HomeReclaiming Spaces: Spatiality and the (Re)occupation of Spaces in the French and Francophone World

HomeReclaiming Spaces: Spatiality and the (Re)occupation of Spaces in the French and Francophone World

Reclaiming Spaces: Spatiality and the (Re)occupation of Spaces in the French and Francophone World

Récupération des espaces : spatialité et (re)occupation d’espaces en France et dans le monde

ASMCF Annual Conference 2023

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Published on Monday, February 27, 2023

Abstract

The 2023 Association for the study of modern and contemporary France (ASMCF) annual conference will seek to explore the concept of spatiality: the physical and social dimensions of space and how they shape our experiences, identities, and cultures. The theme builds on last year’s conference on “presence, absence, hybridity”  and interrogates the occupation of spaces as a means to understand modern and contemporary French and Francophone cultures and identities. This is of particular importance at a time when people are (re)occupying spaces that had been restricted during the covid-19 pandemic and reflecting on the new relation to space brought about by this crisis. 

Announcement

Argument

The 2023 ASMCF annual conference will seek to explore the concept of spatiality: the physical and social dimensions of space and how they shape our experiences, identities, and cultures. The theme builds on last year’s conference on “presence, absence, hybridity”  and interrogates the occupation of spaces as a means to understand modern and contemporary French and Francophone cultures and identities. This is of particular importance at a time when people are (re)occupying spaces that had been restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic and reflecting on the new relation to space brought about by this crisis. 

To mark this reoccupation of spaces and the first in-person conference since the pandemic, the 2023 conference will take place in London - a hub of Anglo-French relations. For centuries, London has been a haven of revolutionary émigrés and governments in exile and the site of a thriving francophone community. Drawing on the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regard to accessibility and environmental impact, hybrid modes of participation will also be possible. 

Henri Lefebvre notes that “[e]very social space is the outcome of a process with many aspects and many contributing currents, signifying and non-signifying, perceived and directly experienced, practical and theoretical. In short, every social space has a history.” Space is therefore not only socially constructed, but it is also a relational category, capable of shaping beings and identities through the notions of mobility, belonging and place. While this has been evident in many domains of French and Francophone Studies (post-colonial studies and International Relations, for example), the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic could lead the whole community into a reflection on the meaning of space and the different ways of occupying it, especially for those who had to engage with new modes of teaching and accessing primary materials. Teaching without a classroom and researching without a library, for example, have rendered space a central theme for French and Francophone Studies. Conversely, the pandemic has shed light on different spatialities (peoples in occupied territories, for example, have been in lockdown since long before 2020). The conference will therefore examine the multiple ways in which meaning is attributed to the notion of “spatiality”, as well as the pertinence of a separation between “central” and “marginal” or “peripheral” spatialities. We therefore invite contributions relating to, but not limited to the following topics: 

  • Occupying and defining hubs: Centre vs. periphery in synchronic and diachronic perspectives​.
  • Ecocriticism: landscapes and their construction, alienation from natural spaces, lived spaces, ecospatial imaginations, urban and rural spaces. 
  • Occupying spaces, occupying places of power: 
  • Activism and embodied politics: how can we better understand the interplay between activism and the occupation of urban and rural spaces? 
  • Reclaiming places and spaces: migration, minorities, space and spatiality, producing inclusive spaces, ​evolution of ideologies of inclusion/ exclusion, spatial assimilation and residential segregation and gentrification. 
  • Contested spaces: transnational and regional identities in the French and Francophone world, reclaiming territories and the past.
  • Spaces of cultural exchange and artistic effervescence throughout history
  • Space in film studies: making and occupying spaces​ and places in cinema, reclaiming cinematographic spaces.
  • Virtual spaces: reality, virtual reality and digital cultures redefining space. 

Submission guidelines

We would welcome proposals for these and other topics post-1789 (in history, literary, cultural and post-colonial studies, architecture, film and media studies, and the political and social sciences) relevant to the theme of spatiality and occupying spaces. Contributions can be in either French or English. Contributions from postgraduate students are especially welcome.

The Association encourages proposals for complete panels (of 3 or 4 speakers). These should include the names, affiliation and e-mail addresses of all speakers. One individual involved should be clearly designated as the proposer with overall responsibility for the proposed session. As well as a 250-300- word abstract for each speaker, proposals should contain a 300-word outline of the rationale for the proposed panel.

Please send abstracts (250-300 words) for panels or individual papers by e-mail to the conference support officers, Sara Mechkarini and Julia Ribeiro Thomaz on espaces2023asmcf@gmail.com

by 31 March 2023.

The ASMCF is delighted to offer a Postgraduate Essay Prize for the best paper given at the annual conference. Postgraduate presenters are invited to write up their presentation in article form for consideration, due 8 weeks after the conference closes. The prize consists of a £100 cheque and an invitation to submit the winning paper to the Association's journal, Modern & Contemporary France. All articles submitted to the journal go through the full peer-review process. For more information, please contact the Prizes Officer, Jamie Steele, at j.steele@bathspa.ac.uk.

Selection committee

  • Julia Ribeiro S C Thomaz – Université Paris Nanterre/EHESS
  • Sara Mechkarini – Coventry University

Places

  • London, Britain

Event attendance modalities

Hybrid event (on site and online)


Date(s)

  • Friday, March 31, 2023

Keywords

  • space, spatiality, France, francophone world

Contact(s)

  • Julia Ribeiro Thomaz
    courriel : juliarscthomaz [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Sara Mechkarini
    courriel : espaces2023asmcf [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Julia Ribeiro Thomaz
    courriel : juliarscthomaz [at] gmail [dot] com

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Reclaiming Spaces: Spatiality and the (Re)occupation of Spaces in the French and Francophone World », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, February 27, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1alk

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