CFP: The Society for the Study of French History annual conference, University of Liverpool, 29 June- 1 July 2023

The Society for the Study of French History will hold its 35th annual conference at the University of Liverpool, from 29 June – 1 July 2023. 

The theme of the conference is Freedom and Emancipation

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Kate Astbury, Emmanuel Blanchard & Matthew Smith 

France’s past is dominated by histories of freedom and emancipation, as people seeking personal and national liberties have fought for the right to live freely and without discrimination. The liberté of liberté, égalité, fraternité reflects the foundational status of freedom in republican universalism, but the Haitian Revolution – with its demonstration of the possibility of universal emancipation – makes it clear that the limits of the concept have been tested throughout the period since the French Revolution. This conference seeks to interrogate the personal and collective resistance in the French-speaking world to forms of discrimination, oppression, and dehumanization. Given Liverpool’s complex historical connection to questions of freedom and emancipation through its instrumental role in the transoceanic trafficking of enslaved Africans, we invite contributions relating to enslavement, indenture, and other forms of forced and unfree labour in the French-speaking world. Yet it is also important to consider how the freedom of citizens across the Francophone world has been limited in other ways too, and to reflect upon historical and contemporary struggles to end oppression and restrictions on autonomy based on race, ethnicity, class, disability, differences, gender, and sexual orientation. 

Although the list is indicative and far from exhaustive, we invite papers or panels to consider any of the following themes: Enslavement & Unfree Labour Abolitionism and resistance of the enslaved Decolonisation/independence movements Philosophical approaches to freedom Freedom of speech Censorship and freedom of the press Suffrage Civil rights movements EmancipationDisability Incarceration 

We invite contributions from scholars at all career stages, but particularly from early career scholars. Papers in English or in French should last for 20 minutes. Please send an abstract of 300 words and a brief biography of 50-100 words to by 31st January 2023.


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