Call for Papers: ASMCF–SSFH Postgraduate Study Day 2020

Call for papers

7 March 2020 – The Graduate School, Queen’s University, Belfast

Keynote: Dr Hannah Grayson, University of Stirling

« Chaque parole a des retentissements. Chaque silence aussi. »

Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘Présentation des Temps modernes’, in Situation II (1948)

Where dominant groups form in societies and start to define their own coherent narrative, this may become the rule by which the past, present and future should be written, remembered and represented. This multi-causal and multidirectional process inevitably leads to the construction, circulation and legitimisation of a ‘master narrative’ that, once institutionalised, limits opportunity for further/different/alternative interpretations to be expressed publicly. But beneath and around these loud voices exist many others which are often neglected, ignored, or actively suppressed and silenced. Crucially, many scholars working in and across the myriad of disciplines that constitute French Studies and French History, are giving parole to these peripheral narratives and allowing marginalised voices to be heard in and beyond France.

This Study Day seeks to bring together postgraduates ready to aim their cobble stones and break the silences that persist in all areas of French Studies, focusing on the period 1789 to the present. We invite proposals for ​20-minute papers in English or French​​ that include, but are not limited to, French and francophone history and society, literature, politics, linguistics, film and visual cultures, philosophy, critical theory, and other disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary approaches. We particularly welcome contributions from postgraduates overseas and those from under-represented groups.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Voice and Silence
  • Ordinary and extraordinary ways of breaking silence
  • Museums and archives
  • Acts of memory/le devoir de mémoire
  • Historiographical silences
  • Trauma, neurodivergence, bodily otherness
  • Death, silence, taboos
  • Pain and illness narratives/doctors and patients
  • Hard of hearing/disability
  • The visual and the observed
  • Exile(s) and refugees
  • Institutions, spaces and places
  • Buildings, objects and sites
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Footnotes to history
  • Power and revolution/ war zones
  • Language and discourse(s) of silence
  • La Francophonie/beyond the Hexagone
  • (Post)colonialism, (de)colonialism, race
  • Rhetoric of silence
  • Forgotten histories and disconnected pasts
  • Competitive/ irreconcilable narratives
  • Periphery vs Centre
  • Myths and ‘reality’
  • Grassroot activism/Elite policy
  • Transitionary voice/liminality
  • Academic silence(s)
  • Symbolic violence

Abstracts of no more than 250 words, in either English or in French, should be sent to ​Submissions should be received by 9:00 AM UK time on Monday 13 January 2020.

Call for Flash Presentations

Share your own voice! We welcome proposals from MA and first year PhD students ​​to explain their own research in three minutes, limited to one PowerPoint slide OR one creative method of their choice. Research topics can be related to any subject connected to France.  

Please email ​ to express your interest.

The Study Day will include professional development panels and an opportunity to engage with senior academics from other institutions. It is generously funded by the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France ​(​ASMCF​) and the Society for the Study of French History ​(SSFH)​​ and is supported logistically this year by our hosts at Queen’s University, Belfast. Attendance is free but all attendees are kindly requested to become members of one of the two societies before or on the day. Travel reimbursement and accommodation will be made available for speakers. All conference venues are fully accessible and we are very happy to discuss particular needs that participants might have and how we can best accommodate these.

Organising Committee​: Daniel Baker (Cardiff, SSFH), Megan Ison (Portsmouth, ASMCF) and Helen McKelvey (QUB, ASMCF)

République centrafricaine. Une centaine de civil·e·s tué·e·s et brûlé·e·s à Alindao alors que les casques bleus quittent leurs postes

Il faut que l’Organisation des Nations unies (ONU) mène une enquête approfondie sur la réaction de ses casques bleus à une récente attaque qui a tué jusqu’à 100 civil·e·s dans un camp de personnes déplacées en République centrafricaine, a déclaré Amnesty International le 14 décembre 2018 dans un nouveau rapport.

Selon de multiples témoins, le 15 novembre, les casques bleus se sont repliés vers leur base centrale à bord d’un véhicule blindé au lieu de contrer l’attaque lancée par un groupe armé, laissant des milliers de civil·e·s sans protection dans le camp d’Alindao.

Il faut qu’une enquête impartiale soit diligentée sans délai en vue d’établir, en particulier, si la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations unies pour la stabilisation en Centrafrique (MINUSCA) a failli à son devoir de protéger la vie de plus de 18 000 personnes vivant sur place.

« Des dizaines de civil·e·s du camp de personnes déplacées d’Alindao ont été massacré·e·s après que les casques bleus chargés de les protéger n’ont rien fait pour repousser les assaillants armés, a déclaré Joanne Mariner, conseillère principale en matière de réaction aux crises à Amnesty International.

« Les casques bleus étaient certes en large infériorité numérique par rapport aux assaillants armés mais leur comportement – avant et pendant l’attaque – porte à se demander s’ils ont véritablement rempli leur mandat qui consiste à protéger les civil·e·s. »

La MINUSCA a indiqué à Amnesty International qu’il aurait été impossible aux casques bleus, du fait de leur faible nombre, de contenir les violences. Pour autant, on peut se demander si ces soldats, équipés de véhicules blindés et d’armes plus lourdes, n’étaient réellement pas en mesure de prendre des positions défensives qui auraient dissuadé les assaillants, en particulier s’ils avaient effectué des tirs de sommation.