Women in French / Women in French in Scotland 2013 joint international conference

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


Solitaires, Solidaires 25 years of Women in French (WIF) - 12 years of Women in French in Scotland (WIFIS) This conference will bring together for the first time the two ‘Women in French’ meetings: ‘Women in French UK’ and ‘Women in French Scotland’, on the theme of ‘Solitaires, Solidaires’. Both the bi-annual ‘Women in French’ and the annual ‘Women in French in Scotland’ conferences aim to promote scholarly exchange based on research in French Studies by or about women, and to maintain a network of contacts amongst women teaching and/or researching in French and Francophone Studies. Over the years both events have gained a reputation for their collegial atmosphere and supportive conviviality as well as the high quality of the papers presented. Whilst the two conferences have been running en solitaire on each side of the border for many years, the fact that 2013 marks a landmark anniversary for WIF is the opportunity to bring WIF and WIFIS together on the theme of ‘Solitaires, Solidaires’ and also to reflect on the role – past, present and future – of these groups. Solitaires, Solidaires Throughout history, women have often been marginalised and have had to come together in order to gain more freedom and independence – whether in their family life, in their social or professional environment, or in their ability to take control over their own bodies. These days, women are still in a minority in certain occupations and professions (including politics and high-responsibility posts), and there is a stigma attached to women who yearn for independence and choose to live ‘en solitaire’, without a (male) partner or children. Why it is so? What is the role played by groups and networks in the pursuit of independence and parity? Is the notion of ‘female solidarity’ really meaningful? Is there a specific type of French ‘female solidarity’? What obstacles need to be overcome to achieve more solidarity, not just among women but also between men and women? We welcome abstracts from a range of disciplines on the following topics relating to the French and French-speaking world, as well as their artistic representation in literature, cinema, art, exhibitions… • The isolation and marginalisation of women throughout history. • Women’s networks and groups, feminist groups, consciousness-raising groups, activist groups (on abortion, contraception, rape, lesbian activism), more recent groups and networks, the use of Internet and social networking (such as Facebook) to bring women together, the inclusion/exclusion of men in/from these groups • Cultural and religious groups, the use of the veil. • Feminism and solidarity, sense of belonging, exclusion, women who refuse to be ‘labelled’ as feminist. • Women’s magazines and newspapers. • Women-only spaces / groups. • Sororité, togetherness, working together, collaboration and cooperation, communities of women (convents, religious retreats, women in withdrawal from the world). • Communities and ‘communautarisme’. • Independence and its connotations (freedom? solitude? well-being and fulfilment?). • Solitaire/solidaire in family and society: couples (straight/gay), women who are ‘alone’– single, widowed, divorced, single mothers, housewives, divorce, estrangement. • Women and their bodies: the mother/child bond, separation at birth, physical and symbolic separations, women sexuality. • Women at work: solidarity, alienation. • Women in politics: part of a group or party, ‘cohabitation’, ‘parité’, the role of women in parties, in government, individual and political scale, women as ‘lone’ figures supported by groups or not (Royal, Laguiller), women as public figures.
Period10 May 201312 May 2013
Event typeConference
LocationLeeds, United Kingdom