Connecting Characters in Modern and Contemporary French-Language Fiction (NeMLA 2022, Baltimore)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Kat Haklin / Colorado College

CFP – Panel: 53rd annual NeMLA Convention

Baltimore, MD (10-13 March, 2022)

 Connecting Characters

in Modern and Contemporary French-Language Fiction


Abstract deadline: September 30, 2021

Creators of fiction develop characters in and across complex networks, foregrounding them as fundamentally interconnected entities. Connecting ‘care’ and character, this panel will explore character relations and interdependency in French-language fiction as an intra- and intertextual phenomenon. Intratextually, characters come into impactful connection as a result of everyday contexts (Balzac, Le père Goriot; Perec, La Vie mode d’emploi; Laclavatine, Matins bleus) as well as extraordinary events (Verne, Vingt mille lieues sous les mers; Condé, Traversée de la Mangrove; Kerangal, Réparer les vivants). Intertextually, they can be adapted between authors (e.g. Poe and Verne) and across media (novel to film; literary work to video game; etc.); some even blur the boundary between fiction and non-fiction (Glissant’s Mathieu Beluse). From the serial novels of Balzac and Zola to the multi-perspectival fictions of the contemporary moment, characters recur and cross paths, their voices echoing in unison—or clashing in discord—as their plotlines come together to forge a larger story. We seek papers that explore character interdependency in literature as well as in transmedia adaptations, and welcome reflections on the impacts of socio-cultural and/or politico-historical contexts on character connections. 


By adopting a transhistorical and transmedia approach, “Connecting Characters in Modern and Contemporary French-Language Fiction” aims to interrogate how interdependency among characters shapes narrative meaning intra- as well as intertextually, across time periods, genres, and media types.


Themes of inquiry may include, but are not limited to: 

·         Recurring characters 

·         Characters in adaptation 

·         Causality and influence between characters and plotlines

·         Character interdependency in multi-perspectival works

·         Character connections and their relation to the everyday, to realism 

·         Character relations and group identities, among dominant and non-dominant groups

·         Impacts of political and social contexts on character relationships


Abstracts in English or French (250 words) should be summitted to the NeMLA platform ( by September 30, 2021.

For questions, please contact Rebecca Grenouilleau-Loescher ( or Kat Haklin (


Rebecca Grenouilleau-Loescher, PhD (she/her)Juliana Wilson Thomson Visiting Assistant Professor
French and Francophone StudiesThe College of Wooster Kat Haklin, PhD (she/her)Visiting Assistant Professor Department of FrenchColorado College