Mobilities and Moorings: Renegotiating Spaces and Identities in Modern and Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures The Graduate School Queen’s University Belfast 30th – 31st May, 2019 Keynote speaker: Dr. Gillian Jein (Newcastle University) Call for papers This two-day postgraduate conference aims to reconstitute and reconfigure ways of approaching the status quo and challenges to it. Edward Saïd has stated that the ‘borders and barriers, which enclose us within the safety of familiar territory, can also become prisons, and are often defended beyond reason or necessity’. Culture is becoming increasingly globalised, and the once static concepts of space and identity are in flux more than ever. The increasing importance of social media and online (pseudo) identities have forged global connections and yet have also had the inverse effect of mentally and emotionally isolating us. In the dust of the quincagenary of the mai 68 demonstrations and other iconoclastic events, the efficacy and resilience of the nation-state is being interrogated and challenged by populist politics and demagogues across the globe. Emmanuel Macron has said that ‘il n'y a pas une culture française, il y a une culture en France et elle est diverse’, which Marine Le Pen contests, claiming that ‘maintenant, le clivage c’est pas non plus gauche et droite, mais mondialiste et patriote’. Similarly, the fixity of gender identity is also being contested, with La Manif pour tous claiming that ‘l’idéologie du genre est destructice, obscuratrice, anti-sociale, anti-populaire comme elle est anti-naturelle.’ In this cultural climate of flux and instability, we invite potential speakers to become exiles – ‘citizens of nowhere’ (Theresa May) – who ‘cross borders [and] break barriers of thought and experience’ (Saïd), in order to explore identity and spatial conflict in the literary, political, multimodal, and historical spheres. Proposals may focus on (but are not limited to): · Gender and sexuality · Urbanism · Postcolonialism · Travel writing and narratives · Queer identities and LGBTQ+ engagement · Cosmopolitanism and the Cosmopolitan · The Avant-garde · Flânerie · Migration and exile · Political instability · National vs. international identity · Populism · Digital Humanities Topics should be interpreted broadly, and papers on related themes are encouraged. Inter and multidisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome. Please provide a short abstract (250-300 words) outlining the argument of the proposed paper, as well as the speaker’s full name and contact details. Proposals for complete panels are also welcome. Please provide abstracts and contact details for each speaker as well as a short rationale for the panel. One speaker will be responsible for the panel. Proposals will be considered by the committee, who will contact you by Friday 29th March to inform you whether it has been possible or not to include your paper. Please email your proposals and a short biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 19th February 2019.