CFP for a Panel at the Society for French Studies 64th Annual Conference
Panel: Transcultural Francophonies: Southeast Asian Perspectives in French Studies
Newcastle University, 26th-28th June, 2023
In 2015, Jennifer Howell pointed out that Vietnamese writers were often overlooked by Francophone specialists. Several years later, art and literary works created by Southeast Asians, individuals from Việt Nam, Laos, or Cambodia (formerly French Indochina), still receive, proportionally to other postcolonial minorities, less attention in Francophone studies and are often missing from important collective volumes on Francophone postcolonial studies. This is partly due to the way the Indochina war is positioned in the French espace mémoriel (it is often referred to as the guerre occultée or oubliée) and is often overshadowed by or conflated with the Vietnam War (Edwards), the heterogeneity of the Việt Kiều community, the lack of visibility of South-East Asians migrants and their descendants in public discourses about minorities in France, and/or the perception of the Asian community as being a model minority. However, all lead to disregarding the numerous potentialities that this specific memorial and geographical space can bring to the development of a truly global field of French Studies.
This panel proposes to focus on the literary, graphic, and artistic works of the francophone Việt Kiều community in order to show the importance of such a production for the future of French studies. Systematically incorporating Southeast Asians perspectives into French Studies would open engaging transnational and transcultural avenues for research and permit the inclusion of diasporic memory into national narratives.
Please send a 250-300-word abstract in French or English that concentrates on the artistic and literary productions of Southeast Asians (from the 1st, 1.5 and/or so-called 2nd generations) in a Francophone context to firstname.lastname@example.org before September 21st, 2022. The abstract should be accompanied by your email and full postal address.
Edwards K (2016) Contested Indochina: French Remembrance Between Decolonization and Cold War. Oakland: University of California Press.
Howell J (2015) Vietnamese Foodways and Viet Kieu Postmemory in Clément Baloup’s Graphic Narratives. European Comic Art 8.1: 25-51.
Laurent C D (2021) Voyageurs malgré eux: Silence, Embodiment, and Exposure in Doan Bui and Minh Tran Huy. French Cultural Studies 32.4: 346-363.