French at Stirling’s Bill Marshall is organizing a day-long British Academy-funded workshop on the ‘Uses of Prehistory’ at Stirling on Saturday 3 June. This bilingual workshop will examine the ways in which prehistory, notably the Upper Palaeolithic period including its cave art, has entered debates in modern and contemporary France concerning aesthetics, fiction, politics and philosophy. The event is free, including a sandwich lunch, but registration is essential by Tuesday 30 May. Please contact Bill Marshall: firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend. The programme for the day is as follows:
10.30 TEA & COFFEE
10.45 Welcome remarks; Bill Marshall (University of Stirling): ‘Prehistory and Transnational French Studies’
11.30 Marc Azéma (Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail) : ‘La Préhistoire du cinéma’
12.15 Jo Malt (King’s College London): ‘La Main négative, limit-case and primal scene of art’
14.00 Douglas Smith (University College Dublin): ‘The Great Prehistoric Art Scandal: André Breton and Raymond Queneau on Cave Painting’
14.45 Mary Orr (University of St Andrews): ‘Questions of Adaptation: Rethinking Intermedial Uses of Prehistory in Nineteenth-Century France’
15.30 TEA & COFFEE
16.00 Michèle Richman (University of Pennsylvania): ‘Georges Bataille’s Prehistoric Modernism: A Universal History for the 21st century’
16.45 Conversation with Margaret Elphinstone, whose novel The Gathering Night (2009) is set in mesolithic Scotland.
17.30 Workshop ends
Looking forward to an account of the workshop in due course!
Just to round up this series of updates to the blog for just now, a quick overview of events French at Stirling staff have been involved in over the course of this past month.
On 18 March, Elizabeth Ezra gave a public talk on ‘Androids and Humans, or How Globalisation Makes Us Human’ as part of a series of talks chaired by Cristina Johnston on the University’s 50th anniversary Community Open Doors Day. This past week, Cristina was invited to introduce a public screening of Claude Chabrol’s Une Affaire de femmes at the Cameo cinema in Edinburgh, alongside Edinburgh postdoc Hugh Mcdonnell. The screening is part of Mihaela Mihai’s ERC-funded project on Greyzones.
And, winning the battle for the most far-flung location this month, Bill Marshall gave a paper on ‘’Lionel Soukaz: Historicity and Time’ as part of a panel on ‘Cruising the Seventies: Glancing Backwards at Queer Cinema’ at the SCMS conference in Chicago.
Very pleased to be able to announce details of two new articles by French at Stirling’s Bill Marshall. ‘Linguistic Zones of the French Atlantic’ has been published in Sherry Simon’s edited collection Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Lifeand, continuing Bill’s long-standing interest in the French Atlantic, ‘New Orleans and the French Atlantic’ is now available in Ottmar Ette and Gesine Mueller’s New Orleans and the Global South.
One final blog post before switching off for the holidays and a few bits and pieces to catch up with from end of semester activities. So, in no particular order…
Many congratulations to former French at Stirling PhD student Stefanie van de Peer whose edited collection Animation in the Middle Eastwill be out very soon with IB Tauris and promises to be a great new addition to the field of Animation Studies. We’ll be ordering it for Stirling University Library, of course!
And thanks to the group of French at Stirling undergraduates who found the time to go to Graeme High School in Falkirk to talk to pupils there about the opportunities that open up through the study of languages. Our Language Coordinator, Jean-Michel DesJacques, organises our Student Ambassador scheme which, as he says, “relies entirely on the good will of students who, given the opportunity, are keen to share their love for languages. No-one is better placed to reach out to pupils who might never have considered pursuing with a language at school, or who might think that the sole purpose of studying a language is to become a teacher. We are very fortunate at Stirling to have a combination of volunteers that includes people with prolonged experience abroad and even native speakers. This is also the result of good relations and collaboration between the University and local authorities.” This visit to Graeme High follows on from an equally successful visit to Wallace High earlier in the semester and we were particularly pleased to get one of our visiting Erasmus students involved with the December visit.
Thanks also to the colleagues and postgrads who came along to Cristina Johnston and Charlotte Lange’s Study Day on crime fiction earlier in December, and to those who attended the public reading and Q&A the same evening with leading Scottish crime fiction author Craig Russell. The papers presented during the day included one by Cristina Johnston on the hit French crime series Engrenages and a paper by Charlotte Lange on Mexican crime novels, as well as contributions from our colleague in Creative Writing, Liam Bell, talking about Malta as crime scene in his next novel, Creative Writing PhD student Lorna Hill who spoke about invisible victims and Ailsa Peate (University of Liverpool) on Cuban crime fiction. Miriam Owen – a former postgrad on our Publishing Studies programme – was also on hand to screen her short documentary about the Iceland Noir book festival.
Plenty to look forward to in the Spring, too, with a visit from our colleague Lucie Herbreteau from Angers who will be teaching some classes on our final semester core language module while she is in Stirling. And we’re looking forward to welcoming back Bill Marshall after his semester’s research leave which has – most recently – included a plenary on ‘Queering Guyane’ at the ‘Imagining the Guyanas/Across the Disciplines’ conference hosted by the Université Paul Valéry-Montpellier III.
In the meantime, though, the University is about to close for the break and we wish you all de joyeuses fêtes!
As well as heralding the start of a new academic year for our students, September also saw French at Stirling staff giving invited lectures at conferences in Germany and the US.
On 6 September, Bill Marshall was invited to give a guest lecture at Saint Louis University entitled ‘Rethinking Francophone Film: World Cinemas and World History’ and a keynote at the World Cinema and Television in French Conference at the University of Cincinnati. These talks sought to link the question of cinéma-monde to the longue durée of world history, via four films: A tout prendre (Jutra, 1963), Quest for Fire (Annaud, 1981), Avant les rues (Leriche, 2016) and Stavisky (Resnais, 1974).
From 29 September to 2 October, Fiona Barclay was an invited speaker at the 10th annual conference of the Francoromanistes allemands, which took place at Saarbrücken in Germany. Dr Barclay was invited to speak on the subject of ghosts and haunting North Africa, and her lecture was accompanied by a number of papers on the same broad theme delivered by delegates from across Germany, the United States, France and Morocco. The conference also benefited from the presence of Kebir Mustapha Ammi, the Moroccan-born novelist, who participated in the scholarly debates, and who gave a well-attended reading of his work during one of the evening events. Intriguingly, Kebir Ammi cites Scotland as his favourite area of the UK, and the work of Robert Louis Stevenson as one of the earliest influences on his writing. Perhaps Stirling will have the opportunity to invite him to renew his ties with Scotland in the near future!
As well as our new group of Semester 1 students and new Masters students on our Translation programmes, we’re also delighted to be welcoming back to Stirling recent Stirling French and History graduate Fraser McQueen who’s embarking on a PhD with us. Fraser will be supervised by Fiona Barclay with additional supervision from Nadia Kiwan at Aberdeen. His research topic is ‘Race, religion and communities of friendship: literary and filmic contributions to French political debates post-2005’ and we’re particularly pleased that Fraser was awarded an AHRC scholarship to fund his research.
We’re looking forward to keeping you posted on Fraser’s work over the months ahead but, in the first instance, you can read his article on the current burkini controversy in The Conversation. The article was also republished in The New Statesmanand we’re sure there’ll be much more to follow.
Fraser will be joining a growing community of doctoral students supervised by French at Stirling staff on a wide range of topics. Martin Hall is currently working on ‘British Cinema: Historicising Theory’ with Bill Marshall as his supervisor while Bill is also supervising Angus Macdonald’s thesis on ‘New French Horror Cinema.’ Angus’s 2nd supervisor is Elizabeth Ezra who also supervises Katie Moffat’s research project which examines ‘Transnational Nordic Film Culture and Minority Politics.’ As well as being 2nd supervisor for Fraser and continuing his supervision of Juliet Tenshak’s research on contemporary Nigerian fiction, David Murphy has also just taken on a supervisory role for Education student Mostafa Gamal who is working on ‘Ethical, reflexive encounters with internationalisation in FE: an autoethnographic conversation’.
We hope to have a chance to post more about these projects and their authors over the months ahead.