This panel invites explorations of the theme of surplus through literary activity taking place outside the book in francophone literatures. What exceeds the bound pages of the book in community building around reading and literature, through (physical or virtual) spaces like book clubs and community groups in libraries, community centers, or bookshops? What spaces in the francosphere create structures for exchange, community, activism, or simply shared enthusiasm? Who curates these spaces and what are their aims?
These community spaces may be resistant to or aligned with for-profit models of publishing, as Madhu Krishnan and Kate Wallis have contrasted entrepreneurial vs. “literary activist” models for small publishers on the African continent. What are the affordances of each model–for readers, for authors, for other stakeholders? Of particular interest are papers that engage with affect theory to take into account how participants respond to/in these communities and spaces. What is the emotional dimension to an act that is, in the 21st century (though not necessarily historically) a solitary activity–reading?
In its investigation into where literature is happening today, and who is doing it, this panel aims to be expansive in its conception of spaces, and may include inquiries into what we may conceive of as more “traditional” book club and academic spaces, but also BookTok networks, virtual reading groups, etc. While this panel takes as its point of departure more recent trends in contemporary literature, papers that ground these relatively new phenomena in earlier models and practices in French/francophone literatures are welcome.
With particular interest in community responses organized by/for marginalized groups, this panel is also invested in how communities of readers can be potential hubs of resistance against recent moves to curtail speech and efforts to regulate the bodies of women, trans and nonbinary folks, and people of color.
This roundtable builds on themes and discussion begun at the 2020 convention among early career scholars in French and Francophone Studies, taking into account the acute crisis brought about by the pandemic and its fallout. The same issues facing scholars in French and Francophone Studies remain: increasing precarity, job insecurity, downward pressures on enrollment, the need for diverse faculty and inclusive classrooms, and the need for connections to other scholars in our field(s) across campuses. These pressures have been exacerbated as the twin shocks of a global health threat and a drastic economic retraction play out in higher education. In keeping with the 2021 convention theme, “Tradition and Innovation: Changing Worlds through the Humanities,” this roundtable seeks participants who, in dealing with these changes on the ground—in their classrooms, departments, divisions, and research—are innovating to find more ways to be connected, compassionate teacher-scholars for our students, colleagues, and communities.
Possible lines of inquiry include: What aspects of this crisis are particularly hitting hard in French and Francophone Studies? What strategies have participants tried for recruiting and resisting cuts in French programs/departments? What has been successful, and where is more support needed? How can we leverage our expertise as humanities scholars more broadly in a time when we have been more isolated than ever, yet when solidarity is more needed than ever? What solutions for hurdles to equity and access can be found for online/remote learning specific to our field?
Chairs invite proposals for short (5 to 10 minutes) talks that address one or more of our central aims and will foster a collaborative discussion around current issues in our field. This may include topics related to research, pedagogy, professionalization, or the state of the discipline within the current crisis. NeMLA is accepting proposals for digital/remote presentations for the 2021 convention.
Abstracts are now due 11 October. Submit via NeMLA’s platform. Email Kristen_Stern [at] uml [dot] edu OR soldina [at] dickinson [dot] edu with questions.
This panel continues conversations begun at NeMLA 2020 which sparked the formation of an online community. We invite any scholars and teacher in French and francophone studies to join Résaux via Humanities Commons.
This panel invites explorations of literary activity by/about francophone African authors outside the bindings of the printed page. As Rosenthal and Ruffel have observed (2010) with regard to contemporary literature in French broadly considered, literary activity in the contemporary era increasingly “se pratique et s’expose” outside the book. What manifestations of this are particular to francophone African writers? How do these events or objects interact with, or conversely stand apart from, their published works? Do (relatively) new platforms on the internet and social media mean that readers (or writers) are getting a different or better experience? That literature is being accessed or consumed in a more democratic way?
This panel takes up the theme for the 2021 convention by examining how the print medium in our field is changing and adapting in the face of innovations in technology and evolving needs and desires of the reading public. While moves online and to social media have already been happening for a while, it has now become de rigeur for institutions’ and individuals’ survival with the post-pandemic virtual-ization of culture.
While this panel takes as its point of departure more recent trends in contemporary literature, papers that ground these relatively new phenomena in earlier models and practices in francophone African literature are welcome. Abstracts are accepted for 10-15 minute papers in French or English. Abstracts are now due 11 October. Submit via NeMLA’s platform. Email Kristen_Stern [at] uml [dot] edu with questions.