Mobility/Immobility: CFP ASMCF & SSFH Postgraduate Study Day (4 March 2017)

ASMCF & SSFH Postgraduate Study Day 

Call for Papers & Flash Presentations 

Theme: Mobility / Immobility

University of Nottingham, Saturday 4th March 2017

Keynote speaker: Dr Olivia Walsh (Nottingham)

Deadline for abstracts: 28th January 2017


How do people move, change, evolve? And why? What external forces are at play that control our movement; social, physical, and intellectual?

With issues such as the burgeoning migrant crisis and the rise of right-wing nationalism, these questions have a particular contemporary resonance in France and the Francophone world. Although especially acute today, these issues are by no means new. With the introduction of mandatory ‘identity papers’, the Revolution and Napoleonic Empire systematised mechanisms of social control and surveillance that had begun in the early eighteenth century. The nineteenth century was an era of social mobility, facilitated by industrialisation, the advent of the railway, and the rise of the bourgeoisie. At the same time, there was a major increase in the publication and consumption of guide books, maps, and travel literature. The concept of mobility in the twentieth century was defined by a whole range of factors, from the two world wars, to changing attitudes towards imperialism, the arrival of globalisation, and the Internet. In the twenty>first century, events such as September 11th 2001, and the global financial crisis, have caused us to question our understanding of mobility.
Beyond the spatial level of analysis, mobility and immobility also suggest other areas for study: for example, how people experience upward and downward social mobility; how intellectual ideas are spread or repressed; how easily changes in employment could occur; and cultural movements and attitudes. Mobility can connote progress, revolution, a sense of opportunity for social betterment, but also frequently gives rise to concerns about property, identity, and instability.
We would like to invite proposals for twenty>minute papers in English or French that reflect on the theme of Mobility/Immobility from a variety of disciplinary perspectives within the broad spectrum that the two organising societies encompass: French and francophone history, as well as society and culture from 1789 to the present (literature, politics, linguistics, film, philosophy, etc.). Suggested topics might include, but are by no means limited to:
-Migration & free movement
-Disability studies
-The flâneur/flâneuse
-Private and public space
-Networks of knowledge
-Borders and frontiers
-Performance (dance, theatre)
-Language & (im)mobility: migration, contact, conflict
-Social (im)mobility
-Visual culture, moving/still images
-Movement of artefacts/objects

Proposals/abstracts of no more than 250 words, either in English or in French, should be sent to The deadline for submissions is 28th January 2017.

Flash presentations 
In addition to papers on the above theme, we also welcome proposals for flash presentations from researchers at the beginning of their projects who are working on any topic relating to the study of France. These presentations must be no longer than 5 minutes and one PowerPoint slide.

Please send an email to to indicate your interest.


The conference is generously funded by the Society for the Study of French History and the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France, and there are funds available for speakers’ travel bursaries. The conference is free to attend, but we ask that all attendees become members of one of the two societies.

Please send any enquiries to, or get in touch with a member of the
organising committee.

Organising Committee: Will Clement (Oxford, SSFH), Sam Wilkinson (Nottingham, SSFH), Anais Pedron (QMUL, SSFH) and James Illingworth (Queen’s Belfast, ASMCF).


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