Conference Series


History Conferences Series

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


After introducing the Merovingians, the Carolingians, the Capetians and the French Revolution of 1789 last year, History Conferences are back in 2022 for a new season!

This year, the focus will be on a vibrant yet lesser-known century in the history of France: the 19th century. Historians Romain Fathi and Claire Rioult will take you through this tumultuous period in the country’s history, starting with Napoléon and the almighty Premier Empire, and finishing with the formidable debacle of his nephew’s – Napoléon III – regime, aptly named le Second Empire. In between, you will discover or rediscover the turbulent history of the French people who managed to fit seven constitutional systems, two other revolutions, several wars, two emperors, three kings and a Président de la République in 70 eventful years! This fascinating period has left its mark on today’s France, both in politics and culture, and is therefore quite important to understand contemporary France. .

19 August, 02 September & 30 September - 6.30pm - Alliance Francaise d'Adelaide

Booking:
Booking is available on the website until noon on the day of the event.

For All Conferences:
3-Conference Pack

$45 for members & students
$50 for non-members


For Single Conferences:
Conference I Only | Conference II Only | Conference III Only

$15 for members & students
$20 for non-members


For more information:
Please contact Reception if you have any questions.


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

Friday 19 August - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Alliance Française d'Adélaïde

Napoléon is one of the most written about persons in history. From humble beginnings, he rose through the ranks of the French Army at breakneck speed, becoming a General of the French Revolution before becoming one of its leading figures under the Consulat and finally crowning (himself!) Emperor in 1804. It took a coalition of European forces to finally defeat his legendary armies in 1815. In less than two decades, Napoléon changed the face of France and Europe, for better or for worse. This is, to this day, a much debated and divisive topic. In this conference, we will present the man and the legend, but also the complex political system he progressively established in France and over much of Western Europe. We will delve into memorable battles – victories and defeats alike – and reflect on the ambitious Corsican leader and his legacy in contemporary France.



Conference II - The return of the Monarchy 1814-1848

Friday 2 September - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Alliance Française d'Adélaïde

1814-1848 is perhaps one of the messiest and most complex periods in recent French history, an overlooked time of monarchical restoration and political innovation that paved the way for modern France. After Waterloo, the Bourbons are back on the French throne with Louis XVI's brothers: Louis XVIII (1814-1824) and Charles X (1824-1830) who both attempted to assert their power over a radically changed nation. A spectacular assassination, a child of miracle, and multiple attacks on the press and a nascent democratic system throw the Bourbons yet again on the road of exile after an 1830 Revolution that inspired Victor Hugo's Les Misérables and put Louis-Philippe I as King of the French. His 18-year reign saw a curious and unique system of ‘temperate monarchy’ and economic growth that failed to extinguish the powerful idea that ‘the Revolution was not finished’.



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

Friday 30 September - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Alliance Française d'Adélaïde

1848 Europe is a Europe of revolutions, the original Springtime of the Peoples. From Vienna to Milan, peoples of Europe take the streets and change their destiny. France is not immune to this revolutionary wave and 1848 tolls the knell of its last Bourbon. There will be no more kings and queens of France. The Second Republic is proclaimed, and a feeling of freedom and change propagates through the country. It is short-lived, however, with Napoléon III staging a coup in 1851, declaring the Second Empire shortly afterwards. This was a time of incredible industrial and scientific progress, somewhat hampered by the regime’s conservatism and authoritarianism. A rather poor strategist, Napoleon III and his empire are defeated by the Prussians in 1870, leaving France in shambles and in crisis.  







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: https://romainfathi.com/my-story


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.

Previous Conference Series

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: Dr. Romain Fathi

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: https://romainfathi.com/my-story

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: 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?

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




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.

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