Women in French UK-Ireland - Biennial Conference 25-28 May 2023

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganiser of major conference


Women and/in crises
Recent years have been marked by a number of communal crises, such as Covid, climate change, #MeToo or the challenge to historical narratives, to name but a few; but crises can also be personal, in our response to shared social concerns, or to events in our individual lives. Sometimes the two overlap as seen with Vanessa Springora’s Le Consentement (2020) in response to the 2018 letter, signed by 100 French women, including actor Catherine Deneuve, published in Le Monde to denounce the Balance-ton-porc movement as ‘puritanical’. More private crises are explored for instance in Marie Darrieussecq’s Tom est mort (2007), Marie NDiaye’s Trois femmes puissantes (2012), or Laetitia Colombani’s Les Victorieuses (2019), while Ruth Cruickshank addresses the aesthetics of crisis discourses in Angot, Echenoz, Houellebecq and Redonnet in Fin de Millénaire French Fiction (2009).

It is of course difficult to find a stable definition of what constitutes a crisis when, for example, popular discourse defines as a ‘crise de nerfs’ what may be perceived as legitimate rage in the face of social justice (see for example Fanny Galot’s ‘La « crise de nerfs », de la souffrance à la résistance?’ (2009)).

We may also wonder to what extent ‘the personal is political’ when so many of the crises explored in women’s artistic productions are precipitated by social norms or political discourses about gender, race, migration etc.

The theme that we have selected for Women in French 2023 can be interpreted in many different ways and we encourage our participants to reflect on the different ways in which women in French and Francophone literature, culture, cinema and politics have illustrated both women’s involvement in activist movements, and their responses to crises both social and personal.
Period25 May 202328 May 2023
Event typeConference
LocationLeeds, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Women in French
  • French Studies
  • Women Writers
  • Feminism
  • Gender
  • Crisis
  • Francophone literature