President’s Welcome 2020

Dear ASFS members,

‘Unprecedented’ seems to be the word of 2020. From the bushfires that ravaged the country at the beginning of the year to the current spread of COVID-19, the first three months of this year have affected daily life in many unexpected ways.

We first send our solidarity to all our members. Many of us are currently grappling with new ways of delivering course content, new modes of communicating with colleagues, new forms of postgraduate supervision and new budgetary constraints. We as scholars of the Humanities are experts in adaptation; innovating our teaching and research is, after all, the core of our professional activity. Yet, the innovation demanded of us now in order to do our best for our students and colleagues is… unprecedented. The Society aims to offer support to its members during this time and we urge you to contact us with your concerns.

In particular, the Society has several members who are experts in online teaching who are happy to share their experiences. The MLA has also developed a list of resources that may be of help:

Moreover, as many of us are being encouraged to work from home, the Society is very willing to offer support. Working from home presents issues for many of us and we urge members to take additional care of their physical and mental health. We are particularly concerned for our postgraduates, ECRs and members on casual contracts. Members may be interested to read the recent article on WFH from the Campus Morning Mail:

At present we are continuing to make plans for our 2020 conference: 1-4 December at Te Herenga Waka/Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. We have all been looking forward to holding our first conference in New Zealand. Our colleagues Jean Anderson, Charles Rice-Davis, Yuri Cerqueira dos Anjos and France Grenaudier-Klijn have already done a remarkable amount of preparatory work. We will continue to monitor the situation in order to ensure the safety of our members.

Let’s also take a moment to think back to our wonderful 2019 conference in Parramatta, Sydney, and to thank Valentina Gosetti, Chris Andrews and Sophie Patrick for their creativity, organisation and academic generosity. Many of us have very fond memories of the panels, the plenary sessions, the conviviality and the amazing dinner under the Sydney Harbour bridge.

Let’s also again thank our outgoing President Véronique Duché, who led the Society with enthusiasm and aplomb for two years, and our outgoing Postgraduate Office Sophie Patrick, who organised postgraduate sessions and prizes for several years. I am grateful to the members who have agreed to serve on the Executive Committee this year: Ben McCann (Vice President), Chris Hogarth (Treasurer), Leslie Barnes (Secretary), Gemma King (Editor of Publications) and Clara Sitbon (Postgraduate Officer). Gemma has already made several changes to the Society’s website, including resources and publications, and increased our social media presence. I encourage you to bookmark our site ( and to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

We will soon be in touch with two initiatives for this year: a survey of our current members and the mentoring program we discussed at the 2019 AGM. We will also be holding our annual Postgraduate Essay prize, co-sponsored by the Australian Journal for French Studies, to be announced shortly. For now, please take good care of yourselves and each other and let us know how we can help.

Warm wishes,

Natalie Edwards

ASFS President

Applications due soon for 2020 Nicolas Baudin Travel Grant

Applications are now open for the French Embassy in Australia’s 2020 Nicolas Baudin Travel Grant to support student mobility to France. Students can apply as part of an exchange to France through their Australian university, or to pursue a full degree at a French university, including cotutelle double degrees for PhD candidates.

Applications are due via the Embassy’s online portal by April 15. Details can be found on the Embassy website; click here.


Society of French Studies 2020 Visiting International Fellowship

Applications are currently open for our UK partner organisation the Society of French Studies’ 2020 Visiting International Fellowship Program. Applications are due April 1 2020.


From the SFS:

In the light of its commitment to international mobility within French Studies, the Society offers funding for a grant to support an annual Visiting International Fellowship, tenable in any UK or Irish university, or institution of higher education in the UK or Ireland, to enable outstanding academics in the French Studies field based in overseas universities to spend time at UK or Irish higher education institutions.

More details can be found at the SFS website; click here to find out more.

Links to all our partner organisations in Australia and overseas can be found on the ASFS website under Organisations.

Applications now open: 2020/2021 English Language Teaching Assistant Program in Metropolitan France

Applications are now open for the French Embassy in Australia’s 2020/2021 English Language Teaching Assistant Program in Metropolitan France. The deadline is April 9.


This program is designed to give Australian students the opportunity to discover a new region and culture by working alongside an English teacher in a French school environment. This program is open to students of all disciplines who can demonstrate competence in French, and who are seeking to increase their linguistic and cultural proficiency.

Details are available on the Embassy’s website; click here.

Please circulate to your students at Australian universities with a B1 level of French and above!

Nicolas Baudin Internships in France: Applications Open


The call for projects for the Nicolas Baudin- Internships in France initiative is currently open at the Embassy of France. The deadline for the submission of topics has been extended to the 7th of February 2020.

Launched as a pilot program in 2017, the Nicolas Baudin “Internships in France” initiative offers students from participating Australian universities the opportunity to undertake a research internship at a French host university in collaboration with an industry partner.

The objectives of the “Internships in France” initiative are to:

  • Increase student mobility from Australia to France
  • Contribute to the attractiveness and promotion of the French higher education and research systems
  • Strengthen student mobility within French-Australian scientific collaborations; initiate longer-term collaborations (cotutelle theses, CIFRE theses) through student stays
  • Contribute to the reconciling of the Australian university sector with the industry sector and promote the quality of interactions between universities and industry in France.

For more information on the program and a link to submit topics please click here:

Funding Opportunities from the Embassy of France

Embassy funding logos

The Embassy of France is pleased to remind you that two calls for projects are currently open to support academic collaborations with French partners:

1)      The Nicolas Baudin “internships in France initiative”

The Nicolas Baudin “Internship in France” initiative offers students from participating Australian universities the opportunity to undertake a research internship at a French host university in collaboration with an industry partner. The internship offers are jointly created by the French host university and its industry partner, and when relevant with the Australian partner university if the intern is enrolled within the framework of a pre-existing scientific collaboration.

The Laureates programs in France are co-financed by the Embassy, the hosting university in France and the home university in Australia.

French companies Naval Group and Thales also support this program.

The call for internship topics is now open until 31 January, 2020. The French institutions will propose their topics after discussion with their industry partners. However it is highly recommended that the Australian universities are part of this conversation from the beginning. The most successful projects so far took place as part of a pre-exisiting collaboration between a French and an Australian uni. Therefore we encourage you to contact your French partners, mention the program to them and see how it can be used to nurture your partnerships.

For more information about the program, click here.

2)      The Creative France short program

The Embassy of France in Australia is supporting the establishment of short-term programs in the form of summer (or winter) schools co-organised by French and Australian tertiary education institutions, and bringing together students from both countries around a theme of common interest.

The selected project benefits from the Creative France Australia label as well as financial support from the embassy up to 4000 € (approx. 6300 $ AU, subject to current exchange rate) to contribute toward the organisation costs of the school.

Embassy funding is awarded to the Australian university participating in the project.

The deadline for application is 28 February, 2020.

For more information about the program, click here.

CFP George Rudé Seminar in French History and Civilisation

Joint 66th Society for French Historical Studies Conference and
22nd George Rudé Seminar in French History and Civilisation
7-10 July 2020, Auckland, NZ

‘France and Beyond: the Global World of ‘Ngāti Wīwī’.
[Tribe ‘Oui Oui’ was the local name for the French in nineteenth-century NZ.]

In July 2020 to a theme of ‘France and Beyond’, the first ever joint meeting of the George Rudé Seminar and the Society for French Historical Studies Conference will be held in Auckland.  This special conference marks a departure from the norms of both societies while preserving and promoting the atmosphere and the intimacy of intellectual exchange nurtured and valued by both.  It brings closer together chercheurs and scholars of French History, and welcomes those members of the wider global fraternity of French Historians to ally themselves to their colleagues in Auckland.  Leading scholars from the US, UK and Europe will be keynote guests including Professor Sophie Wahnich, Directeur de l’institut interdisciplinaire d’anthropologie du contemporain (IIAC) CNRS, Professor Pierre Serna, Director of the IHRF, Paris I, Sorbonne, and Dan Smail, Professor of History at Harvard University,  and many American and international colleagues have already signalled their intention to attend.

The organisers invite the submission of panels, roundtables, and individual papers (papers should be fifteen to twenty minutes) on any aspect of French History, Medieval to Contemporary.  Areas of traditional French historical research will be featured alongside popular themes: Citizenship in the Medieval and Early Modern European world; the Revolutionary period and its environmental impact in the wider Atlantic world; and changing approaches to French or Franco-British History in the NZ/Australasian and Pacific region – in Océanie.

Please submit proposals of 300 words per speaker and a biographical profile of 100 words.  Panels will of course be welcome if the panellists are all committed to coming to NZ. Comment will be by the audience, and we would welcome volunteers who would be willing and able to chair sessions.  The deadline for proposals is 15 January 2020.

Please allow us to remind you that participants from North America must be members in good standing of the Society for French Historical Studies.  Other scholars are warmly invited to join the Society, as well, although there is no obligation to do so.

For any other questions do not hesitate to contact


Entre les frontières Screening + In Conversation in Brisbane 27 November 6 pm

Between Fences (Entre les frontières)

by Avi Mograbi 

In conversation with

Professor Alison Levine


Professor Catherine Wihtol de Wenden

at the Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA

6 pm on 27 November 2019




Between Fences (2016) follows African asylum seekers held in the Negev Refugee Centre in Israel. Through a theatre workshop, the participants question the status of refugees and what compelled them to leave behind their possessions to plunge into the unknown. The film questions how Israel, a land of refugees, treats exiled people fleeing genocide, war and persecution, and offers theatre as a possible means of exchange and understanding.

The film will be preceded by an In Conversation between Professor Alison Levine (University of Virginia) and Emeritus Professor Catherine Wihtol de Wenden (SciencesPo Paris) about the representation of refugees and asylum seekers in documentary film. Professor Wihtol de Wenden is a political scientist and expert on European citizenship and migration who has recently published on memory of immigration and immigrant memory. Professor Levine is an expert in French documentary film who has published on nation, space and boundaries. Her books include Vivre Ici: Space, Place and Experience in Contemporary French Documentary and Framing the Nation: Documentary Film in Interwar France.

The film is in Hebrew, Tigrigna, and Arabic with English subtitles. Release date: 11 January 2017

This event is held in conjunction with the “Crossing Boundaries: Language, Culture and Migration Symposium” organised by the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Queensland with presenting partner the Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA. This is also part of “France Australian Conversations” program funded by the French Embassy and Alliance Française.


The Laura Bassi Scholarship

The Laura Bassi Scholarship was established by Editing Press in 2018 with the aim of providing editorial assistance to postgraduates and junior academics whose research focuses on neglected topics of study, broadly construed, within their disciplines. The scholarships are open to every discipline and are awarded thrice per annum: December, April, and August. All currently enrolled master’s and doctoral candidates are eligible to apply, as are academics in the first five years of their employment. There are no institutional, departmental, or national restrictions.


Winter 2019

  • Deadline: 25 November 2019
  • Results: 15 December 2019

How to Apply

Applicants are required to submit a completed application form along with their CV using the application portal on the Editing Press website by the relevant deadline. For more information about the Scholarship, including the application form, previous winners, and a brief description of the remarkable figure of Laura Bassi, see: