfred Grosby et Green Imperialism(1995) de Richard Grove ont démontré l’impact du colonialisme européen sur les paysages. Les paysages humains et naturels se trouvent transformés physiquement par l’aménagement urbain, les pratiques agricoles agressives, l’introduction de certains animaux, plantes et maladies, ou par l’extraction des ressources naturelles. Cependant, ces transformations ont aussi lieu dans l’imaginaire. Les colons et les écrivains, les voyageurs, artistes et historiens coloniaux ont ainsi perçu et représenté les paysages autour d’eux comme exotiques, hostiles, inhabitables ou dévastés, violés et détruits comme le montrent les textes de  Voyage et avantures de FrancoisLeguat et ses compagnons, en deux islesdesertes des Indes Orientales (1708) de François Leguat, Voyage aux îles de l’Amérique (Antilles) 1693-1705 (1722) du R.P Jean-Baptiste Labat, Voyage autour du monde (1771) de Louis Antoine de Bougainville, ou Monde marocain (1926) de Pierre Odinot. 

Reconfigurer le paysage est central à l’époque postcoloniale, dans des espaces aussi divers que l’architecture de Mobutu Sese Seko dans son projet de ‘recours à l’authenticité’ à la RDC ou le ‘jardin créole’ antillais. Toutefois, l’héritage des transformations opérées par le colonialisme, physique et psychologique, demeure non seulement dans les marques du passé sur le paysage mais aussi dans les nouvelles formes d’exploitation néocoloniale du territoire, et dans les mouvements écologiques contemporains qui reproduisent les pratiques coloniales de conservation (John Mbaria and Mordecai Odaga, 2016) et excluent les activistes des pays du Sud du récit écologique européen. Les scandales socio-environnementaux tels que l’utilisation du chlordécone en Martinique, l’exploitation du projet minier Montagne-d’or en Guyane et les tests nucléaires français en Algérie, à Moruroa et ailleurs, invitent à interroger la relation néocoloniale entre la France et ses (anciennes) colonies. Comme le défendent Deborah Jenson (2010) et Martin Munro (2015), les récits humanitaires néolibéraux contemporains représentent les pays du Sud tels qu’Haïti, comme synonymes de catastrophe. 

Dans le contexte de l’urgence climatique mondiale et de l’appel toujours plus pressant à l’action, le champ de l’écocritique, en constante croissance, a attiré l’attention sur l’importance de l’étude des paysages et de l’environnement dans les œuvres artistiques. Alors que la COP26 se prépare pour novembre de cette année, il devient absolument essentiel de repenser notre relation à l’environnement et de transformer radicalement nos comportements, les effets de l’épidémie de Covid-19 dans un monde numérique repu d’images de désastres écologiques ne faisant que renforcer le sentiment d’urgence. Le déséquilibre mondial entre les pays face au ressenti des effets du changement climatique souligne également la nécessité de combler le fossé entre environnementalisme d’une part et la décolonisation et les luttes anti-racistes d’autre part, comme le montre Malcom Ferdinand dans Une écologie décoloniale(2019). 

Ce colloque interdisciplinaire cherche à interroger la manière dont on représente, développe, répond et se souvient des paysages passés, présents et futurs. Quel rôle le paysage joue-t-il – et quel rôle se joue dans le paysage – dans la littérature, les arts et la critique coloniale, anti-coloniale et postcoloniale dans le monde francophone ? Nous encourageons un débat autour des problématiques liées aux études environnementales et urbaines, au lien entre mémoire et espace, à l’histoire coloniale et aux visions du monde qui mettent en avant la contribution des études culturelles et littéraires à la cartographie de nouveaux paradigmes. Les contributions théoriques et critiques pourront aborder sans s’y limiter les thèmes suivants : 

·         Façonnement des paysages urbains, ruraux et naturels 

·         Relation homme/nature 

·         Terres ancestrales et indigènes 

·         Appartenance, éloignement et nostalgie 

·         Géographies imaginaires 

·         Décolonisation de l’environnementalisme 

·         Paysage comme genre artistique 

·         Lien entre le colonialisme et l’“impérialisme vert” 

·         Disaster study et récits de catastrophes 

·         Exploitations néocoloniales 

·         Relations entre paysage, temps et mémoire 

·         Conceptions et critiques de l’anthropocène 

·         Réponses postcoloniales aux urgences climatiques 

·         Cartographies (post)coloniales et frontières 

·         Extractivisme 

·         Exploitations pétrolières et petrofictions 

·         Territorialisation et appropriation 

·         Eco-tourisme et écriture du voyage 

·         Patrimoine et réserves naturelles 

·         Ecoféminisme 

·         Exotisme 

·         Ecocritique et écopoétiques 

·         Géocritique et géopoétiques 

Les propositions de communications de 200 à 250 mots accompagnées d’une bibliographie de 50 à 100 mots sont à envoyer par mail au comité d’organisation composé de Sky Herington et Orane Onyekpe-Touzet à avant le 31 mai 2021. Les propositions en français et en anglais sont les bienvenues.  

Le colloque se tiendra en ligne les 12 et 13 novembre 2021. La participation sera gratuite mais les intervenants devront adhérer à la Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies ( L’adhésion est gratuite pour les universitaires et étudiant-e-s des pays du Sud. 

President’s Welcome 2021

Dear ASFS members,

We hope this finds you all safe and well, especially after the tumult of 2020.

The ASFS Executive Committee is pleased to announce its 2021 initiatives.

Before getting to those, we’d like to thank everyone involved in our ASFS XXVIII conference and hope that attendees have fond memories of our virtual meeting. We were particularly pleased with the keynote roundtable, the lively discussion with Prof. Mame Fatou Niang and Prof. Lydie Moudileno, and our exceptionally well-attended postgraduate session. While we missed the interactions of our usual face-to-face conference, we were heartened by the commitment members showed to research across the many disciplines of French Studies. Members gave papers on literature, film, philosophy, applied linguistics, poetry, history, pedagogy and visual art – a fitting representation of the diverse scholarly interests ‘French Studies’ encompasses, and an important reminder of research carried out in these fields in Australia. Dr. Clara Sitbon and A/Prof. Ben McCann are currently editing a volume of the Australian Journal of French Studies based upon the conference, featuring a range of postgraduate and early career researchers.

Our plans for 2021 include:

1. Colin Nettelbeck prize

The ASFS will be inaugurating a prize in honour of Emeritus Prof. Colin Nettelbeck. Many members will know that Colin took a particular interest in mentoring postgraduate and early career researchers so our prize is aimed at these members. The Colin Nettelbeck Prize is designed to support research and travel costs for a French Studies-related project. A call for applications will be distributed shortly.

2. Mentoring program

We piloted our Mentoring program in 2020 and were delighted with its success. We matched up 21 mentors/mentees who worked together throughout the year and they gave very positive feedback to our survey of the program in November. We will shortly be sending a call for expressions of interest for 2021. (Mentors and mentees from 2020 are of course very welcome to continue working together.)

3. Postgraduate Essay prize

We will shortly be distributing a call for entries to the 2021 ASFS/AJFS Postgraduate Essay Prize. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Australian Journal of French Studies and Prof. Jarrod Hayes and Prof. Brian Nelson. We’re delighted that Dr. Yuri Cerqueira dos Anjos has agreed to chair of the Prize Committee this year. We are very grateful to A/Prof. Alistair Rolls for serving in this role in 2020. Alistair will remain on the committee this year. 

4. ASFS Conference XXIX

Due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions, we have decided to postpone our conference in New Zealand to 2022 and are very grateful to the Organising Committee (A/Prof. Jean Anderson, Dr. Yuri Cerqueira dos Anjos, Dr. France Grenaudier-Klijn and Dr. Charles Rice-Davies) for their flexibility and their ongoing support of the Society. We are committed to holding our 29th conference in 2021 and plan to offer a ‘blended’ conference that members could attend either face-to-face or via zoom. We are currently planning where to host the conference and will be in touch with details as soon as we can.

5. Roundtable on ARC Funding at ASFS XXIX

We will be holding a session on ‘ARC Funding in French Studies’ in order to assist colleagues in preparing funding applications. We are gratified by the recent successes in French Studies (at DECRA, DP and Future Fellowship level) and are eager to capitalise upon these for the benefit of all members. We are grateful to Dr. Valentina Gosetti and Dr. Chris Hogarth for organising this session.

6. ‘Teaching-Research Nexus’ Panels at ASFS XXIX

Following a highly successful panel at the 2020 Conference in which members presented strategies for incorporating their research in their teaching, we will be organising a series of panels that showcase members’ pedagogical practice and scholarship of learning and teaching. We are very grateful to Dr. Carolyn Stott and Dr. Marie-Laure Vaille-Barcan for leading this initiative.

Finally, we offer our congratulations to Em. Prof. John West-Sooby, University of Adelaide, for winning FATFA’s ‘Professeur de l’année’ 2020. Congratulations also to Dr. Gemma King, ANU, for winning an Australian Award for University Teaching 2020. These are well deserved accolades that recognise our colleagues’ outstanding performance at a national level. 

I am very grateful to the members who were elected/re-elected to the Executive Committee for 2021: A/Prof. Ben McCann (Vice-President), Dr. Leslie Barnes (Secretary), Dr. Chris Hogarth (Treasurer),Dr. Gemma King (Communications Officer), Dr. Clara Sitbon (Postgraduate Officer) and Ms. Lauren Twine (Membership Secretary, ad hoc member 2021).

We leave you with the good news that our Society has reached over 150 members, so is now at its largest in its history.

We look forward to representing you this year and encourage you to get in touch with us with any request, ideas or suggestions you may have.

Prof. Natalie Edwards (President)

2021 FATFA Conference Online and In-Person April 17-18

ASFS members may be interested in the upcoming Federation of Associations of Teachers of French in Australia (FATFA) Conference.

The 2021 Conference will be running in a hybrid format online and in-person in Brisbane from April 17-18. The conference will include:

  • Plenary speeches by Florence Boulard, Gianfranco Conti and Joe Dale,
  • Workshops and presentations that are interactive, informative and varied ,
  • Recordings of all sessions available for download for one month post-conference,
  • In-person attendance includes conference function at Cloudland on Saturday 17th.

The members’ price is for members of any state language teachers association. For more information or to make any additional presentation proposals, email Barbara Hanna at More information is available on the website at

ASFS 2020 Conference Programme

The programme is now available for the 2020 Australian Society for French Studies conference, with the book of abstracts here. Join us online from 3-4 December for an exciting collection of panels and events on the theme of Dis/connexion, including a keynote round table on Memorialisation, Racism and Post/colonial Connections in Contemporary France from Lydie Moudileno and Mame-Fatou Niang.

During a time of social distancing, in which we are requested to “Stay Apart Together”, the ASFS 2020 conference brings members together to reflect upon the theme of connection and disconnection. Paper presentations are scheduled for 10 minutes plus panel discussion. The conference is free to all members of the ASFS. If you would like to attend as an audience member, you can renew or apply for membership here; Zoom links will be forwarded to members prior to the conference.

The Postgraduate Session will take place on the morning of 3 December via Zoom, led by Postgraduate Officer Dr Clara Sitbon. The Postgraduate Session is free and open to all members.

New association: Women in French Australia

The Australian Society for French Studies is pleased to note that an Australian branch of the Women in French Association has been established. The network is based on and attached to the WIF programme in North America, and the executive committee is composed of the following ASFS members:

President: Christie Margrave (ANU) 

Vice President: Bonnie Thomas (UWA) 

Secretary/Early Career Researcher Representative: Françoise Campbell (Royal Holloway/IMLR) 

Communications Officer/Postgraduate Student Representative: Beth Kearney (UQ) 

International Liaison Officers: Natalie Edwards (U of Adelaide), Chris Hogarth (UniSA) 

The first WIF Australia panel, “Mediating Connections in Women’s Life Writing”, will take place at the ASFS virtual conference in December 2020. The association will also be launching a seminar series in the weeks to come, beginning with an Introduction to the Inaugural WIF Australia (Wif-Oz), a virtual event to take place on Friday November 6th, 2020 at 5.30 AEST. The committee is seeking approximately 10 participants each giving a 3-5 minute paper on their work in Women in French Studies. A Q and A session will follow the papers. If you are interested in participating and presenting at this event and in being a member of the network, contact