Call for Panels

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the in-person Twentieth and Twenty-First-Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium will not be taking place in 2021. As many of you know, the 2020 colloquium also had to be canceled this past March.

However, the colloquium steering committee, in tandem with the colloquium’s established partner, the journal Contemporary French & Francophone Studies / SITES, remains committed to maintaining cohesion and on-going scholarly conversation in our field despite these challenging circumstances.

We are therefore happy to propose—in lieu of the in-person conference for the coming academic year—the creation of a virtual conference for spring 2021. Through this conference—which will take place exclusively via Zoom—we hope to create a context to allow us to continue our scholarly conversations.

The theme for this year’s conference will be "A New Normal?" We hope that we will see panels emerge on a whole host of topics, genres, authors, filmmakers, works, cultural phenomena, and so on, in 20th and 21st-century French and Francophone studies.

We are proposing specific modes of engagement that will be suitable for a videoconferencing environment. To that end, we are inviting colleagues to form panels in any of the following formats:

—Round tables

—Flash presentations (i.e., a panel comprised of papers lasting 3-5 minutes each)

—Discussion groups with papers having circulated in advance

—Discussions or round tables on scholarly publishing (with or without the participation of editors)

—Reading groups around a literary work (with or without the author present)

—Reading groups around an academic book (with or without the author present)

While we are strongly encouraging the use of the above formats for panels, we will still accept proposals for traditional panels consisting of 3-4 fifteen-minute presentations.

The deliberations of these panels would all be open to an audience. Panels could meet only once, or more than once if participants so choose. Some of these formats will be suited to 3-4 panelists; others would be able to accommodate more panelists.

Please also note that we are not accepting proposals for individual papers.

We have created a Google form for those of you interested in forming a panel.

We will accept proposals for panels through October 15, 2020.

Once we have finalized a conference program, we will post it online with information on how to attend the panels. The virtual conference will be provisionally set for March 11-13, 2021. However, we may hold the colloquium over more than three days, depending on the level of participation and to account for differences in time zones. Information on the schedule will follow as the situation evolves.

All participants will have the opportunity to submit their work for consideration to be published in the peer-reviewed scholarly journal Contemporary French & Francophone Studies / SITES. These two special issues of CF&FS / SITES will retain their traditional format of articles ranging from 3,000 to 3,500 words. All proposed articles will undergo the customary peer review process.

Finally, linked to this virtual conference, we are delighted to announce that the editors of Contemporary French & Francophone Studies / SITES will be opening up a third special issue dedicated to work by ABDs or very recent PhDs, with the participation of their mentors. Here, the idea is, beyond the “New Normal,” to get another picture of our field from a different angle. Proposals can come from either these younger scholars or from their mentors. The theme of the special issue is: “The Shape of Things to Come.” The format is the following: a one or two-page presentation of the younger scholar by their mentor (about 500 words) and a piece authored by the younger scholar, either a synthesis of the dissertation or an excerpt (about 3000 words). Please see here and here for the 2006 special issues of CF&FS / SITES that followed this format. Interested parties should submit their information via the Google form. We will form a round table related to this special issue during the virtual conference.

It is our full intention to have the traditional colloquium resume in 2022 (and far beyond). We do hope that this event will prove enriching and will enable us to get a sense of how our field is responding to our new normal.

If you have questions about the virtual conference, please contact Andrew Sobanet at For questions related to Contemporary French & Francophone Studies / SITES, please contact Roger Celestin at