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The SSFH Annual Conference.

The Society for the Study of French History will hold its 34th annual conference online, hosted by H-France and in collaboration with the Society for the Study of French History and the University of Westminster, from 28 June 2021 to 2 July 2021. 

The Society’s first virtual annual conference will revolve around a combination of pre-recorded and live events which engage with the theme of POWER, PROTEST AND RESISTANCE.

Live events will take place in the week commencing 28 June 2021. As you can see from the programme below, these will include keynote sessions, roundtables and dozens of panels covering a wide range of topics on France and the Francophone world.

The live panel sessions will not, however, include the individual papers; individual papers have been pre-recorded and are available to watch via an H-France password-protected website which can only be accessed by registered attendees. The recordings can be viewed between 7 June and 9 July 2021, after which point they will be taken down. The pre-recorded papers will ideally be viewed in advance of the live events commencing 28 June; live panels will then focus on discussion and Q&A regarding the individual papers as well as overlapping themes between them, giving speakers and audiences time to really flesh out ideas and concepts.

In order to attend the live events and watch the pre-recorded papers, you must register for the conference.


To attend the conference, please REGISTER by Sunday 6 June through the following link.

By registering for the online conference, you can take part in a range of different activities:

  • view over 75 conference papers via a password-protected page on the H-France website during a period of 4 weeks (7 June and 9 July);
  • attend 1-hour live panel sessions (28 June - 2 July) where the chair, speakers and audience discuss themes and questions between the papers;
  • attend the live Keynote sessions on the broad topic of power, protest and resistance;
  • join a live roundtable discussion on activism and academia;
  • take part in a ‘How to Publish’ virtual workshop aimed at postgraduates and early career researchers.

There are no registration fees for this year’s virtual conference.

However, we encourage attendees to click on the DONATE button which will appear on the conference website in June. We would ideally recommend donations of £10, £20 or £30, depending entirely on what attendees feel they can afford. These donations will be divided between the Society for the Study of French History and H-France to cover technical support costs, funds for early career scholars and other projects run by the societies. You are also invited to become a member of the Society if you are not one already. As you’ll see from this link, there are a number of pricings for different forms of membership:


The political scenes in France, the UK, Europe and the USA have undergone serious shocks in the past few years. From Trump to Brexit to the Gilets Jaunes, the tensions between civil society and political government have crystallised in numerous ways across these countries, and beyond. From environmental issues to #MeToo, and now in the throws of a pandemic, it is impossible to ignore the changing structures of power, protest and resistance in the contemporary world. For historians of France and the (post) imperial world, focus on the structures of power and resistance has long informed the understanding of changing contexts. But how, exactly, have these themes allowed us to write, shape and ultimately understand French history?

The theme of ‘Power, Protest and Resistance’ invites us to reflect on a number of questions: How, indeed, did power structures underpin the changing role of the state or understanding of class, race and gender privilege? How did actors in France and its empire protest and resist power in all its iteration, and how – and to what extent – did they change existing power structures? And lastly, how do French historians view the interplay between power, protest and resistance? Are the three defined in opposition to one another, or is there a way to move beyond these?

In addition to the conference theme, papers and panels cover a range of aspects of French history from the early medieval to the contemporary period and we welcome contributions that reflect the broad diversity of the history of France and its former colonial empire.


An overview of the weekly schedule is HERE.

The detailed conference programme is available HERE. It will be subject to minor changes until June 2021.


Professor Hanna Diamond (Cardiff University), Professor Frédéric Régent (Sorbonne), and Professor Emmanuelle Saada (Columbia University)


Conference Format -

All papers will be pre-recorded and available for viewing starting 7 June. Recordings will be password-protected through our H-France page, and then be taken down on 9 July in order to preserve the ephemeral quality of the conference.

Live events will take place over the course of a single week 28 June – 2 July 2021 (see weekly programme). The live panel sessions will last 1 hour, and attendees will be asked to view the papers in advance of the session. Live sessions can then be a space for active discussion, between the chair and the presenters in a first instance, and then with the audience attendees. These sessions will not be recorded.

Keynotes and roundtables will be delivered in live sessions, and followed by general discussion and questions with the audience.

Recording Information for Participants -

Participants will be asked to record their papers in advance, lasting no more than 20 minutes.

Information and guidelines will be circulated in due course. We expect that by now most people will have established their own preferred methods of recording, but you also have the option to have one of us help you record your paper if you wish.

Please note that all recordings should be submitted between 9 and 24 May. You will be given a link to the H-France site where you can upload it directly during this period. This will allow conference organisers and assistants to edit and upload the recordings by 7 June.

Speakers will then attend their live session in the last week of June. All live sessions will have a unique Zoom link which will be found on our H-France password-protected page.


For any queries or assistance regarding recordings, please contact us at

Conference Organisers:

Ludivine Broch (Westminster)
Itay Lotem (Westminster)

Conference Assistance Bursar:

Elena Rizzi (European University Institute)

Conference Committee:

Alison Carrol (Brunel) 
James Connolly (UCL) 
Charlotte Faucher (Manchester) 
Colin Jones (QMUL)
Daniel Lee (QMUL) 
Julia Nicholls (King’s College London) 
Rob Priest (RHUL) 
Andrew Smith (Chichester) 
Iain Stewart (UCL)  






Image of Paris during 1848 Revolution

Past Annual Conferences:

33rd Annual Conference at University of Leeds.
Theme: Legacies
[conference programme and details]

32nd Annual Conference at University of Warwick.
Theme: Political Economy and Cultures of Inequality
[conference programme and details]

31st Annual Conference at University of Strathclyde.
Theme: France, Europe, and the World
[conference programme and details]

30th Annual Conference at University of Chichester.
Theme: High and Low Culture
[conference programme and details]

29th Annual Conference at University of St Andrews.
Theme: Turning Points in French History
[conference programme and details]

28th Annual Conference at St John’s College, Durham, from 10-12 July 2014.
Theme: History and the Senses
[conference programme and details]

27th Annual Conference at Cardiff University, Sunday 30 June to Tuesday 2 July 2013.
Theme: Solidarities, Entanglements and Conflict in French History.
[conference programme]

26th Annual Conference at King’s Manor, University of York, 1-3 July 2012.
Theme: France and Its Neighbours: Towards a Transnational History
[conference programme]
[watch video of plenary speakers]

25th Annual Conference at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, 14-15 July 2011.
Theme: Celebrating France
[conference overview] [draft programme].

24th Annual Conference at Newcastle University on 27-29 June 2010.
[Programme] [Abstract]

23rd Annual Conference at Trinity College Dublin, 29-30 June 2009
[Programme] [Conference Website]

22nd Annual Conference at the University of Aberystwyth, 3-4 July 2008
[Programme] [Abstract]

21st Annual Conference at the University of St Andrews, 1-3 July 2007
[Programme] [Conference Website]

20th Annual Conference at the University of Sussex, 3-4 July 2006
[Programme] [Abstract]

19th Annual Conference at the University of Southampton, 4-5 July 2005
[Programme] [Abstract]

18th Annual Conference at the University of Warwick, 1-2 April 2004
[Programme] [Abstract]

17th Annual Conference at the University of Nottingham, 10-11 April 2003
[Programme] [Abstract]

16th Annual Conference
2002 Programme

15th Annual Conference
2001 Programme

14th Annual Conference
2000 Programme


1st Annual Conference at the University of Liverpool, April 1987.
Theme: 'The Growth of the French State'.


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