Women in French

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  • 20 May 2020 12:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bonjour à tous et à toutes,

    The WIF graduate student and early career scholars’ writing exchange is starting again! If you are a doctoral student or early career researcher (however you would like to define early) interested in receiving peer feedback on your current writing project (an article, a dissertation chapter, a chapter from a book manuscript), please join us in a convivial and scholarly discussion. I have found our past writing exchanges useful as I received pertinent feedback and suggestions regarding theoretical frameworks, other scholarship to consider, strength of arguments, organization, style, etc. The exchange is conducted through email and Google Drive.

    If you are interested in participating in the Summer 2020 Writing Exchange please contact Tessa Nunn (tessa.nunn@duke.edu) by 15 June. Please let me know if you are interested in receiving feedback on an article-length or chapter-length text and at what stage of the writing process you will be entering in July. It's perfectly okay to participate with an unfinished text.

    We will exchange papers by 15 July, and each small group or pair will set a date by which they will post their comments.

    Happy writing,

    Tessa Nunn

  • 7 May 2020 3:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The goal of Impressions from Paris is to revisit the artistic, literary and journalistic contributions of French and expatriate women from different parts of the world, as they flocked to Paris during the interwar years (1925-1940). The overall principle lies in the inclusion of painters, visual artists, filmmakers and writers from diverse international and national backgrounds.

    The volume will explore the possibilities presented in a modern literary and artistic history while building on previous scholarship. The idea for this project was inspired by two books and one documentary film: Shari Benstock Women of the Left BankParis 1900-1940 (Texas University Press, 1986) and Andrea Weiss Paris was a womanPortraits from the Left Bank (Harper SanFrancisco, 1995), which in turn produced an eponymous film (Greta Schiller/Andrea Weiss, 1996). These works highlight the community of women artists, editors and writers during the interwar years in Paris. There is scholarship in the area, although most of it is scattered in single monographs, crossing various genres, and various languages, from popular comic strips, to fiction, biographical studies, cultural histories as well as scholarly artistic and literary studies. The field is further invigorated by recent publications but not necessarily part of the focus such as Mary McAuliffe, Paris on the Brink. The 1930s Paris of Jean Renoir, Salvador Dali, Simone de Beauvoir, André Gide, Sylvia Beach, Léon Blum and their friends (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2018), and Michèle Fitoussi, Janet (JC Lattès, 2018).

    The list of authors and artists that may be included but not limited to these are Doria Shafik, Françoise Gilot, Irène Nemirovski, and May Birkhead, Janet Flanner, Anaïs Nin, Djuna Barnes, Josephine Baker, Sonia Delaunay, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Sylvia Beach, Andrée Viollis and Gisèle Freund.

    Contributors will be asked to contribute original essays of 6000 words each, with a bibliography and short bio. Please send a 600-word abstract and short bio to Dr. Sylvie Blum-Reid. University of Florida: sylblum@ufl.edu or seablum@gmail.com

    Proposal for abstract by August 1st; and pending approval, final essay submissions by December 15, 2020.

  • 10 Apr 2020 11:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Call for Papers: Women in French panels @ the 2020 South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference.

    At this time the organizers remain hopeful that the conference will take place as planned in Jacksonville, Florida from November 13-15.

    Please consider sending a proposal in French or English to the chairs of Panels 1-4 (listed below) by July 15, 2020.

    For more information on SAMLA and the annual conference, please visit the conference website:  https://samla.memberclicks.net/

    We appreciate your support and thank you for your consideration.


    1. Women, Life Writing, and Scandals of Self-Revelation

    As life writing exposes purported truths about personal experience and identity, self-revelations in these accounts position these texts as potential objects of controversy as authors test the limits of telling all. Many authors have turned to life-writing practices to speak about intimate loss, family secrets, stolen childhoods, and physical, psychological, or historical trauma.  In this way, autobiography, autofiction, and memoir, remain potentially perilous terrains especially regarding the implications of others on which such self-accounts unavoidably depend. This panel seeks to explore the scandals behind or beyond such self-revelation. How has scandal served as impetus for textual creation? In what ways has the publication of “scandalous” texts implicated others whether in accusation, in solidarity, or by engaging in broader controversies or social discontent? How have such texts responded to scandal? What role do legal proceedings play in (self)censoring self-accounts? Proposals on examples of women engaged with or implicated in scandalous self-revelations in literature, film, theatre, and other modes of representation from all time periods and all areas of Francophone literature are welcome. Please send 250-word proposals in English or French along with presenter’s name, academic affiliation, and email to Adrienne Angelo (ama0002@auburn.edu) by June 1, 2020.

    Chair: Adrienne Angelo, Auburn University, <ama0002@auburn.edu>


    2. Scandalous Silence: Recovering the Rebellious Voices of Gisèle Pineau’s Oeuvre

    For nearly three decades, Gisèle Pineau’s writing project has spanned genres, using children’s stories, hybrid visual and narrative texts, fiction, and autofiction to address longstanding questions about Antillean women’s subjectivity, memory, racism in contemporary France, and the protean ramifications of the history of slavery. Despite the sustained and valuable scholarly interest in Pineau’s work, many of her texts have received surprisingly little critical attention. Indeed, Pineau has penned more than a dozen full-length works since the publication of her famous 1996 auto-fictional L’Exil selon Julia; yet, these texts have not garnered the scholarship they warrant. This panel therefore seeks to foreground lesser-known works by Pineau in the aim of generating a more comprehensive understanding of the richness of her writing career and the breadth of her inquiry into enduring issues of gender, race, history, and Antillean identity.

    Revised and expanded conference proceedings will be considered for a potential edited volume on Pineau.

    Please send 250-300 word abstracts in English or French to Lisa Connell and Delphine Gras at lconnell@westga.edu and dgras@fgcu.edu by June 1, 2020.

    Chairs: Lisa Connell, University of West Georgia <lconnell@westga.edu> and Delphine Gras, Florida Gulf Coast University <dgras@fgcu.edu>


    3. French and Francophone Women Who Break the Rules and Change the World

    This panel welcomes papers focused on explorations of rule-breaking in French and Francophone women’s writing, film, and other art forms. How do these women initiate and navigate change, shift social order, and contest inequities? Examinations of the liminal spaces between tradition and new order and the ways in which these texts challenge limitations of nationality, class, race, sex, and language are particularly welcome.

    Papers may be in French or English and may not exceed 20 minutes. Please send a 250-word abstract, brief bio and A/V requests to Susan Crampton-Frenchik, scramptonfrenchik@washjeff.edu by June 1, 2020.

    Chair: Susan Crampton-Frenchik, Washington & Jefferson College, <scramptonfrenchik@washjeff.edu>


    4. Making Art, Breaking Rules: Gender-Bending, “Genre-Bending,”  by French and Francophone Women Writers

    In French and Francophone societies, where men have historically dominated the arts, a woman daring to assert her own voice is already in itself an act of rebellion. On the one hand, by entering the literary and artistic landscape, women writers and artists transgress society’s expectations of their roles in the domestic sphere as only mothers, wives, and obedient daughters. On the other hand, by taking up the pen, women directly challenge artistic traditions dominated by men, or enter into forbidden territories. This panel will examine how French and Francophone women authors play with gender-bending and “genre-bending” in their works, in their lives, and in their critique of society and the artistic traditions they choose to write in or write back at. Among the questions one may ask are: How do women creators confront the “scandal” of their role as artists?  How do they negotiate scandal and censorship? How do they bend or break the rules of the genres they take on? How do politics inform and influence their works and their identities as women authors? Proposals on French and Francophone literatures, films, and other art forms are welcome. Papers may be in English or French.  Please send 250-word proposals in English or French to Cathy Leung (cleung34@gmail.com) by June 1, 2020 along with presenter’s academic affiliation, contact information, and A/V requirements.

    Chair: Cathy Leung <cleung34@gmail.com>


    5. Breaking Boundaries: Teaching Diversity and Inclusion in the French Classroom

    This panel (or potentially roundtable) seeks contributions that will engage with questions of teaching inclusion through breaking boundaries that limit our students. Presenters may suggest how to make the French Studies classroom a welcoming, inclusive, and productive learning environment. We will propose ways an educator can help increase diversity, inclusivity, tolerance, quality, and success in the French and Francophone classroom. Presentations addressing underrepresented populations, rethinking the terms related to diversity, identity, and being, as well ways to recognize systemic racism, sexism, ableism and unconscious bias are welcome. How can our teaching adapt to diverse student needs but also incorporate their realities as an invaluable resource of knowledge and understanding? How can we include cultural content which is interpretable or relatable to what students see and experience as a means to getting them to engage productively, perhaps even creatively, in a diverse world? 

    Please send 250-word proposals to E. Nicole Meyer (nimeyer@augusta.edu) by June 1, 2020 along with presenter’s academic affiliation, contact information, and A/V requirements.

    Chair: E. Nicole Meyer, Augusta University, <nimeyer@augusta.edu>


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

    2nd Call for Papers for Women in French panel @ the 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 questions (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)

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