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, Emery 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

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. 

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

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


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


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 by 1 July.

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).

ASFS/AJFS Postgraduate Essay Prize 2021

The Australian Society for French Studies and the Australian Journal of French Studies are pleased to announce the seventh annual co-sponsored ASFS/AJFS Postgraduate Essay Prize.

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.
  • 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.

Deadline for submissions: 31 July 2021.  

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

Extension, ASFS Mentorship Program for 2021

The ASFS is happy to announce that it is extending the mentorship program to continue encouraging career support for colleagues. As with last year, colleagues may seek mentorship for a specific professional goal, such as a promotion application, job search or grant application, and mentees may include but are not limited to postgraduate and ECR candidates. If you are currently working with a mentor/mentee and would like to continue that relationship, you’re most welcome to continue. But this can also be an opportunity to create new relationships, to get input and ideas from other colleagues should you wish. You may also consider taking on a new role; if you’ve been acting as a mentor and would like to be a mentee (or vice versa), please let us know by submitting an EOI:

Please also ensure your ASFS membership is up to date.

As with last year, mentees will be paired with a suitable member of the Society able to advise on their goals, and each pair will decide how often and where to communicate (ex. skype, email) depending on their needs. This is an informal and collegial initiative designed to support colleagues at a range of stages in their academic careers.

Please fill out and return the attached form and return it to Secretary Dr Leslie Barnes at by 21 May 2021.

Inaugural Colin Nettelbeck Prize

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 and by 30 June 2021.

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

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.

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.