School of Arts

The Future of WWII France in Academia

Contemporary Research Paradigms, Trajectories and Challenges

7 - 8 June 2022, University of Leicester

Dr Fransiska Louwagie and Dr Manu Bragança are co-hosting a workshop on WWII France on 7 and 8 June 2022. The workshop is supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant as well as by several learned societies (MHRA, UCML, IMLR, SFS and SSFH). It will investigate the intellectual trajectories of UK and international mid-career scholars in Modern Languages and related disciplines, who specialise in the study of the history, memory and representation of France during and after the Second World War and the Holocaust.

In 2018, Drs Manu Braganca and Fransiska Louwagie edited a volume entitled Ego-Histories of France and the Second World War (Palgrave); this was the result of a two-day workshop, again co-funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, during which 14 world-leading scholars from various disciplines reflected critically on their 'ego-history' or intellectual journey investigating France and WWII, and particularly on the work they undertook in the wake of the so-called Paxtonian turn in the 1970s, which critically re-examined the role of the Vichy-regime and its collaborationist attitudes during the Nazi-period. The project allowed the mapping of crucial research dynamics across inter-related disciplines. By establishing a generational group portrait, the project also allowed the revisiting and extension of Pierre Nora’s concept of ego-history and was praised as a key contribution to the study of subjectivity in research (Forsdick, Fixxion, 2018).

The above project pointed towards important new questions about more recent dynamics and shifts in the field. A workshop taking place at the University of Leicester on 7 and 8 June 2022 will start to investigate new research positionalities and examine recent disciplinary and interdisciplinary developments. To enable cutting-edge discussions, the event brings together mid-career scholars from various countries maintaining or developing strong research traditions in French Studies (the UK, Ireland and France, but also the Netherlands and Germany) and from diverse academic settings. The project, co-led by Louwagie and Bragança, will result in a book project as well as online open access outputs.

Confirmed speakers include Dr Ludivine Broch; Professor Maxime Decout; Dr Lindsey Dodd; Dr Thomas Fontaine; Professor Claire Gorrara; Dr Aurelia Kalisky; Dr Sébastien Ledoux; Dr Daniel Lee; Dr David Lees; Dr Annelies Schulte Nordholt; Professor Claire Zalc; Dr Manu Braganca; Dr Fransiska Louwagie.

The organisers have also awarded three Early Career Bursaries for participation in the event, generously sponsored by the University Council of Modern Languages. The bursaries have been awarded to Luc-André Brunet, Ayshka Sene and Rebekah Vince.

The workshop is sponsored by: British Academy, MHRA, UCML, IMLR, SFS, SSFH, University of Leicester (School of Arts and Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies) and University College Dublin.

The workshop takes place at the College Court, the University of Leicester's Conference Centre. Browse the workshop programme.

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