PhD student Antonia Wimbush organised the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies Annual Conference 2017 with Dr Christina Horvath (University of Bath), which was held on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 November at Senate House, University of London.
This year, the conference theme was ‘Local, Regional, and Global Identities in the Francophone World’. The programme contained 32 rich and engaging papers on a wide range of topics, including memory and identity, the politics of globalisation, and migration and mobility. Postgraduate researchers and established academics from across the world met together to debate these complex issues in literature, history, visual culture, and film. The two keynote presentations were fascinating: Dr Ayo Coly (Dartmouth college) gave an insightful lecture entitled ‘Can Globalisation Un-doom the Category of Francophone Literatures? Lessons from Alain Mabanckou’, and Professor Xavier Garnier (Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle) closed the conference with his timely reflections on ‘Des expériences locales aux poétiques mondiales. Quelles conditions pour un cosmopolitisme francophone?’. A lunchtime session was also offered for Early Career Researchers on publishing strategies and the REF, led by Professor Kate Marsh (University of Liverpool) and Dr Sarah Arens (University of St Andrews). The session was extremely beneficial for postgraduates and ECRs who are thinking about what and where to publish within the framework of the next REF.
This was an excellent opportunity to organise such a prestigious event, and the international conference was a great success.