Forthcoming Events

Annual Conference 2024

Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies Annual Conference
The End(s) of Empire
Friday 15th – Saturday 16th November 2024
Senate House, London
Second Call for Papers

(version française en bas)

Keynote speakers: Prof Jennifer Yee, Oxford (Dorothy Blair keynote, title tbc) and Dr Adi Saleem, Michigan (Kate Marsh keynote, ‘Antisemitism and Islamophobia: The European Question’).

2024 marks the 70th anniversary of the battle of Dien Ben Phu; this humiliating surrender for the French is often taken to signal the beginning of the end of French colonial occupation. The defeat would be quickly followed by Algerian independence and the return of the pied noirs, which reignited a sense of national shame. Meanwhile 1960 and 1962 respectively marked the end of Belgian colonial occupation on the African continent and the independence of what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Yet the sense of an encroaching ending haunts the empires from much earlier, and is perhaps especially marked in France’s vieilles colonies, most acutely after the Haitian Revolution. It is notably explored, for example, by an anxious planter caste in the early nineteenth century, in island colonies founded on enslavement and rocked by the Haitian example. In other words, the sense of an imminent ending, of anxiety, illegitimacy and insecurity, is as old as the colonial mission itself, and is embedded from the very earliest cultural productions right through to the period of decolonisation. More recent developments, from French neocolonialism to Belgium’s ongoing struggle to come to terms with its colonial legacies, tempers any unproblematic sense of an ending, or of a colonial period that can be neatly consigned to the past.

This conference seeks to expand on these contemporary, yet centuries-old, issues, taking the notion of the End(s) of Empire as a springboard from which to examine more broadly the discipline of Francophone Postcolonial Studies. We welcome papers exploring any and all aspects of these broad and wide-reaching notions, including, but not limited to:

  • Colonial nostalgia
  • Decolonisation(s) and anti-colonialism(s)
  • Indigenous approaches to dealing with colonial legacies
  • War and Revolution
  • Nationalism and internationalism
  • Wars of independence
  • Textual endings
  • Histoire/histoire(s)
  • La Francophonie
  • Globalisation
  • Theorising the end of empire
  • Neocolonialism
  • Departmentalisation
  • Critical approaches to Humanitarian/Human rights interventions
  • Indigenous Studies and Francophone Postcolonial Studies

To mark 35 years since the founding of the Association for the Study of African and Caribbean Literatures in French, the earlier incarnation of SFPS, we’re also delighted to announce a round table to reflect on the significance of this anniversary. Contributors will include Profs Charles Forsdick, Mary Gallagher, Nicki Hitchcott, David Murphy and Dominic Thomas. 

We invite researchers working in Francophone Postcolonial Studies, broadly defined, to submit abstracts for 20-minute papers. Suggestions for panels will also be welcome. The languages of the conference will be English and French.

Please send paper proposals of up to 300 words and a short biographical note to by 12 April 2024.


Les Fin(s) de l’Empire

Vendredi 15 au samedi 16 novembre 2024

Senate House, Londres (conférence en personne)

Appel à communications

2024 marque le 70ème anniversaire de la bataille de Dien Ben Phu ; cette capitulation humiliante pour les Français est souvent considérée comme le début de la fin de l’occupation coloniale française. La défaite fut rapidement suivie par l’indépendance de l’Algérie et le retour des pieds-noirs, ravivant un sentiment de honte nationale. Pendant ce temps, 1960 et 1962 marquèrent respectivement la fin de l’occupation coloniale belge sur le continent africain et l’indépendance de ce qui est aujourd’hui la République démocratique du Congo, le Rwanda et le Burundi. Pourtant, le sentiment d’une fin imminente hante les empires depuis bien plus longtemps, et est peut-être particulièrement marqué dans les vieilles colonies françaises, de manière aiguë après la Révolution haïtienne. Ce sentiment est notamment exploré, par exemple, par une caste de planteurs anxieux au début du XIXème siècle, dans des colonies insulaires fondées sur l’esclavage et secouées par l’exemple haïtien. Autrement dit, le sentiment d’une fin imminente, d’anxiété, d’illégitimité et d’insécurité, est aussi ancien que la mission coloniale elle-même, et est ancré dès les premières productions culturelles jusqu’à la période de décolonisation. Des développements plus récents, du néocolonialisme français à la lutte continue de la Belgique pour venir à bout de ses héritages coloniaux, tempèrent toute idée non problématique d’une fin, ou d’une période coloniale qui pourrait être aisément reléguée au passé.

Cette conférence vise à élargir ces problématiques contemporaines, mais séculaires, en prenant la notion de Fin(s) de l’Empire comme point de départ pour examiner plus largement la discipline des Études Francophones Postcoloniales. Nous accueillons des communications explorant tous les aspects de ces notions vastes et étendues, y compris, mais sans s’y limiter :

  • Nostalgie coloniale
  • Décolonisation(s) et anti-colonialisme(s)
  • Approches autochtones pour traiter les héritages coloniaux
  • Guerre et révolution
  • Nationalisme et internationalisme
  • Guerres d’indépendance
  • Fins textuelles
  • Histoire/histoire(s)
  • La Francophonie
  • Globalisation
  • Théorisation de la fin de l’empire
  • Néocolonialisme
  • Départementalisation
  • Approches critiques des interventions humanitaires/droits de l’homme
  • Études autochtones et Études Francophones Postcoloniales

Nous invitons les chercheurs travaillant dans le domaine des Études Francophones Postcoloniales, au sens large, à soumettre des résumés pour des communications de 20 minutes. Des suggestions de panels sont également les bienvenues. Les langues de la conférence seront l’anglais et le français.

Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer les Professeurs Jennifer Yee (Oxford) et Adi Saleem (Michigan) en tant que conférenciers invités. Nous envisageons également une table ronde plénière, pour marquer le 35ème anniversaire de la fondation de l’Association for the Study of Caribbean and African Literatures in French.

Veuillez envoyer des propositions de communication de jusqu’à 300 mots et une brève note biographique à d’ici le 12 avril 2024.

Details of our previous annual conferences are available here and details of our previous annual postgraduate events are available here.

Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies Postgraduate Study Day

Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies Postgraduate Study Day

Friday 21st June 2024, Lancaster University

Call for Papers

Futures: Francophone Post-Colonial Studies in the 21st Century

Keynote speaker: Dr Seraphin Kamdem, from the School of Languages and Linguistics and Centre for African Studies (CAS), SOAS, University of London.

At a time when Modern Languages as a discipline is under threat, in the context of department closures, and when we are all wondering what shape our futures as researchers in Francophone Postcolonial Studies will take, this study day will provide a timely opportunity to come together and reflect on our research and our position as postgraduate and early career researchers in the field.

This study day aims to unite postgraduate students studying histories, literatures, languages, and cultures related to Francophone Postcolonial Studies in the 21st century. The event seeks to explore the future of Francophone Postcolonial Studies and how contemporary researchers engage with the changing, challenging, and complicated histories, literatures, cultures, and film. We are discovering new modes of expression that reflect cultural and political identities and changes across the Francophone world in the 21st century.

The study day will also delve into the topic of life after a PhD. How can PhD students gain relevant experience during their programme that will equip them well in the world of work? What challenges might they face after graduation? Will they pursue careers in academia or industry? Postgraduates can ask these questions and more to a panel of experts during our round table session. The panel will share their experiences and provide tips on early career pathways.

We invite proposals for ten-minute papers from all postgraduates in Francophone Postcolonial Studies. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Impact of the past on the future
  • Immigration and mobilities
  • Questions of globalisation
  • Linguistic and cultural identities
  • Cultural and literary movements
  • Futures research
  • Environmental futures

We also invite poster submissions from postgraduate students. Poster submissions are not necessarily required to fit with the conference theme to offer the opportunity to present work in the earlier stages of research.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to the organisers, Nkeke Delphine and Holly Lawton,, by 15 May 2024 (please indicate if your abstract is for a paper or a poster). If you have any questions or enquiries, please feel free to get in touch.

The participation fee is £10, and an optional membership registration fee of £20 into SFPS. Tea/coffee and lunch will be provided.