CFP: Francophone Postcolonial Studies and Book Culture (deadline June 10)

Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies: Annual Conference 2013
Francophone Postcolonial Studies and Book Culture
22-23 November 2013
Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London

The deadline for receipt of abstracts is: 10 June 2013

Amid rapid changes in technologies of print and in reading practices there has been an increased critical concern with material histories of the book and the kinds of meaning that book culture both sustains and generates. The theoretical implications of these reflections as they have played out in postcolonial studies are wide-ranging: from a focus on the economics and sociology of a now-local, now-global literary marketplace, to the recalibration of relationships between author, reader, text and context.

Historical and archival work has highlighted the politics of colonial/postcolonial cultural production and the institutional constraints within which colonial/postcolonial subjects are often located (Huggan; King; Brouillette; Watts). In francophone contexts such institutional questions are frequently articulated in terms of the centripetal power of Paris in a “république mondiale des lettres” (Casanova) and the ambivalent status of the French language in a global literary system. Colonial/postcolonial books in French have been subject to distinct processes of evaluation and mediation – through publishers, translators, booksellers, censors, and literary prize culture, for example – that point to relatively unchartered areas of research.

This conference will explore the continuing relevance of book and print culture to francophone postcolonial studies as a field of research in the twenty-first century. To this end we also welcome papers that look beyond traditional literary forms and technologies and consider challenges that have been made to the dominance of print culture by other media, including film, visual cultures, bande dessinée, dance and music.

Potential topics for papers/panels might include:

– The history of the book in the francophone world
– Literary institutions, including case-studies of particular publishers, editors, printers or literary prizes
– Alternative “capitals” in the “World Republic of Letters”
– Postcolonial paratexts
– New technologies of writing, publishing and reading: e-books, e-readers, blogs, and other online resources
– Nostalgia and book culture
– Theoretical approaches and methodological questions in postcolonial book history: sociology of literature, distant vs close reading, polysystems
– Print culture and the nation: imagined communities; national, transnational and global literary fields
– Literary archives and literary criticism
– Beyond book culture in francophone postcolonial studies
– Genre(s) in francophone postcolonial studies
– Reading and reception 

Please send abstracts of 300 words plus 50-100 words of biography to Conference Secretary, Ruth Bush (

Papers can be in English or French.

The deadline for receipt of abstracts is: 10 June 2013

Categories: Calls for & opportunities

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