CFP: [General] "Women In the Middle": the 2008 Women In French Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Marijn S. Kaplan
contact email: 

April 10-12, 2008

The American Airlines Training and Conference Center in Fort Worth (
Dallas area)

Organized and hosted by the University of North Texas

Conference Theme: “Women in the Middle”

Since the past two WIF conferences have been on the U.S. west coast and
east coast and the 2008 one will be in the middle of the country, we have
proposed the above conference theme. Participants might consider the
following for papers and sessions. Since women often end up in the
middle: between east and west or north and south, between native language
and adopted language, between generations, in the life cycle, as
mediators in conflicts, in a sexual context, and so forth, this position
of the middle would appear to be an interesting point of departure for
all kinds of explorations in the context of our organization. The program
will include a guided tour of the Women's Museum in Dallas (Smithsonian

For special sessions, please send your abstracts to the session organizer
directly and include title of paper, name of presenter, affiliation, and
coordinates (postal and email addresses, telephone); a 50-word summary; a
description of the paper (300 words maximum). Abstracts may be in French
or English. Scroll down to view session proposals.

Any special audiovisual needs should be indicated in the conference
proposal. Only overhead projectors and screens will be provided if
requested. Any other audiovisual equipment will require a fee.

Please email complete paper proposals, as an attachment in Word or rtf
format, by October 1, 2007 to:

Marijn S. Kaplan (
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
University of North Texas
PO Box 311127
Denton, TX 76203-1127

Tel: (940) 565-2404
Fax: (940) 565-2581
Lost Oceans: Writing from the Pacific and Indian Oceans

While the Caribbean is a relatively well-known area of francophone
studies, there are other oceanic regions as yet largely unexplored. This
panel will focus on writing from the Pacific and the Indian Oceans
(eg.Tahiti, New Caledonia, Maurice etc). Papers might explore for
example, multi-culturalism or the clash of cultures, including oral
versus print, issues relating to the economic imperative to write for an
offshore readership, the implications of being pioneer writers in an
emergent literature, questions of bi- or multi-lingualism.

Please send proposals to Jean Anderson at


Between the Home and the World: Private Times, Private Spaces

This panel will welcome papers which explore the modes of representation
of intimacy. How do women divide time and space, roles and practices,
between the public and private spheres? What has happened to the private
realm in a literature dominated by exploration, exhibition and exaltation
of the self?

In their Histoire de la vie privée, Philippe Ariès and George Duby
studied the progress of privacy which over the centuries affected a
growing range of behavior and social strata, and was related to changes
in the structure of the personality. In the last three decades, however,
it seems that the refuges of intimacy have become scarce.

Papers in this panel would discuss the presence of private time and space
as mediated through (new) narrative and cinematic forms and (new)
literary ideologies and practices. Questions to be considered could

- the iconography of reading, as the quintessence of private

- solitude, secrecy and silence

- the forms of reverie, the conditions of sleep and wakefulness,
the experience of dreams and nightmares

- intimate gestures in films and novels: grooming, looking at
oneself in the mirror

- intimate spaces, special places

- "relic" objects and souvenir objects

- opposition between intimacy and representation

Please send abstracts to Sonia Assa:


Women Authors in the Middle Ages

In medieval France, the word "author" referred primarily to Latin
auctores. It was therefore considerably more difficult for vernacular
writers to be considered "authors," and even more so for women writers.
However, women writers such as Marie de France and Christine de Pizan
effectively established themselves as medieval authors. This session will
explore the relationship between gender, authorship, and authority in the
Middle Ages (we also welcome submissions about Early Modern women

Please send abstracts to Cristian Bratu:


"Between Revolutions : Woman's Changing Identity"

The revolutions of 1789, 1830 and 1848 shaped France's cultural, social
and political identity while changing women's perception of themselves,
their role in society, even their identity. How did women redefine their
role during and after these conflicts? How did they position themselves
between each revolution? How did their participation change from one
revolution to another?

Please send abstracts to Rudy de Mattos:


Women’s Self-Perception: Between Truth and Invention

“In the middle” can be interpreted as “inâ€"between:” two ages, two
geographic locations, two literary genres, truth and falsehood. Or, one
may have stakes in two different cultures: by working in two different
languages, living in two different countries, and the like. For example,
Senegalese author Mariama Bâ came to writing Une si longue lettre (1979)
at the death of her husband; her subsequent isolation at home, according
to Islam, gave her the opportunity and the designated time in which to
evaluate her life’s passage from wife to widow in the form of a long
letter to her best friend. The epistolary genre allowed her to be
factual, but artfully incomplete: one does not have to re-disclose the
things that one’s best friend already knows. Moreover, one’s memory is
neither unbiased nor foolproof. We might argue that even the most
truthful letter contains omissions, exaggerations, and falsehoods.

To what genres have women writers been drawn for self-disclosure? How
have they modified their chosen genres to suit their purposes? In what
way has their self-perception been caught between truth and invention?

Writers from the 17th century to the present will be considered.

Please send your abstracts to Dr. Jane E. Evans:


"Violette Leduc-Simone de Beauvoir: traits d'union"

In these centenary years of Leduc (2007) and Beauvoir (2008), it
isappropriate to celebrate their work and re-examine their relationship.
It endured nearly 30 years, and was played out rather publicly in texts
written by both women. I welcome proposals on any topic involving Leduc
and Beauvoir.

Please forward abstracts to Elizabeth Locey, Ph.D.:


Sophie Calle, médiatrice des antipodes

The session welcomes papers on French writer and photographer Sophie
Calle. Calle’s eclectic artistic projects not only defy classification,
they are built around confusing and often blending frontiers between
opposite notions or situations. The panel will explore the intermediality
of Calle’s production as well as the way the artist creates a bridge
between antithetic concepts, such as, self and others, “intime”
and “extime”, creativity and constraints, absence and presence, blindness
and voyeurism, public and private, etc.

Please send abstracts to Prof. Cécile Hanania:


Les conteuses: entre divers espaces

This session welcomes papers exploring and questioning the diverse spaces
of the conteuses’ world from 17th century to the present, whether it is
the conflict between marvelous and reality, oral and printing tradition,
evil and good, innovation and pattern, past and present, masculinity and
femininity, public and private spheres, humans and animals, etc. In
particular, consider how the conteuses navigate between those notions,
and how they position themselves in these spaces.

Please send abstracts to Bérénice V. Le Marchand:


Between Resistance and Collaboration: French Actresses's Representations
of the Occupation Period (1940-1944).

This panel will focus on actresses's representations of their years under
German Occupation. Especially actresses who were arrested as
collaborators, such as Arletty, Alice Cocéa, Ginette Leclerc, or Corinne
Luchaire underscored that they had been caught in the middle of political
events, and that they could have been resistance fighters and/or
collaborators. Many of them did indeed entertain relations with both
sides. This panel welcomes papers that analyze the discourses of these
women's lives under German Occupation.

Please send abstracts to Elisabeth-Christine Muelsch:


Women “In the Middle of Things”: The Poetics of the Present

This panel will address how a sense of “being in the middle of things” is
evoked or established in particular sorts of narratives, and to what
effects. What literary practices, devices and techniques draw attention
to the processes and contingencies of an unfolding present in these
narratives? Consider for example narratives of women’s endurance that
focus on physiological processes, on sensations and emotions in the here-

Although such narratives can indicate a “presentist” perspective â€" one
that seemingly excludes past and future â€" “being in the middle of things”
may also relate to processes such as remembering and foretelling. Papers
in this panel could discuss (women in-the-middle-of) processes as varied
as remembering, enduring, gazing, wandering (flâner), working,
performing, speaking, and reflecting â€" in, for example, interior
monologues, trauma narratives, autobiographical fiction, epistolary
novels and travel writing.

Please send your abstract to Karin Schwerdtner:


Entre deux feux: les femmes et la guerre

De la Guerre de cent ans aux conflits violents des deux derniers
siècles, les femmes de France et des pays francophones ont dû faire face
aux ravages de la guerre, tout en continuant à survivre et faire
survivre. Nous vous proposons, dans cette session, d'explorer la vie
quotidienne des femmes de toute époque à travers leurs textes: mémoires,
témoignages, pamphlets politiques, correspondance, oeuvres de fiction et
oeuvres poétiques ... Thèmes à explorer: l'impact de la guerre sur la vie
des femmes; leurs réactions et stratégies de survie; leurs initiatives
d'opposition ou au contraire de participation, etc. Le titre de la
session, "Entre deux feux", est une invitation à considérer la position
paradoxale des femmes entre le "feu" du foyer et celui de la guerre et
les feux croisés des guerres déclarées par les hommes.

Nous vous prions de nous faire parvenir le titre et le résumé de votre
communication à :

Anna Norris et Colette Trout


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Received on Sun Sep 09 2007 - 18:19:06 EDT