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 wif.ecr.symposium@gmail.com 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)

References

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.

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. 

Highlights

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.

Benefits

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.

Background

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 sonia.wilson@sydney.edu.au.

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 (clara.sitbon@sydney.edu.au)

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 asfs2021@uq.edu.au.

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 https://forms.gle/7w3KejQN3J4FSwfP9 by 31 August 2021

Conference emails: asfs2021@uq.edu.au.

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

Reminder: ASFS/AJFS Postgraduate Essay Prize

A friendly reminder that the deadline for the co-sponsored Australian Society for French Studies/Australian Journal of French Studies Postgraduate Essay Prize is approaching! Please share this information with your postgraduate candidates and colleagues.

Deadline for submissions: 31 July 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 research 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 by Research or PhD in an Australian or New Zealand university on the date of the submission deadline.
  • All applicants must be/become 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:
  • 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:

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 (clara.sitbon@sydney.edu.au)

Deadline extended: Colin Nettelbeck Prize for HDR and ECR researchers (research and travel funding)

Applications for the inaugural Colin Nettelbeck Postgraduate Prize have been extended by two weeks until Wednesday 14 July 2021. All HDR candidates and ECR scholars (not yet in a permanent academic position) enrolled in a French Studies-related research degree at an Australian or New Zealand university in the last five years are invited to apply. The $1000 prize funding may be used for research-related travel, however due to the pandemic this travel may reasonably be delayed until safe and feasible. The prize can also be used to fund other costs including training, conference or technical assistance to support a research project.

The Australian Society for French Studies

Colin Nettelbeck Prize

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 ASFS announces a new prize for postgraduate or precariously-employed early career researcher members of the Society. The Colin Nettelbeck Prize is designed to support research and travel costs with funds of up to $1000 for a French Studies-related project, including:

  • Travel for research-related purposes, such as to present at a conference, conduct archival research, travel to a cotutelle institution, etc.,
  • Other research-related costs, such as research assistance, essential software/ training, etc.

Applicants must be:

  • Either currently enrolled in or recently graduated (within the last 5 years) from a postgraduate research degree at an Australian or New Zealand university in a French Studies-related field,
  • Not yet employed in a full-time academic position,
  • Current members of the Australian Society for French Studies.

Applications must include:

  • A one-page proposal presenting the candidate, research project and expected outcomes,
  • A budget outlining the proposed costs,
  • Where applicable, evidence of acceptance of a paper to a relevant national or international conference, or of acceptance into a cotutelle program or visiting fellowship,
  • The details of one referee able to support the application.

Please send applications to leslie.barnes@anu.edu.au and gemma.king@anu.edu.au by 14 July 2021.

CFP: Conference, ‘Life Writing: Transnationalism, Translingualism, Transculturalism’

This conference will have a significant francophone element and may be of interest to many ASFS members:

CALL FOR PAPERS: THE FOURTH IABA: ASIA PACIFIC CONFERENCE

Life Writing: Transnationalism, Translingualism, Transculturalism

November 20-23, 2021

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Ricia Chansky, University of Puerto Rico

Prof. Anne Pender, University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide, in collaboration with the University of South Australia and Flinders University

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.

Papers may consider themes such as:

  • Narrating and imagining the migrant experience
  • Refugee and asylum seeker narratives 
  • Life writing in languages other than English
  • Life writing and translation
  • Translingual and multilingual narratives
  • Coming of Age narratives (especially across nations and media)
  • Childhood life writing
  • Ethics of storytelling
  • Activist narratives
  • Cultural memory across nations, languages and media.
  • Autobiographies, letters and diaries
  • Life narratives in popular culture (music, film, theatre, games)
  • Visual life narratives (photography, graphics, social and digital media, visual arts etc.)
  • The histories and futures of life writing studies across disciplinary boundaries
  • Methods, genres, and definitions in life-writing/autobiographical/life story/ego-document research

Submissions:

The conference will be held in two modes, incorporating face to face and zoom sessions. We invite both 20 minute individual presentations and 90 minute full panel, roundtable, or workshop sessions. We encourage interdisciplinary submissions that foster dialogues across theory, methodology, genre, place, and time. We invite not only traditional conference papers and panels, but also innovative presentation formats and creative sessions.

Please submit a max. 300-word abstract and a 150-word bio to Dr. Christopher Hogarth at iabaadelaide2021@gmail.com by 1 July.

Organising Committee: Professor Natalie Edwards natalie.edwards@adelaide.edu.au, Dr. Christopher Hogarth christopher.hogarth@unisa.edu.au, Dr. Kylie Cardell kylie.cardell@flinders.edu.au, Professor Kate Douglas kate.douglas@flinders.edu.au

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).

Memorialisation, Racism and Post/colonial Connections in Contemporary France: Watch the ASFS 2020 Conference Keynote Round Table

As the keynote event of the conference Dis/connexion in December 2020, the Australian Society for French Studies was proud to host Professor Lydie Moudileno and Associate Professor Mame-Fatou Niang in conversation with Dr Gemma King on the theme of Memorialisation, Racism and Post/colonial Connections in Contemporary France. The round table event was chaired by Dr Leslie Barnes and the recording (not including the audience Q&A) is available for viewing here:

Following the Q&A, several attendees requested a list of the authors Mame recommended for those wishing to learn more about race and identity in contemporary France. These were Lydie Moudileno, Jacqueline Couti, Audrey Celestine, Maboula Soumahoro, Myriam Moise, Aya Cissoko, Dali Micha Toure, Tassadit Imache, Assia Djebar, Maryse Condé, the Nardal Sisters and Bintou Dembélé.

Event abstract:

What role does race play in the French imaginaire and how does this manifest in a society that continues to insist on its own colour-blindness despite a history of colonialism and immigration and an increasingly ethnically diverse present? One answer can be found in the nation’s Assemblée Nationale where a mural displaying recognizably racist iconography serves to celebrate the abolition of chattel slavery in France. Outside the building presides Jean-Baptiste Colbert – Louis XIV’s finance minister and author of the French ‘code noir’ – recently defaced in protest of France’s « négrophobie d’état ». Recent publications such as Lydie Moudileno, Etienne Achille and Charles Forsdick’s 2020 volume Postcolonial Realms of Memory: Sites and Symbols in Modern France have shed light on the place of such colonial imagery in the contemporary Republic, as lieux de mémoire infamously ignored in Pierre Nora’s work of the same name. The continued presence of such memorials in France, and around the world, raises urgent questions about the nexus of history, memory, and everyday racism that have gained particular prominence in international protests and debates this year. This keynote event for the ASFS 2020 conference brings Lydie Moudileno and Mame-Fatou Niang together in dialogue with Gemma King about the persistence of racist colonial ideologies in the everyday “realms” of French society, be they state-sanctioned memorials, museums or the nightly news.

Lydie Moudileno is Marion Frances Chevalier Professor of French and Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC, co-author with Etienne Achille of Mythologies postcoloniales: Pour une décolonisation du quotidien (Champion 2018) and co-editor with Achille and Charles Forsdick of Postcolonial Realms of Memory: Sites and Symbols in Modern France (Liverpool 2020).

Mame-Fatou Niang is Associate Professor of French at CMU, author of Identités françaises: Banlieues, féminités et universalisme (Brill 2019), and co-director of the documentary film, “Mariannes noires: Mosaïques afropéennes” (2015). She is also a driving force behind the petition to remove the slavery mural from the Assemblée Nationale.

Gemma King is Senior Lecturer of French at ANU and author of Decentring France: Multilingualism and Power in Contemporary French Cinema (Manchester 2017) and Jacques Audiard (Manchester 2021). She convenes ANU’s Global Paris course, which explores iconic cultural sites while also discovering forgotten parts of the city relating to colonial history, the legacy of slavery, and the evolution of the Republic.