Monthly Archives: February 2016

SFPS Postgraduate Study Day 2016 Call for Papers

Register here: SFPS PG2016 – Registration Form 

(Be)Longing in the Francophone Worldsfps-logo

Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies Postgraduate Study Day 2016, University of Birmingham, 20 June 2016

What does it mean, to be, to belong? To belong to (or be a citizen of) a country? To belong to (or be a member of) a family or community – religious or otherwise? Belonging has a particular relevance in the Francophone postcolonial world of today and is caught up in questions of identity – being part of (or identifying with) a place or people group. Moreover, the idea of not being in the world, of belonging elsewhere, is often just as interesting as the idea of belonging somewhere. Increased migration from France’s former colonies, the November 2015 Paris attacks, and subsequent debates in French parliament about the stripping of French citizenship for dual nationality terrorists all raise questions of identity, mobility, and inclusion/exclusion. Recent literary and cultural representations of the Francophone world have turned increasingly to address these issues, including Michel Le Bris and Jean Rouaud’s Je est un autre: pour une identité-monde (2011), Nancy Huston’s Danse noire (2013), Bande de filles (dir. by Céline Sciamma, 2014), and Black (dir. by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, 2015).

This year, the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies Study Day will be held on Monday 20 June 2016 at the University of Birmingham and will explore issues of identity and belonging across the Francophone world. We are delighted to welcome Dr Helen Vassallo (University of Exeter) as the keynote speaker and Dr Catherine Gilbert (School of Advanced Study, University of London) has agreed to offer a talk on academic careers from the perspective of an Early Careers Researcher.

The SFPS PG study day aims to bring together postgraduate researchers, both at MA/MSc and PhD level, to showcase their current work on identity and belonging in a supportive and friendly environment. Its purpose is to facilitate discussion, debate, and exchange among PG students working within the field of Francophone postcolonial studies.

The following is an indicative, but by no means exhaustive, list of the kinds of issues we hope to address:

  • Inclusion/exclusion
  • Citizenship and ethnicity
  • Religious identity
  • Belonging within a family, community, or nation
  • Non-belonging
  • Exilic identity
  • Migration and mobility
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Personal identity: autobiographical writing, memoirs, life stories, biographies
  • Belonging within Francophone diasporic communities
  • Artistic interpretations of belonging and identity

Organisers: Antonia Wimbush (University of Birmingham) and Rebekah Vince (University of Warwick)




Westmere House, University of Birmingham

Edgbaston Park Road,


B15 2RA