Women in French

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  • 25 Mar 2020 3:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2nd Call for Papers for Women in French Panel

    SCMLA Annual Conference

    The Whitehall Hotel, Houston, Texas, October 8-10 2020

    We are announcing the second Call for Papers for the WIF panel at the South Central Modern Language Association 2020 conference at the Whitehall Hotel in Houston, Texas, October 8-10, 2020. This year's theme is "Politics of Protest," but you may propose a paper on any topic related to the study of French and Francophone women authors, the study of women's place in French and Francophone cultures or literature, and/or feminist literary criticism. If there is sufficient interest, SCMLA will allow us to have 2 sessions. 

    The deadline for all abstracts has been extended. Please send a 250-300 word abstract in French or English on any topic by April 10, 2020 to the Chair: Theresa Kennedy, Baylor University, (Theresa_Kennedy@baylor.edu). The SCMLA is paying close attention to the evolving situation with COVID-19, and will act accordingly. SCMLA will update members if any change of plans becomes necessary.

    If your proposal is accepted, you will be notified before April 30, 2020. Presenters must become SCMLA members by the time of the conference. All conference participants must reserve their rooms with the Whitehall Hotel by September 22, 2020 in order to receive the conference rate. More info may be found on the conference website: https://www.southcentralmla.org/conference/ 

    All those interested in Women in French are encouraged to attend. Theresa Kennedy will organize dinner or lunch out for all WIF panelists and any other WIF members who would like to join. Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Kennedy if you have any question (Theresa_Kennedy@baylor.edu). We look forward to seeing you in Houston!

  • 18 Mar 2020 4:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Call for WiF Nominations

    Colette Trout (ctrout@ursinus.edu) and Annabelle Rea (rea@oxy.edu) are now accepting nominations for the 2020 WIF elections. The two offices open include two Regional Representatives: 

    • New England and Eastern Canada (NEMLA): Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont; New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec
    • South Central (SCMLA): Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas.

    We encourage you to support WIF by becoming a candidate yourself or contacting another member about running for one of the open positions. You may nominate yourself or another, after seeking the permission of that person. We ask that you send your statements, outlining your qualifications and your goals for WIF, for publication in the Fall Newsletter, to both members of the Nominating Committee, at the latest by July 15, 2020. Please note that there is a 100-word limit for candidate statements (this is an overall limit, including both qualifications and goals). Regional Representatives remain in place for three years. 

    Responsibilities of this office:

    Regional Representatives serve as liaisons with the Regional MLAs, overseeing, in particular, the WIF sessions and social events at the conferences. They publicize WIF and its activities to colleagues in their respective regions to recruit new members.

  • 14 Mar 2020 2:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As Vice President, E. Nicole Meyer is reinvigorating and expanding the WIF mentoring program. She imagines expanding it from grad students all the way through Full professors, as all levels might have aspirations with which they would appreciate input.

    To help her in the quest to offer the best mentoring program possible, please send her your responses to the following:

    • What would you like personally?
    • Would you like a mentor?
    • Would you serve as a mentor?

    Please send responses to nimeyer@augusta.edu at your soonest convenience.

  • 14 Mar 2020 1:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Teaching Resources for Converting Your Course to Online Delivery

    Prepared by E. Nicole Meyer, Vice-President Women in French

    Given that most of us have suddenly been told to convert our classes to online delivery, we would like to share resources with our members of Women in French. Please submit further suggestions to Dr. Meyer at nimeyer@augusta.edu and she will consolidate and post both through WIF List and on the WIF webpage.


    Remote Teaching/Learning Survey (created and adapted by Leah Holz and E. Nicole Meyer)

    If at some point _____________’s campus has to move to remote/online learning due to the spread of COVID-19, many things will be affected besides just your classes. There will be, of course, anxieties about travel, about loved ones who are far away, about income from work on campus or off, about the national or your personal economy, about food, and many other things. I will do my best to make space for discussions of those concerns, and to help direct you to resources as I am able, and as things evolve. As I am thinking about contingency planning, I would like to have a clear idea of your access to technology, as well as your concerns.


    1. Do you have your own computer, or unlimited access to a computer, that you can use for things like class meetings, readings, homework exercises, quizzes, etc. (WebEx is set up for you on our course page on our Learning Management System—zoom is also a great option). Please do not assume that you can rely on the library as they are overburdened with demand. The computer labs are closed. The question asks about private access, not our university-owned computing power.

    __ Yes

    __ No

    __ I have a computer I can use, but not unlimited access to it.


    2. If you are unable to join in a real-time WebEx or conference call class [synchronous] during our class period, what seems to you a good method of accessing something that would approximate class discussion? Please check all the things you would be willing to try:

    __posting responses to a discussion board

    __using google docs to group write a response or set of discussion notes with a few classmates [not available here, but possibly for some WIFians]

    __something else (please describe in the next question)



    3. Given the learning goals of this class, and the ways our class has gone so far, what suggestions do you have for making remote/online classes work well?


    4. What are the things you are most  worried about, related specifically to class, as we move to remote/online learning?


    5. What are the things that worry you most, beyond this class, about this situation, and the possibility of quarantine or other degrees of social distancing or mandatory isolation due to this situation?


    6. Is there anything else you would like me to know as I am thinking about contingency planning, this course, or your situation, that might have an impact on your participation in online versions of this course?

  • 28 Feb 2020 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Download the hiring committee's description here

  • 25 Feb 2020 3:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. MLA Committee on the Status of Women in the Professions: "Changing Departmental and Institutional Culture for Equity"  Click on the following link to access their flyer: MLA Sessions 2021.pdf.

    2. George Sand Association Panel: "Writing Alongside and After George Sand" 

    This is an over-asked question and an under-estimated question : What was George Sand’s relationship to being a woman writer and how did she relate to and influence other women writing in her generation and beyond? She was a writer among writers, not a « woman writer » but she remains the « doyenne » of French women writers after the Revolution. What are the important tensions, dialogues, and intertextualities that make Sand’s body of work so important for women writers of the nineteenth century and beyond? Send titles and brief abstracts (200 words, in French or in English) to rcorkle@bmcc.cuny.edu by March 15.

  • 20 Feb 2020 5:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce the following Women in French guaranteed session and two non-guaranteed sessions. Please send a 250-300 word abstract in English or French along with a short biography to the following chairs no later than March 6, 2020.

    MLA 2021 Women in French Guaranteed Session: "She Persisted Across Borders: Transnational Women's Writing in French" 

    How do women writers represent the transnational? How do they create works that span borders and/or that blur the boundaries between nations? How do they create literary texts that resist easy categorization into national literatures? Since transnational writing is currently a major area of academic enquiry, it is timely to examine how women writers negotiate this terrain.

    This panel will compare writing by women authors from diverse parts of the Francosphere and, since it is important to historicize transnational writing, from different time periods. The panel will be open to proposals that discuss all literary genres.

    Proposals may analyse, through a gendered lens, topics such as:

    • forced and unforced migration;
    • refugee narratives;
    • translingual and multilingual writing;
    • the differences between postcolonial, migrant and transnational writing;
    • the impact of publication practices upon transnational writing;
    • the career trajectories of transnational writers;
    • the reception of transnational writing;
    • transnational writing and translation;
    • the preponderance of transnational writing at a time of increased nationalism.

    Chair: Natalie Edwards, University of Adelaide (natalie.edwards@adelaide.edu.au)


    MLA 2021 Women in French 2 Non-Guaranteed Sessions:

    1. "Persistance de la jeune fille (1850-2020)"

    Qu’il s’agisse des affaires Polanski ou Ruggia pour le monde cinématographique, voire de l’affaire Matzneff pour celui des lettres, la jeune-fille semble le point central de ce que serait un effet « Me-Too », sinon Weinstein en France. Au cœur de débats de société qui reposent sur les témoignages de femmes adultes qui reviennent sur ce qui leur est arrivé lorsqu’elles étaient jeunes filles, scintille donc le concept, toujours complexe et instable de la « jeune fille ». De fait, la jeune-fille est-elle cet être qui se définit par négation sinon soustraction, et qui est marginalisée tout en étant célébrée et mythifiée par un certain regard masculin, voire par la publicité. Aussi, cette session se propose-t-elle de donner à entendre ce qu’est une jeune fille. Des interventions revenant sur ces affaires et sur les témoignages récents sont attendues, mais une réflexion transhistorique sur la notion de « jeune fille », ainsi que des analyses des romans de jeune fille au XIXème siècle, des travaux sur leur place dans le cinéma français des années 1960 ou de Sophia Coppola, voire sur la manière dont Tiqqun  ou Despentes traitèrent la question seraient tout autant bienvenues.  

    Chair :  Virginie A. Duzer, Pomona College (virginie.pouzet-duzer@pomona.edu)

    2. "Secrecy as Survival and Resistance in French and Francophone Literature"

    To whom are secrets revealed, and from whom are they concealed? How can secrets ensure survival, or threaten it? Do practices of secrecy aid marginalized cultures to resist erasure? Those who inherit, harbor, or disclose secrets do so for various reasons. The “secret of secrecy” constitutes the mystery of not only what it means to be fully human, but also what it means to persist despite threats to cultural and linguistic survival, especially for marginalized or subjugated individuals and communities: people of color, refugees, and peripheral cultures. Women, too, adopt practices of secrecy to protect themselves.

    For Derrida, the absolute "secret" that "has to do with not-belonging" and "the sharing of what is not shared" is integral to memory and storytelling (Derrida and Ferraris, 58-59). Derrida articulates his thoughts on secrecy in The Gift of Death (1992), and again with philosopher Maurizio Ferraris in A Taste for the Secret (first published 1997). In The Gift of Death, Derrida re-narrates the story of the sacrifice of Isaac to uncover an original constitutive trauma, a secret that humans inherit, which imposes a violence at the origin of all discourse. When Derrida writes about le secret in French, the word contains polysemic meaning for both the object as secret, hidden, confidential, and the concept and practice of secrecy, keeping things unknowable. But what happens when the unknowable or unknown becomes known? This panel will explore the inevitable trauma associated with secrets and the self in French-language literature, and how secrecy is related to what we do to survive.

    Derrida, Jacques. Trans. David Wills. The Gift of Death. U of Chicago, 1996.

    Derrida, Jacques, and Maurizio Ferraris. A Taste for the Secret. Polity, 2001.


    Lisa Karakaya, Graduate Center, CUNY (lkarakaya@gradcenter.cuny.edu) and

    Antoinette Williams-Tutt, Graduate Center, CUNY (awilliams2@gradcenter.cuny.edu)

  • 25 Jan 2020 3:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One Book, One WIF

    Call for nominations

    With this initiative, WIF North America and WIF UK seek to foster international collaboration by the members of and participants in our two organizations and conferences. In addition, our goal is to draw the attention of scholars to the work of deserving, lesser-­‐known women authors in France and throughout the Francophone world. Our hope is that this will lead to increased readership for and scholarship devoted to these authors. To the extent possible, it is our goal to include authors from all periods and countries. Finally, when living authors are chosen, we will encourage conference organizers to explore the possibility of the author attending the conference. We realize that this final goal will be a challenge due to availability, funding, etc. and thus, the choice of books will not be contingent upon the author's ability to attend the conference.

    Nominating a Book

    Eligibility: Any student or scholar who is a member of WIF North America or who has attended a WIF North America or WIF UK conference is eligible to propose a book for selection in this initiative.

    Books nominated should be books that are either lesser-­‐known themselves or written by lesser-­‐known authors.

    Please send the following information to Stephanie Schechner at saschechner@widener.edu by March 1, 2020 for full consideration. 

    Your name:

    Name of author:

    Author's Date of Birth/Date of Death (if applicable):

    Country of origin:

    1-­‐2 sentences about the author

    Book Title and Year of publication:

    List of themes raised by this book:

    Explain in 250 words or less why this book should be read

    Name of a scholar(s) who might be able to lead discussion of the book at a conference:

    *This question is asked for informational purposes only and will not factor in the selection of the book for the initiative.

  • 25 Jan 2020 3:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Call for Papers for Women in French

    2020 Midwest Modern Language Association Convention

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    November 5-8, 2020


    Chères/Chers Collègues,

    I am pleased to announce the Call for Papers for WIF at the 2020 MMLA Convention (November 5-8 in Milwaukee, WI). This year’s theme is “Cultures of Collectivity.”

    Please send a 250-word abstract in French or English along with your academic affiliation, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Jennifer Howell, Illinois State University, jthowel@ilstu.edu by April 5, 2020. Proposals for complete panels are also welcome.

    Notifications will be sent by May 15, 2020. All presenters must be current members of both the Midwest Modern Language Association and Women in French in order to participate. Additional information can be found on the conference website:


    All those interested in Women in French are encouraged to attend. I will also organize a dinner out for all WIF panelists and WIF members who would like to join us. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions – and please excuse any glitches that may occur this year (I’m new!). We look forward to seeing you in Milwaukee!

    Respectfully yours,

    Jennifer Howell, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies @ Illinois State University

    Women in French Midwest Regional Representative

  • 21 Jan 2020 1:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As an Allied Organization of the MLA, Women in French is guaranteed one session at the MLA Convention in Toronto, 7-10 January 2021. The Presidential Theme for the 2021 convention is Persistence. If you wish to propose a topic for our guaranteed session, please submit it by January 30, 2020 to Arline Cravens via email:  arline.cravens@slu.edu.

    Please limit your description to 200-250 words. Your topic will then be presented to the membership for an electronic vote. Normally, the person who proposes the session also chairs the session. A call for papers will then be posted on the MLA site and sent out to all members of WIF.  

    We are also eligible to propose two non-guaranteed sessions as well.

    Please do not hesitate to contact Arline Cravens (arline.cravens@slu.edu) if you have any questions. 

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With members from the United States, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Ireland, Australia, Cameroon, Poland, Greece, Switzerland, Turkey, Spain, and Italy.


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