The Society for French Studies Postgraduate Conference 2015 : ‘Orientation(s)’

Country: United Kingdom

City: London

Abstr. due: 09.01.2015

Dates: 21.03.15 — 21.03.15

Area Of Sciences: Geography; Sociology; Cultural science;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: University of Manchester, University of Newcastle


The word ‘orientation’ can refer to the physical action of orientating oneself in space; however, it can also denote a person’s attitudes, basic belief system or subjective experience of an aspect of their identity.
Orientations offer us a specific vantage point from which to view the world and ‘are as much about feeling at home as they are about finding our way’ (Ahmed 2006: 9). This conference seeks to examine how our gendered, sexual,
racial, religious, spatial, class and political orientations affect us in our everyday lives and in our interactions with others. While some subjects may be able to orientate themselves freely through space, others (such as ethnic minorities or migrants) experience very real limitations on their capacity to move in particular places. While some subjects may live their sexual orientations openly, others might hide them for fear of discrimination or out of a misplaced sense of apprehension and shame.
Orientations can be lived as liberating, or they can place restrictions on our movements and the people/places we encounter.

Though the Arts can uphold dominant orientations and reinforce hegemonic systems of alignment, they can also function as sites for the articulation of subversion, disruption and disorientation. The Arts can give rise to alternative viewpoints, which present us with new ways of engaging with the world and can re-orientate our personal perspectives. Through the privileging of marginal, queer and traditionally silenced viewpoints, the Arts can challenge dominant orientations and open up new, potentially transgressive pathways or directions.

The Society for French Studies Postgraduate Conference 2015 invites proposals for twenty-minute papers in either English or French that address the broad theme of ‘orientation(s)’ in relation to the fields of French and Francophone studies. Contributions from all periods and disciplines are welcome. These might include literary, film, theatre, post-colonial, queer, cultural, spatial and translation studies, to name but a few. Each contribution should aim to take the concept of ‘orientation(s)’ in new directions, considering the extent to which French and Francophone art forms
uphold or subvert dominant gendered, sexual, racial, religious, spatial, class and/or political modes of orientation. 

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

•    Gender and sexual orientation
•    Queer theory
•    Space
•    Migration, movement
•    Borders
•    Assimilation
•    Travel writing
•    Class
•    Political orientation
•    Revolutionary, oppositional or subversive texts
•    Theoretical (re-)orientations
•    Phenomenology
•    Transgression
•    Religious orthodoxy/heterodoxy

Conference Web-Site: