Month: July 2015

French at Stirling goes Gothic…

There will be a good Stirling presence at the 2015 conference of the International Gothic Studies Association, taking place in Vancouver this week. French at Stirling’s Bill Marshall will be participating in a roundtable on ‘Southern Gothics, Gothic South’, while our Literature and Languages colleague, Dale Townshend, is giving a plenary lecture entitled ‘16 October 1834: Architecture, Romance and the Migration of the Gothic Imagination.’ Dale’s PhD supervisee, Fanny Lacôte (jointly supervised between Stirling and the Université de Lorraine and working on relations between French and British Gothics) will be giving a paper on ‘English Gothic served “à la française”: French forgeries of Ann Radcliffe’. Other Stirling presenters include: Stuart Lindsay on David Thorpe’s illustrated novella Doc Chaos: The Chernobyl Effect, Kelly Gardner on ‘Survival Space in the Contemporary Zombie Apocalypse’, Benjamin E. Noad who’ll be talking about ‘Migrations of Madness: A Genealogy of Mental Health in Modern and Contemporary Gothic Fictions Since 1960’ and Janet Chu whose paper is entitled ‘“‘Neither in nor out of ‘Blackwood”’: From Blackwood’s Magazine’s Gothic Sensationalism to Poe’s Sensational Gothicism.’ A healthy Stirling presence, with some interesting French-related Gothic-ness along the way!

Stirling PhD student success

Excellent news from our former French at Stirling PhD student, Jamal Bahmad, who graduated last year. Jamal went straight into a post as a Research Fellow at the University of Marburg after completing his PhD and from there has now taken up a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Leeds, working on ‘Beyond the Arab Spring: Youth, Social Change and the Politics of Realism in Contemporary Maghrebi Cinema.’

As if all that wasn’t good news enough, we’ve also just heard that his PhD thesis (Casablanca belongs to Us: globalisation, everyday life and postcolonial subjectivity in Moroccan cinema since the 1990s), supervised by Prof. David Murphy, was the joint winner of the 2015 BRISMES Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize for the best PhD dissertation on a Middle Eastern topic. For the judging panel, Jamal’s analysis ‘is underpinned by a lively engagement with social theory that provides the basis for a fine-grained and richly sourced body of cinematographic evidence. This results in one of the richest and most deep-rooted interpretations of the currents of power, resistance and self-understanding in Morocco that are presently available. A real tour de force.’

Congratulations, Jamal, and we look forward to reporting on further successes over the coming months and years!

Algerian Settler Colonial Conference

We’re pretty much midway between the end of our Spring teaching and the start of our new academic year in early September. However, a number of French-related events and activities are still taking place on campus including Fiona Barclay’s ‘Algerian Settler Colonial Conference’ which was held today and yesterday at Stirling.

Bringing together speakers from a wide range of UK Universities and well beyond (see the full programme below), the conference examined whether the assumptions inherent in theories of settler colonialism are of value when applied to the particularities of France’s colonial presence in Algeria. What are the specificities of a settler colony born of the ideology of the ‘mission civilisatrice’? To what extent were the paradigms of the settler colony problematized by legal ordonnances such as the décret Crémieux? In the context of independence and repatriation, what does it mean to say that ‘there is no such thing as neo-settler colonialism or post-settler colonialism’ (Veracini 2010)? What persists of settler colonial culture beyond repatriation? The event drew on research from a range of disciplines (history, literature, visual culture, politics) to engage with these and other questions in an attempt to draw out the specificities of settler colonialism in French Algeria.

Algerian Settler Colonial Conference – Programme
1 July
Panel 1
David Cummings (Queens University Belfast), ‘Colonisation of the Coloniser? : Ambivalent Representations of the Place of the petit-colon in the French Algerian ‘Settler Colonial Situation’.
Charlotte Chopin (ULIP), ‘Pages Without Borders: Global Networks and The Settler Press in Algeria, 1881-1914’.
Claire Eldridge (University of Southampton), Settler Soldiers and the Construction of Colonial and Postcolonial Identities

Panel 2
Martin Evans (University of Sussex), ‘Perception and Self-Perception of the European Settler Experience in Algeria: Towards a Comparative, Connected and Emotional History’.
Fiona Barclay (University of Stirling), ‘The sins of the fathers: the Algerian afterlives of the children of the pieds-noirs’.

2 July
Keynote address
Jennifer Sessions (University of Iowa), ‘The Margueritte Affair: Debating Settler Colonialism in Fin-de-Siècle France and Algeria’.

Panel 3
Bill Kidd (University of Stirling), ‘Insiders and outsiders: pied-noir culture or pied-noir identities?’
Joseph McGonagle (University of Manchester), ‘Unsettling the past: representing pied-noir experience in the work of Patrick Altes’. 

Stirling and Sciences Po

Congratulations to our Semester Abroad partner Sciences Po (Paris) who have recently been named by UN Women as one of 10 universities to support the HeforShe gender equality campaign. We’re looking forward to continuing our well-established exchange partnership and to sending more of our students to Paris in Spring 2016.

Departures and new arrivals

After many years with us, our lectrice Bernadette Corbett has taken her retirement from the end of this Spring. Her sense of fun, commitment to the students and dedication to French at Stirling will be sorely missed by all! There was a suggestion, at a recent lunch to mark Bernadette’s retirement, that we should find some kind of virtual Bernadette to accompany students on their way through their degrees – a hologram might be a little beyond us but at least this way, there’s an online presence via this blog and any student, feeling nervous before an oral exam, can always come to this post for reassurance!

Bonne continuation, Bernadette!
Bonne continuation, Bernadette!

From September 2015, we’re delighted to be welcoming our new lectrice, Mathilde Mazau, and we look forward to many years working together.