The récit de filiation in Contemporary (French) Literature

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2019 - March 21-24, 2019, Washington, D. C.

The récit de filiation is a growing genre which can be divided into a number of subgenres. In the récit de filiation, the author seeks to position themselves within a lineage which is usually, though not exclusively, familial. The process involves a quest for additional information that is incorporated into a narrative which is both diachronic and retrospective. Subgenres include the récit de filiation ouvrière (Martine Sonnet); the historian récit de filiation (Stéphane Audoine-Rouzeau, Ivan Jablonka); the récit de filiation d’immigration (Doan Bui); the figurative récit de filiation (Pierre Michon, Amin Maalouf).

The works, which are a form of archaeological narrative (récit d’archéologie), reflect an effort to recover aspects of one’s family history which, due to various reasons, were not transmitted to the author. The insufficiency of known information about their family compels the author to embark on a quest to learn more. Information is garnered through a combination of outside sources (interviews, direct and indirect testimony, personal and official archives, etc.) and these, incorporated into the text, corroborate and anchor the narrative.

While work is being done in French by scholars such as D. Viart. and L. Demanze, the genre has yet to gain much recognition in English-language scholarship. This session seeks to enlarge the corpus of works we determine to belong to the récit de filiation genre, to define the parameters of the genre and to suggest and establish sub-genres.

While preference will be given to papers dealing with French-language texts, all literature will be considered. 

Please submit abstracts (300 words or less) directly to the convention website at Address all inquiries, clarifying questions, or concerns to Rebecca Raitses at