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The SSFH Annual Conference

The Society for the Study of French History will hold its 35th annual conference at Exeter College, University of Oxford, from 10 - 13 April 2022. 



Encounters are at the heart of human activity and experience and speak to all fields, periods and approaches of historical study.

They may be social, economic, geographical, political, religious, cultural, military, emotional, familial, personal or sexual.

They may be imposed or experienced by travellers, missionaries, migrants, colonists or the colonized, by intermediaries or mediators, but equally by neighbours, family members or partners.

They may take place on a mutual footing or reinforce relationships of power, domination and subordination.

They may give rise to awakenings, understandings and transformations, or else to misunderstandings, mistranslations or conflict.

Encounters are also part of the historical process – with a document, an archive, a witness or an interviewee.

After two years of lockdown, it may be a good moment to reflect on how real life (or virtual) encounters may be thought about.

The SSFH 2022 annual conference invites scholars at all stages of their careers, working on the history of France and its global territories from ancient to contemporary times, or in cognate fields, to submit paper or panel proposals on the theme of ‘ENCOUNTERS / RENCONTRES’. We encourage people to interpret the theme in the broadest possible terms. We particularly welcome contributions from postgraduates and ECRs, overseas scholars, and scholars from under-represented groups. Please note that the SSFH does not accept all-male panels. All the conference venues are accessible and we are very happy to discuss particular needs that participants might have and how we can best accommodate these. The in-person panels will run primarily on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 April.

Proposals can be submitted at by Monday 13 December 2021 Individual proposals should be for 20-minute papers in English or in French. Complete panel submissions consisting of 3/4 thematically linked papers are especially welcome. Each proposal should comprise a paper title, abstract (350 words max) and a short biography (250 words max) for inclusion, alongside contact details, in the conference brochure. Proposals for COMPLETE PANELS should be submitted in the same way, but the participants should indicate the title of the panel in which they intend to participate.  Please note that the SSFH does not accept all male panels. We would be grateful if the panel organizer could also email details of the complete proposal to including any additional information such as proposed chair, proposed rapporteur (if any), etc.

Any queries about this conference can also be emailed to  
The conference organizers are David Hopkin and Christina de Bellaigue. 

Version française

Conférence annuelle de la Society for the Study of French History, Cohen Quad, Exeter College, Oxford, Royaume-Uni, du 10 au 13 avril 2022



  • Les rencontres sont au cœur des actions et des expériences humaines et concernent tous les champs, toutes les périodes et toutes les approches historiques.
  • Les rencontres peuvent être de nature sociale, économique, géographique, politique, religieuse, militaire, culturelle, émotionnelle, familiale, personnelle ou sexuelle.
  • Les rencontres peuvent être imposées ou vécues par des voyageurs, des migrants, des missionnaires, des colons ou des colonisés, des intermédiaires ou des médiateurs, elles peuvent prendre place au sein du voisinage, de la famille ou du couple. 
  • Les rencontres peuvent se faire sur un pied d’égalité ou, à l’inverse, renforcer des relations de pouvoir, de domination, de subordination.
  • Les rencontres peuvent faire émerger de nouvelles réalités, permettre des compréhensions mutuelles et des évolutions communes, mais aussi donner lieu à l’ignorance réciproque, aux malentendus, aux conflits.
  • Les rencontres font également partie du travail des historiens et historiennes – rencontres avec un document, une archive, un témoin.
  • Après deux ans de confinement, il est probablement temps de repenser nos rencontres, fussent-elles réelles ou virtuelles.

La Conférence annuelle SSFH 2022 invite les chercheurs et chercheuses, jeunes et confirmés, travaillant sur l’histoire de la France et de ses anciens territoires colonisés à toutes les époques (ou sur des domaines voisins), à soumettre une proposition d’intervention ou de panel sur le thème « Encounters/Rencontres », considéré dans son acception la plus large. Nous encourageons particulièrement les jeunes chercheurs et chercheuses, de toute origine et appartenant à des groupes minoritaires, à proposer une contribution. Tous les espaces de la conférence sont accessibles aux personnes à mobilité réduite et nous serons heureux d’envisager tout besoin spécifique afin de vous accueillir dans les meilleures conditions. Les panels en présentiel auront lieu principalement les lundi 11 et mardi 12 avril 2022.

Les propositions de contribution peuvent être soumises sur jusqu’au lundi 13 décembre 2021. Les interventions individuelles se feront en anglais ou en français et dureront 20 minutes. Toute proposition doit comprendre le titre de l’intervention, un résumé (350 mots maximum) et une courte biographie (250 mots maximum), qui seront publiés dans le programme de la conférence avec les coordonnées de chaque intervenant. Nous accueillons volontiers les propositions de panels thématiques comprenant 3 ou 4 contributions. Les propositions de panels thématiques se feront selon la procédure décrite ci-dessus. Chaque participant indiquera, outre le titre de sa contribution, le titre du panel auquel il entend participer. Chaque responsable de panel réunira les informations complètes de celui-ci et les enverra également à l’adresse, en indiquant des suggestions éventuelles de collègues pour la présidence et la discussion du panel.

Merci d’adresser toute question à l’adresse

Les organisateurs de la conférence sont David Hopkin et Christina de Bellaigue.

Image of Paris during 1848 Revolution

Past Annual Conferences:

34th Annual (Virtual) Conference at University of Westminster in collaboration with H-France.
Theme: Power, Protest and Resistance
[conference programme and details]

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]


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


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