Women in French Sessions 2020 – Scandal! Literature & Provocation
Jacksonville (Floride, 13-15 nov. 2020), avant le 1er juin 2020

We are extending the submission deadline for proposals to several Women in French sessions at the 2020 South Atlantic Modern Language Association annual conference, taking place this year in Jacksonville, Florida from November 13-15. The conference organizers are confident that this event will take place, although the exact format (in person, online, hybrid) remains under discussion at the moment.

Please consider sending a proposal in French or English to one of the panel chairs listed below by June 1, 2020.

For more information on SAMLA and the annual conference, please visit the conference website:  https://samla.memberclicks.net/

The theme of this year’s conference is “Scandal! Literature & Provocation: Breaking Rules, Making Texts.” Professor Gerald Prince will deliver the plenary address.

Presenters, for these panels below, must be current members of Women in French and the South Atlantic Modern Language Association.



  1. Women, Life Writing, and Scandals of Self-Revelation

As life writing exposes purported truths about personal experience and identity, self-revelations in these accounts position these texts as potential objects of controversy as authors test the limits of telling all. Many authors have turned to life-writing practices to speak about intimate loss, family secrets, stolen childhoods, and physical, psychological, or historical trauma. In this way, autobiography, autofiction, and memoir, remain potentially perilous terrains especially regarding the implications of others on which such self-accounts unavoidably depend. This panel seeks to explore the scandals behind or beyond such self-revelation. How has scandal served as impetus for textual creation? In what ways has the publication of “scandalous” texts implicated others whether in accusation, in solidarity, or by engaging in broader controversies or social discontent? How have such texts responded to scandal? What role do legal proceedings play in (self)censoring self-accounts? Proposals on examples of women engaged with or implicated in scandalous self-revelations in literature, film, theatre, and other modes of representation from all time periods and all areas of Francophone literature are welcome. Please send 250-word proposals in English or French along with presenter’s name, academic affiliation, and email to Adrienne Angelo (ama0002@auburn.edu) by June 1, 2020.

Chair: Adrienne Angelo, Auburn University, <ama0002@auburn.edu>


  1. Scandalous Silence: Recovering the Rebellious Voices of Gisèle Pineau’s Oeuvre

For nearly three decades, Gisèle Pineau’s writing project has spanned genres, using children’s stories, hybrid visual and narrative texts, fiction, and autofiction to address longstanding questions about Antillean women’s subjectivity, memory, racism in contemporary France, and the protean ramifications of the history of slavery. Despite the sustained and valuable scholarly interest in Pineau’s work, many of her texts have received surprisingly little critical attention. Indeed, Pineau has penned more than a dozen full-length works since the publication of her famous 1996 auto-fictional L’Exil selon Julia; yet, these texts have not garnered the scholarship they warrant. This panel therefore seeks to foreground lesser-known works by Pineau in the aim of generating a more comprehensive understanding of the richness of her writing career and the breadth of her inquiry into enduring issues of gender, race, history, and Antillean identity.

Revised and expanded conference proceedings will be considered for a potential edited volume on Pineau.

Please send 250-300 word abstracts in English or French to Lisa Connell and Delphine Gras at lconnell@westga.edu and dgras@fgcu.edu by June 1, 2020.

Chairs: Lisa Connell, University of West Georgia <lconnell@westga.edu> and Delphine Gras, Florida Gulf Coast University <dgras@fgcu.edu>


  1. French and Francophone Women Who Break the Rules and Change the World

This panel welcomes papers focused on explorations of rule-breaking in French and Francophone women’s writing, film, and other art forms. How do these women initiate and navigate change, shift social order, and contest inequities? Examinations of the liminal spaces between tradition and new order and the ways in which these texts challenge limitations of nationality, class, race, sex, and language are particularly welcome.

Papers may be in French or English and may not exceed 20 minutes. Please send a 250-word abstract, brief bio and A/V requests to Susan Crampton-Frenchik, scramptonfrenchik@washjeff.edu, by June 1, 2020.

Chair: Susan Crampton-Frenchik, Washington & Jefferson College, <scramptonfrenchik@washjeff.edu>


  1. Making Art, Breaking Rules: Gender-Bending, “Genre-Bending,” by French and Francophone Women Writers

In French and Francophone societies, where men have historically dominated the arts, a woman daring to assert her own voice is already in itself an act of rebellion. On the one hand, by entering the literary and artistic landscape, women writers and artists transgress society’s expectations of their roles in the domestic sphere as only mothers, wives, and obedient daughters. On the other hand, by taking up the pen, women directly challenge artistic traditions dominated by men, or enter into forbidden territories. This panel will examine how French and Francophone women authors play with gender-bending and “genre-bending” in their works, in their lives, and in their critique of society and the artistic traditions they choose to write in or write back at. Among the questions one may ask are: How do women creators confront the “scandal” of their role as artists? How do they negotiate scandal and censorship? How do they bend or break the rules of the genres they take on? How do politics inform and influence their works and their identities as women authors? Proposals on French and Francophone literatures, films, and other art forms are welcome. Papers may be in English or French.   Please send 250-word proposals in English or French to Cathy Leung (cleung34@gmail.com) by June 1, 2020 along with presenter’s academic affiliation, contact information, and A/V requirements.

Chair: Cathy Leung <cleung34@gmail.com>


  1. Breaking Boundaries: Teaching Diversity and Inclusion in the French Classroom

This panel (or potentially roundtable) seeks contributions that will engage with questions of teaching inclusion through breaking boundaries that limit our students. Presenters may suggest how to make the French Studies classroom a welcoming, inclusive, and productive learning environment. We will propose ways an educator can help increase diversity, inclusivity, tolerance, quality, and success in the French and Francophone classroom. Presentations addressing underrepresented populations, rethinking the terms related to diversity, identity, and being, as well ways to recognize systemic racism, sexism, ableism and unconscious bias are welcome. How can our teaching adapt to diverse student needs but also incorporate their realities as an invaluable resource of knowledge and understanding? How can we include cultural content which is interpretable or relatable to what students see and experience as a means to getting them to engage productively, perhaps even creatively, in a diverse world?

Please send 250-word proposals to E. Nicole Meyer (nimeyer@augusta.edu) by June 1, 2020 along with presenter’s academic affiliation, contact information, and A/V requirements.

Chair: E. Nicole Meyer, Augusta University, <nimeyer@augusta.edu>