ISFAR sessions at the Australian Historical Association Conference

ISFAR is pleased to announce that it will convene a French Australian Relations stream at the Australian Historical Association’s annual conference, which will be held in Toowoomba, Queensland from 8-12 July 2019. The conference theme this year is ‘Local Communities, Global Networks’. For further details and the Call for Papers, click here.

Please direct any questions to Pauline Georgelin at

Nicolas Baudin Program 2019 Applications Now Open

Applications for the 2019 Nicolas Baudin program are now open!

The program consists of two application streams:

General Stream – Nicolas Baudin Travel Grant

Students enrolled at an Australian university and taking part in an exchange program /study abroad at a French establishment or hoping to pursue a full degree (including double degrees) may apply for the Nicolas Baudin Travel Grant. The Travel Grant consists of a return ticket between Australia and France. Laureates are also covered by Campus France mutual insurance and exempt from visa fees.

For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply:

Internships in France Initiative

30 internships in France have been proposed by French universities and industry partners for Australian students. In addition to the travel grant, laureates benefit from a funding scheme involving a $2500 mobility grant from their home university and a monthly stipend from the host institution. For a list of internship offers and information on how to apply, please visit

The deadline for applications is April 15.

Congratulations ASFS Honorary Life Members Brian Nelson and Colin Nettelbeck

At the ASFS 2018 annual meeting at University of Western Australia (Perth) this year, two long time members of our organisation received honorary life memberships to mark our twenty-fifth anniversary. Congratulations to Professor Brian Nelson (Monash) and Professor Colin Nettelbeck (Melbourne)!

Professor Nelson was instrumental in founding ASFS in 1993, and both he and Professor Nettelbeck have made outstanding contributions to French Studies across their careers. We are honoured to have them amongst our members.


Professor Brian Nelson

colin n.

Professor Colin Nettelbeck

Teaching Assistants in France – now open

Applications for the 2019 round of the English Language Teaching Assistants programs in Metropolitan France and overseas departments are now open!


This program is designed to give students the opportunity to discover a new region and culture by working alongside an English teacher in a French school environment. It is not aimed at experienced teachers, and whether or you intend to become a language teacher, it is a fantastic opportunity to gain seven months of paid international experience, which is invaluable on a student’s CV.


All information, including details of the role, the contract, eligibility requirements and how to apply are available on the embassy’s website here:

ASFS Conference evening with Rodney Saint Eloi at AF Perth Tuesday 04 December 6pm

  Come at the Alliance Francaise to Meet and greet with award winning Haitian poet Rodney Saint Eloi.
The conference will be followed by Q&A and book signing session.

Tuesday 4 December.
6pm at Alliance Française de Perth, Nedlands

RSVP essential

Drinks and nibbles


CFP Literary Walks, Slow Travel, and Eco-Awareness in Contemporary Literature


Seeking submissions for a forthcoming issue of Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature with a special focus section entitled Literary Walks, Slow Travel, and Eco-Awareness in Contemporary Literature.

Guest Editor: Peter Arnds, Trinity College Dublin

One of the latest fitness trends from Sweden is the so-called ‘plogging’, picking up trash while jogging. Embarking from this image of social engagement for the purpose of healing the planet proposals are sought for an upcoming issue of Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature for a series of essays in English that analyse literary, filmic, or other artistic productions in twentieth- and twenty-first century German, French, Italian, or Spanish speaking cultures in view of the links between ‘slow travel’ and eco-awareness.

Slow travel implies an intensification of experiencing the environment, its devastation, and possibilities of healing. This is not limited to walking alone, although authors of literary walks such as W.G. Sebald or Friedrich Christian Delius are important for this volume. Such literature reveals the tension between the solitary walker distancing himself from the community with its social and political responsibilities, while at the same time actually engaging more closely with the global community and its concerns about the environment and politics. But walking in literature can also be an intensely neo-Romantic experience. When Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft (later Mary Shelley) first eloped and found themselves stranded without money in Paris they decided to walk the 700 km distance to Switzerland. While nineteenth-century literature teems with walkers, how does this map out in the twentieth and twenty-first century?

Apart from this focus on literary walks we seek submissions on various other texts linking ecological awareness to unusual forms of travel. Proposed essays may include but are not limited to topics such as:

* walking as neo-romanticism

* slow travel and encounters with animals;

* theory of psychogeography

* walking and health in literature;

* debunking myths about other species;

* diversity of forms of slow travel in literature and film;

* eco-humor;

* intense encounters with the natural world;

* the potential of slow travel for healing oneself, others, and the planet at large (as in Werner Herzog’s winter walk from Munich to Paris);

* walking and eco-awareness in film and the visual arts;

* interdisciplinary approaches to slow travel and literature;

* walking and myth;

* slow travel, walking, and borders;

* nocturnal walking in literature

* metaphors of slow travel in the context of ecocriticism;

* slow travel, gender, and ecology;

* bicycling in contemporary literature;

* walking in the city versus nature;

* walking at night;

* walking and emotion;

* philosophies of slow travel in contemporary literary texts;

* wandering and resistance;

* walking as trauma;

* walking as privilege;

This volume argues that with the slowing down of physical mobility and the traveller’s self-marginalization and constant crossing of boundaries, walking and other forms of slow travel increase political alertness, reflection, and a tendency to protest. We are interested in submissions also that examine contemporary literature in light of the philosophical and literary roots of such travel (such as Jean Jacques Rousseau or Robert Louis Stevenson), and which engage densely with theories of slowness, wandering as resistance, and self-exiling during travel (e.g., Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life, Frédéric Gros’ Philosophy of Walking, Ernst Jünger’s Der Waldgang, Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust). The volume is open to a diversity of theorizations. What function does slow travel, especially walking, have for the social responsibility of travellers who follow what Deleuze and Guattari have called a rhizomatic trail across borderless smooth space? Rebecca Solnit has argued, for example, that slow travel “ideally is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned” (Wanderlust 2000).

As Guest Editor I am particularly interested in submissions which examine how literature and film represent slow travel — with its cosmopolitan, polyphonic messages, and the temporary exile of lonely and visionary individuals walking away from their communities and trespassing across communal, territorial, and national boundaries – and whether slow travel may in the end be more conducive to the healing of the planet than an insistence on social and political responsibility that is firmly attached to hermetically sealed-off civic, national, and thus ultimately imagined communities.

Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature is committed to publishing high quality, anonymously peer reviewed articles written in English on post-1900 literature, film, and media in French, German, and Spanish. The journal is devoted to theory and criticism in the modern languages, and encourages interdisciplinary and collaborative submissions. Many acclaimed literary critics and theoreticians have appeared in STTCL and served as guest editors of STTCL special issues dedicated to one language or theme. Likewise, the editorial advisory council includes esteemed authors, critics, and theoreticians in French, German, Spanish, and Comparative Literature. From 1976 to 2003, the journal was known as Studies in 20th Century Literature, and through 2013, it appeared in print form twice a year (winter and summer) and it is currently published in an online, Open Access format which enhances the journal’s sustainability and broadens its global readership.

Please provide a 500-word abstract for articles not to exceed 7500 words, along with a brief CV, complete contact details, and academic affiliation, in an email to with the reference line of STTCL Abstract. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is February 1, 2019. If chosen for publication, the completed article will need to be submitted no later than July 1, 2019.

Dr. Peter Arnds
Trinity College Dublin
–  Head, Department of Italian
–  Director, M.Phil in Comparative Literature
–  Fellow TCD
Member, Academia Europaea



ASFS 2018 Special Events

The Organising Committee at the University of Western Australia for the Australian Society for French Studies 2018 Conference is delighted to confirm the visit of Frédérique Penilla, Director of the famous Centre de Langues Appliquées (CLA), Université de Franche-Comté. Dr Pénilla will present a paper on “Environnement et pratiques immersives dans l’enseignement des langues”, and a talk on the activities of the CLA. Frédérique holds a doctorate from Edith Cowan University, and was an Attaché Linguistique at the Seoul and Rabat French embassies for a number of years, before becoming the CLA Director three years ago.

The Committee is also pleased to inform ASFS members that Nadine Gassie, one of the Conference keynote speakers, will facilitate a Master Class on the morning of December 4th. She will pass on her ‘trade secrets’ as a literary translator with thirty years’ experience in translating, amongst other authors, Australian novelists, such as Tim Winton and David Malouf. We encourage delegates to attend this free event, supported by UWA Institute of Advanced Studies. Information on how to enroll to be forwarded.

To register for the ASFS 2018 conference in Perth, please visit: 

Contact Sabine Kuuse for more information.

2nd Colloquium of the Institute for the Study of French Australian Relations “French Contributions to Australian Life”

Second Colloquium of the Institute for the Study of French Australian Relations

“French Contributions to Australian Life”

University of Adelaide

Thursday 27 September 2018

The programme for the above conference is now available. It features a keynote address by Emeritus Professor Colin Nettelbeck (University of Melbourne) on the topic “France and the French in Australia’s growth to nationhood: 1914-1945”. There will also be a Round Table devoted to reflections on the centenary commemorations of the Great War. The conference is free of charge but presenters and others wishing to attend are asked to register for catering purposes by clicking here.

The conference is organised by the Department of French Studies at the University of Adelaide, which is celebrating its centenary in 2018. See here for the full programme of its French Centenary events. Professor Nettelbeck’s keynote address will double as a public lecture in the French Centenary series. This particular event aims to celebrate the French Department’s alumni, who will be particularly encouraged to attend, and of whom Colin Nettelbeck is one of the most distinguished.

Symposium – Houellebecq’s Cultural Transgressions – 29th September – London

Houellebecq’s Cultural Transgressions

29th September 2018

10am – 5.30pm

Senate House, London


Keynote speaker: Agathe Novak-Lechevalier (Université Paris X Nanterre)

Since the publication of his first novel Extension du domaine de la lutte, Michel Houellebecq has pushed the boundaries of genre, moral scruples, and literary style, provoking a lively critical debate amongst his many readers. His narratives go against the grain of dominant ideologies, offering a scandalous portrayal of France’s social past and present, described in his infamously ambivalent style of écriture blanche. Likewise, through his literary and public presence Houellebecq draws deliberate parallels between his characters and his own authorial persona, thereby rendering the distinction between the fictional and non-fictional contexts of these works decidedly problematic.

This bilingual symposium investigates the ways in which Houellebecq problematises the representation of contemporary society through the antagonistic use of both constraint and transgression as aesthetic and critical devices in his works. Bringing together a selection of Houellebecq specialists from Australia, France and the United Kingdom, the programme offers a range of perspectives on the topic of cultural transgressions, including transmediality, stylistic hybridity, political provocation, socio-economic consumption and religious conversion.

Through discussion and debate, we are seeking to explore the notion of transgression not only as the process of crossing social and generic boundaries, but also as a means to assume and overcome the constraints placed upon contemporary literary works. Rather than assigning him to a given artistic, cultural or political viewpoint, we want to ask what we can learn from Houellebecq’s transgressions. Papers will be published in a special issue of French Cultural Studies.

We welcome registration from scholars, students, and the wider public to join the conversation. However, as numbers are limited please register as soon as possible.

Registration fee (includes morning & afternoon tea, lunch, and post-symposium reception)

Standard : £ 25

Students/Unwaged : £ 15




Depuis la publication de son premier roman, Extension du domaine de la lutte, Michel Houellebecq a repoussé les limites des genres, des scrupules moraux, et du style littéraire, provoquant ainsi une critique vive parmi ses nombreux lecteurs. Les narratives houellebecquiennes vont à contre-courant des idéologies dominantes. Dans un style infamant et ambigu de l’écriture blanche, Michel Houellebecq dépeint une France passée et actuelle scandaleuse. De plus, à travers sa présence à la fois littéraire et publique, Houellebecq établit délibérément des parallèles entre ses personnages fictifs et sa propre position d’auteur, rendant ainsi problématique la distinction entre les contextes de la fiction et du réel.

Cette journée d’étude bilingue enquête sur les moyens par lesquels Houellebecq problématise la représentation de la société contemporaine dans ses œuvres à travers l’emploi antagoniste de la contrainte et de la transgression comme dispositifs esthétique et critique. Rassemblant des spécialistes de Houellebecq venant de l’Australie, de la France et du Royaume Uni, ce programme offre une variété de perspectives sur la transgression culturelle, incluant : la provocation socio-politique, la conversion religieuse, l’hybridité stylistique, la transmédialité, et la consommation socio-économique.

À travers ces discussions et débats, nous souhaitons explorer la notion de transgression, non seulement en tant que pratique pour franchir les bornes sociales et génériques de l’expression littéraire, mais aussi comme une façon d’assumer et de surmonter les contraintes auxquelles la littérature contemporaine est sujette. Plutôt que de le positionner dans un certain champ artistique ou politique, nous nous interrogerons sur ce que l’on peut apprendre des transgressions culturelles de Houellebecq. Les interventions seront publiées dans un numéro spécial de French Cultural Studies.

Les places étant limitées, nous vous invitons à vous inscrire dès que possible pour assister à cette journée.   

Frais d’inscriptions (rafraîchissements inclus pour la journée)

Standard : £ 25

Étudiant/Non-salarié : £ 15




Symposium Programme:

9:30-10:15       Check-in & Morning tea

10:15-10:30      Introduction

10:30-11:30     Keynote

Vertiges de la limite : Houellebecq et la transgression poétique (Agathe Novak-Lechevalier, Université Paris X Nanterre)

11:30-12:30      Panel 1

Michel Houellebecq: Uncreative writer? (Russell Williams, American University of Paris)

La transgression chez Houellebecq au regard des internautes-lecteurs (Samuel Estier, Université de Lausanne)

12:30 -1:30       Lunch

1:30 -3:15        Panel 2

On the return of the (Media) author: Michel Houellebecq, écrivain médiatique (Ashley Harris, Queen’s University Belfast)  

Extended struggle: The transgression of narrative boundaries in Extension du domaine de la lutte (Françoise Campbell, University of Melbourne)

Feeding Flore-less Literary Posterity?: Consuming Houellebecq in La Carte et le territoire (Ruth Cruickshank, Royal Holloway University)

Houellebecq’s World of Wine: Literary device or cultural transgression? (Jacqueline Dutton, University of Melbourne) 

3:15-3:45         Afternoon tea

3:45-5:30         Panel 3

Extension du domaine de la norme ou transgression de la transgression (Caroline Julliot, Université du Maine-Le Mans)                

Between postmodern irony and post-secular sincerity: On Houellebecq’s Soumission (Douglas Morrey, University of Warwick)

Michel Houellebecq and the Hacking of Liberal Democracy (Delphine Grass, University of Lancaster)

Michel Houellebecq, Virginie Despentes et Mai 68 (Bruno Viard, Université de Provence)

5:30 -7:00        Wine Reception


Jacqueline Dutton (University of Melbourne), Françoise Campbell (University of Melbourne, l’Université Paris 7 Diderot), and Dominic Glynn (Institute of Modern Language Research).



Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne; AHRC Research Network: Literature Under Constraint; French Cultural Studies journal; Cassal Trust fund