Conference Series

Upcoming Conferences: August 2024

History: The Forgotten Women of French History

History Conferences are back! This brand-new series on the Forgotten Women of French History is composed of two lectures, led by John West-Sooby, Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Adelaide.

Where: Alliance Française d'Adélaïde
When: Lecture 1 on Tuesday 6 August & Lecture 2 on Tuesday 27 August
Time: 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Women reigned, they wrote, they campaigned, they created, they fought and they sometimes shouted. And yet they are mostly absent from the history manuals or consigned to the margins.

This cycle of two lectures will attempt to bring some of these women back to life by looking at a selective but representative sample of figures whose influence has been lost in the shadows or largely overlooked. The talks will also reconsider some of the more well-known figures whose role has often been misrepresented, over-simplified or trivialised in the popular imagination.

Conference I - Before the Revolution: from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Marie-Antoinette

Conference II - The Revolution and beyond: from Charlotte Corday to Bernadette Chirac

Previous Special One-Night Conference

Conference - The role of France in the development of the Australian Wine Industry

Friday 18 November 2022 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Alliance Française d'Adélaïde

Presented by: Barbara Santich,
Professor Emeritus at Adelaide University

Previous Conference Series

Co-Presented by: Dr Romain Fathi & Claire Rioult

Dr. Romain Fathi is a French historian whose longstanding research interests are concerned with Australian national identity, the First World War and the history of public health. While researching Australian history, Romain is also passionate about the history of his own country, France, where he was born and raised.

He obtained a jointly awarded PhD with Sciences Po (Paris, France) and The University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia). Romain studied and taught in several universities including Sciences Po, Yale, the University of Queensland. He now holds a position of Senior Lecturer in History at Flinders University.

For more information on Romain’s research and publications, please see:

Claire Rioult is a French PhD candidate with Monash University and the University of Warwick (UK) whose doctoral research explores French and British commercial diplomacies in Spain during the Age of Revolutions, with a special interest in how consuls and diplomats operated in a time of crisis and political upheaval. Claire graduated with a master’s degree from Sciences Po (Paris, France) and is agrégée d’histoire. Her master’s thesis explored maritime quarantine structures and practices against the plague in the late eighteenth century in the French Channel seaports.

History: 19th Century France: the era of revolutions, changes and experimentations

Conference I - Napoléon and the Premier Empire : Rise and Fall

Conference II - The return of the Monarchy 1814-1848

Conference III - The Republican Dream and the Second Empire, 1848-1870

History: The Making of France - from Clovis to Louis XVI

Conference I - The Merovingians and the Carolingians: the origins of France?

Conference II - The House of Capet and the House of Valois: strengthening the kingdom and the monarchy

Conference III - The Bourbons and the monarchie absolue

History: The French Revolution

Conference I - Making Revolution: 1789 France

Conference II - The causes of the French Revolution

Conference III - A Revolution that changed the world: the impacts of “1789”

Presented by: John West-Sooby

John West-Sooby is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Adelaide. He has worked for many years on Nicolas Baudin’s voyage of discovery to Australia and has authored or co-produced numerous books and articles on the subject, including Encountering Terra Australis. The Australian Voyages of Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders (with Jean Fornasiero and Peter Monteath), French Designs on Colonial New South Wales (with Jean Fornasiero), and The Art of Science: Nicolas Baudin’s Voyagers (1800–1803) (with Jean Fornasiero and Lindl Lawton).

He has also published widely on nineteenth-century French literature and on crime fiction (French and Australian). He currently has two books in preparation: the first is a collection of essays by eminent scholars on the science and the scientists of the Baudin expedition; the second is a volume of essays on French contributions to our cultural life, entitled What have the French ever done for us?

Science: Les Voyages de Baudin

Conference I - The Science of the Baudin Expedition

Conference II - The Baudin Expedition and the Figure of the Scientific Voyager

Literature: French Poetry Through the Ages

Conference I - From the mediaeval epic to the poets of the Pléiade: celebrating great deeds, courtly love and the French language

Conference I - From the mediaeval epic to the poets of the Pléiade: celebrating great deeds, courtly love and the French language

Conference II - The Golden Age of French poetry: the nineteenth century Romantics

Presented by: Ben McCann

Ben McCann is Associate Professor of French Studies at the University of Adelaide. He is the author of Ripping Open the Set: French Film Design, 1930-1939, Le Jour se lève, Julien Duvivier, and L’Auberge espagnole: European Youth on Film. He is currently writing a book on the links between French and Japanese cinema.

He is interested in all areas of French Cinema; particularly in 1930s French 'Poetic Realist' cinema, set design and film decor, film adaptation, and the films of Marcel Carné, Julien Duvivier, and Jean Dujardin.

Cinema: French Cinema Through the Decades

Conference I - From Cinéma Muet to Les Enfants du Paradis

Conference II - La Nouvelle Vague and the 1960s

Conference III - Contemporary French Cinema

Cinema: Classic celebrities of French cinema

Conference I - From Cinéma Muet to the French New Wave

Conference II - De la Nouvelle Vague au XXIe century

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