Conferences and Events

The ASMCF runs a series of annual events from the annual conference and Postgraduate Study Day to the Douglas Johnson Memorial Lecture, and provides support from the Initiative Fund for a variety of events run by its members.

Conference 2020 – Exile, home and belonging

Association of Modern & Contemporary France Annual conference, 10-12th September 2020, University of Leeds, United Kingdom     Exile, Home and Belonging   Confirmed keynote speakers: Johanna Siméant (Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne) Max Silverman (University of Leeds) Bill Marshall (University of Stirling)   Organisers: Sarah Waters, David Platten, Elizabeth Marcus   At a time of deep-seated international tensions regarding borders, migration and crossings, this conference explores the changing and relative meanings of home and belonging in the French and Francophone contexts. It aims to promote dialogue on these themes across a broad range of disciplines and critical perspectives including literature, visual cultures, theory, history, political and social debates. Exile and home are highly contested terms and their significance for the person or group may come into conflict with legal definitions of citizenship or nationhood. How are the tensions and contradictions of exile and belonging articulated in recent cultural, narrative and theoretical forms? To what extent do these narratives politicise and challenge state-defined or dominant conceptions of belonging? The conference encourages speakers to consider exile, home and belonging in dialectical terms, examining both what the notion of home means to the majority population (most of whom may not have recently migrated) and to the exiled ‘outsider’. How are the meanings of home and belonging inflected by gender, sexuality and class? How do the exiled maintain or alter their identifications with place and space in the process of adjusting to the customs and laws of a new community? How is home represented, whether as a distant ‘elsewhere’ or a resettled ‘here’? To what extent can theory and critical scholarship elucidate the negotiated meanings of exile, home and belonging? Whilst taking the contemporary context as its point of departure, the conference invites papers on histories of exile and migration in the French and Francophone contexts, examining how they can inform current experiences and practices. How does France’s colonial past and a history of immigration, displacement and repatriation shed light on current forms of exile and belonging? We invite proposals for papers on the non-exhaustive following themes. We especially welcome papers from PhD students working in any area relevant to the ASMCF: Trauma, exile and narrative Exile and home in film, theatre and performance (Auto) biographical narratives of exile Migrations, diaspora, refugee crises Theories of exile, home and belonging Home as a space of conflict, estrangement or reconciliation Historicising forced displacement, dispossession and expulsion Communities of belonging in both physical and digital spaces The artist or writer in exile Multiple identities of the exiled Exile as a possibility of self-transformation Feminisms Sexualities Space, place and geographies of belonging Inclusion and exclusion   Colloque annuel de l’ASMCF, 10-12 septembre 2020, à l’Université de Leeds (Royaume-Uni)   L’exil, le pays d’origine, et l’appartenance     Intervenants principaux confirmés: Johanna Siméant (Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne) Max Silverman (University of Leeds) Bill Marshall (University of Stirling) Comité scientifique: Sarah Waters, David Platten, Elizabeth Marcus   En pleine période de tensions profondes sur le plan international concernant les frontières, la migration, le passage frontalier, ce colloque cherche à explorer les significations – changeantes et relatives – de l’exil, du pays d’origine, et de l’appartenance en France et dans les contextes francophones. Le but du colloque est de favoriser le dialogue sur ces thématiques dans un vaste éventail de disciplines et de perspectives critiques, dont la littérature, les cultures visuelles, la théorie, l’histoire, ainsi que des débats sociaux et politiques. L’exil et le pays d’origine sont des termes très contestés, et le sens que leur donnent l’individu ou le groupe risque d’entrer en contradiction avec des définitions légales de la citoyenneté et du statut de nation. De quelle manière ces tensions et contradictions de l’exil et de l’appartenance sont-elles formulées sous des formes culturelles, narratives, et théoriques de nos jours ? Dans quelle mesure ces discours représentent-ils une politisation ou une remise en question des conceptions dominantes – ou celles définies par l’Etat – de l’appartenance ? Ce colloque encourage les participants à penser l’exil, le pays d’origine et l’appartenance en termes dialectiques : pour examiner ce que représente le pays d’origine aux yeux de la population majoritaire (dont la plupart n’ont peut-être pas vécu récemment la migration) et ce qu’il signifie pour l’«étranger» exilé. Quelles sont les influences du genre, de la sexualité, et de la classe sociale sur les significations du pays d’origine et de l’appartenance ? Tout en s’adaptant aux us et coutumes, aux lois d’une nouvelle communauté, comment les exilés vont-ils garder – ou changer – leur identification avec le lieu et l’espace ? Quelle est la représentation du pays d’origine ? S’agit-il d’un «ailleurs» éloigné ou d’une réinstallation «ici» ? Dans quelle mesure la théorie et les recherches critiques peuvent-elles éclairer les significations débattues de l’exil, du pays d’origine, et de l’appartenance ? Si ce colloque prend comme point de départ le contexte contemporain, nous souhaiterions aussi aborder l’exil et la migration dans les contextes français et francophones d’un point de vue historique, pour examiner l’apport de celles-ci dans la compréhension des expériences et des pratiques d’aujourd’hui. En quoi le passé colonial de la France – et son histoire d’immigration, de déplacement, et de rapatriement – nous éclaircissent-ils les formes actuelles de l’exil et de l’appartenance ? Nous acceptons des propositions de communication portant sur les thématiques suivantes (liste non exhaustive). Surtout, nous serions heureux de recevoir des propositions de la part d’étudiants en doctorat travaillant dans un domaine relié à l’ASMCF. Le traumatisme, l’exil, et le discours L’exil et le pays d’origine au cinéma, sur scène, et dans le monde du spectacle Discours (auto-)biographiques de l’exil Migrations, la diaspora, crises des réfugiés Théories de l’exil, du pays d’origine, et de l’appartenance Le pays d’origine comme espace de conflit, d’aliénation, ou de réconciliation L’historicisation du déplacement forcé, de la dépossession, et de la déportation Communautés d’appartenance (dans les espaces physiques et numériques) L’artiste ou l’écrivain en exil Identités multiples de l’exilé L’exil ouvrant la voie à la transformation personnelle Féminismes Sexualités L’espace, le lieu, et les géographies de l’appartenance L’inclusion et l’exclusion

Tradition and Innovation in Franco-Belgian bande dessinée

On 13 March 2020 the University of Leicester hosted an International Symposium on « Tradition and Innovation in Franco-Belgian bande dessinée » organised in collaboration with Wallonia-Brussels International. This one-day symposium was organised with generous support from the ASMCF, the Society for French Studies and the School of Arts at the University of Leicester. The day was opened by Simon Lambert as Academic and Cultural Liaison Officer for Wallonia-Brussels in the UK, in conjunction with Fransiska Louwagie (University of Leicester). Keynote speakers were Professor Laurence Grove from the University of Glasgow and graphic novelist Michel Kichka. Across three panels, the day focussed on various forms of tradition and innovation in Franco-Belgian bande dessinée: the first panel was dedicated to “Revisiting the classics”, the second panel to “Contemporary perspectives”, and the final ASMCF panel to “Reshaping Franco-Belgian bande dessinée”. The closing remarks were organised as a roundtable session on collaborative international research projects. The call for papers attracted a very broad range of international participants, including early careers scholars, faculty and artist contributors, based in Greece, Switzerland, Portugal, Canada, Panama and the UK. Arrangements were made to include an on-line panel for non-European participants. In the context of the Corona-virus, these arrangements for remote participation were extended to adapt to a changing context in the lead-up to the event. Michel Kichka’s interventions were therefore delivered via Zoom, with professor Grove stepping in as moderator for the public seminar on 12 March. Interventions from Greece and Portugal were also delivered remotely, with technology allowing for high quality exchanges both during the public event and the symposium. Professor Grove’s opening keynote examined the “Relevance of Tintin” and provided a fascinating insight in the presence and popularity of Hergé’s work, referring to its ongoing distribution as well as its broad and ongoing impact on the field, as a model and/or counter-model. In his keynote presentation, Michel Kichka gave a unique look into the development and shaping of his work and discussed his major influences, including Spirou, Tintin, Gaston Lagaffe, Pilote and Mad. This keynote conference, recorded through Zoom, has now been made available on-line with permission. Conference papers across all panels provided valuable synergies and discussion points on contemporary Franco-Belgian bande dessinée. Two papers by Cristina Álvares and Annick Pellegrin, focusing on the influence and various interpretations of Spirou, offered the opportunity to discuss the decisive influence of Émile Bravo, also acknowledged by Michel Kichka, and considered the representation of history and memory in bande dessinée. This topic was linked to a broader discussion of the uses of this medium in interdisciplinary research and educational contexts, including during the closing roundtable which comprised a presentation by historian Alexander Korb on the international research project “Narrative Art and Visual Storytelling in Holocaust and Human Rights Education”. The contemporary position and recognition of bande dessinée was further explored by Numa Vittoz in his analysis of innovative online blog practices. Ilan Manouach discussed key ideological issues arising in traditional bande dessinée in relation to his own work Abrégé de bande dessinée franco-belge: this 48cc uses hypertextual collage techniques to transform and question the traditional codes of bande dessinée, with particular attention to issues of violence, gender representation and racism. Two further papers by artist Alain Arias-Misson and by Nicolas Martinez, shedding light on the transnational circulation of bande dessinée, could not go live during the day but will be included in the proceedings, with artist interventions and scholarly contributions currently being gathered for a thematic journal issue focusing on the central axes of the symposium. Programme links: https://cutt.ly/etz622t and https://cutt.ly/0tz67NM  Youtube video Michel Kichka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqYMmUT8gbc Blog post Michel Kichka: https://fr.kichka.com/2020/03/20/spirou-pilote-mad-conference/

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2018 ASMCF Annual Conference, University of Lancaster

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