After previous years’ gatherings at Exeter and Newcastle, over 40 postgraduates and scholars from all over the UK and France came together at Queen Mary, University of London, on Saturday 5th of March for the annual study day. Attendees shared their latest research, experiences as postgraduates and had the opportunity to listen to established academics and professionals share their advice and expertise in ‘professional development’ sessions. The study day offers an open and friendly environment where postgraduates can present their research, perhaps for the first time outside of their own university. To further this aim, this year we also ran a series of five minute ‘flash presentations’ for masters students and those just starting their research.
The day is jointly supported by the Society for the Study of French History and the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France. Bringing together the two societies allows for a great spread of researchers to come together, working in fields across French history and French studies more broadly.
The theme for the day was Patrimoine, a topic that was chosen for its particular appeal to French history, culture and literature. Dr Tom Stammers from Durham University gave the day’s keynote, entitled: ‘Heritage, the State and the Hexagon: Royalist Exceptions and Republican Rules’. Tom’s rich talk kicked us off and set the tone for the series of panels that followed, where papers ranged from late eighteenth century aristocratic gardens, to postcards of ruins from the First World War to pied noir memory.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting Dr Tom Stammers’s keynote address in full, insights into using French archives given by Emeline Rotolo from the Archives Nationales, and reports of research presented at the day’s panels.
Dan Callwood (QMUL)