Australian Society for French Studies (ASFS) Conference 2021 

Online conference 8 - 10 December 2021 

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and their custodianship of the lands on which UQ operates. We pay our respects to their ancestors and their descendants, who continue cultural and spiritual connections to Country. We recognise their valuable contributions to Australia and global society.

Un.sited: “Sites” in French Studies

Hosted by the French Discipline, School of Language and Cultures, The University of Queensland

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Call for Papers:

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.

It is intended that scheduling will accommodate speakers from a range of time zones – from other states in Australia and around the world.

Please submit all proposals here by Tuesday 31 August 2021

For all conference enquiries, please contact the team on

Organising committee: Barbara Hanna; Joe Hardwick; Amy Hubbell; Jenny Davis Barnett; Beth Kearney; Peter Cowley


$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

Further details on how to register will be confirmed at a later date. 

Plenary speakers:

Professor Charles Forsdick, University of Liverpool

Charles Forsdick FBA is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool and Adjunct Professor in Translation and Interpreting, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. From 2012 until 2021 he was AHRC Theme Leadership Fellow for 'Translating Cultures'. He has published widely on travel writing, colonial history, postcolonial literature, comics, penal culture and the afterlives of slavery. He is also a specialist on Haiti and the Haitian Revolution, and has written in particular about representations of Toussaint Louverture.

Professor Celeste Kinginger, Penn State University

Celeste Kinginger is a Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Pennsylvania State University (USA), where she teaches courses in second language acquisition and education as well as advanced seminars, such as Narrative Approaches to Multilingual Identity and Second Language Pragmatics. She is affiliated with the Center for Language Acquisition in the University’s College of Liberal Arts. Her research has examined telecollaborative, intercultural language learning, second language pragmatics, cross-cultural life writing, and study abroad. She is the author or editor of numerous works about language learning in study abroad contexts, including Social and cultural aspects of language learning in study abroad (Benjamins, 2013), and Language learning and study abroad: A critical reading of research (Palgrave, 2009). Her current work includes a microanalytic study of language socialization at the French host family dinner table and a nationwide survey and qualitative investigation of language study abroad alumni, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Professor Valérie Loichot, Emory University

Valérie Loichot is Chair of the Department of French and Italian and Professor of French and English at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. An award-winning teacher and writer, Loichot is the author of three books: Orphan Narratives: The Postplantation Literatures of Faulkner, Glissant, Morrison, and Saint-John Perse (University of Virginia Press, 2007), The Tropics Bite Back: Culinary Coups in Caribbean Literature (University of Minnesota Press, 2013; winner of MLA’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for best book in French and Francophone Studies, 2015); and Water Graves: The Art of the Unritual in the Greater Caribbean (University of Virginia Press, 2020). She also directed a special issue of La Revue des Sciences humaines in honor of her mentor Édouard Glissant (Entours d’Édouard Glissant, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2013). In addition, Loichot has published over thirty articles and book chapters on Caribbean literature and culture, the US Gulf South, hurricanes and climate change, rituals of passing, creolization theory, feminism and exile, contemporary art, and food studies in venues including Callaloo, Études francophones, French Cultural Studies, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, The French Review, The International Journal of Francophone Studies, the Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, Mississippi Quarterly, Small Axe, Southern Spaces, the Presses Universitaires des Antilles, and Cambridge University Press. 

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