NeMLA CFP: Women and the Fait divers in Contemporary French and Francophone Literatures

full name / name of organization: 
Adrienne Angelo
contact email: 

Women and the Fait divers in Contemporary French and Francophone Literatures

45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 3-6, 2014
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University

The anecdotal and oftentimes sensationalized human interest stories known as the "fait divers" have been a long-standing source of inspiration for writers, poets, singers, artists and filmmakers who create stories based on these news items. The singular events recounted under this rubric range from car accidents, robberies and house fires, to especially sensationalized accounts of serial killings, rape, murder and infanticide; as such, one's reading of these reports could be said to awaken one's own fears of contemporary society. Additionally, these fait divers are particularly macabre in their focus on individual transgressions and the victims of these horrific events. This panel explores how the fait divers has been evoked, re-written or otherwise represented in contemporary French and Francophone literatures in relation to women. How have women writers engaged with the fait divers in their own writings? What links exist between female protagonists as either readers or subjects of the fait divers and various types of life writing narratives? Do certain female-authored texts give a voice to the female criminal and/or victim and thus enter into a dialogue regarding oppressive systems of normative behavior? Do women writers identify with other elements of the fait divers to speak about loss, fear or, perhaps, taboo desires? Conversely, how are women represented in similar fait divers-inspired narratives written by men? Please send 250-word proposals in English or French to Adrienne Angelo ( along with presenter's academic affiliation and contact information.

Deadline: September 30, 2013
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 2014 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. This capitol city set on the Susquehanna River is known for its vibrant restaurant scene, historical sites, the National Civil War museum, and nearby Amish Country, antique shops and Hershey Park. NeMLA has arranged low hotel rates of $104-$124.

The 2014 event will include guest speakers, literary readings, professional events, and workshops. A reading by George Saunders will open the Convention. His 2013 collection of short fiction, The Tenth of December, has been acclaimed by the New York Times as "the best book you'll read this year." The Keynote speaker will be David Staller of Project Shaw.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.