The Winthrop-King Institute at Florida State University is pleased to host the 2018 Women in French Conference:



February 8-10, 2018
International Conference

The Winthrop-King Institute, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

Keynote Speakers: Elizabeth McAlister (Wesleyan University)


Organizers: Aimée Boutin (FSU), Reinier Leushuis (FSU), Martin Munro (FSU), Virginia Osborn (FSU), Anaïs Nony (FSU), Silvia Valisa (FSU)

Women talk too much, their talk is idle gossip or just plain dangerous. Conversely, women have not talked loud enough, their interventions in discourse have been condemned or erased, and there are still disciplines and contexts devoid of female voices. Feminist and feminist scholarship has strived to turn up the volume on the silence surrounding past generations of women’s experiences, stories, and artistic achievements. To listen to women and to speak as a woman can become a political act. Hence Eugénie Niboyet's choice of the title La Voix des femmes for the first daily feminist newspaper in France. The proliferation of academic titles that use the metaphor of voice specifically in relation to women's enfranchisement to mean "speaking out" and "breaking the silence" is evidence that women are nothing if no(t) voice. … 

In The Laugh of the Medusa, Hélène Cixous struck a chord when she appropriated the metaphor of voice to state powerfully that “Women should break out of the snare of silence… Listen to a woman speak at a public gathering (if she hasn’t painfully lost her wind). She doesn’t ‘speak,’… all of her passes into her voice…” But is the voice necessarily the source of authenticity and affirmation these terms assume? What is meant by voicing as a metaphor for self-expression? How does it relate to making noise or silence, and to other sounds and forms of sensory expressions? 

This 9th international Women in French conference seeks to explore how women's voices have been heard, conceived, and represented in French and Francophone literatures. In so doing, participants are encouraged to think about vocality and noise in all their reverberations in relation to the following terms:

  • Noise and silence
  • Silencing and the politics of speech
  • Political voices, women’s rights
  • Cultures of silence and women’s issues
  • Orality/Aurality
  • Listening practices
  • Storytelling and oral traditions
  • Narrative voices
  • Gossip and rumors 
  • Print vs oral cultures 
  • Oral imaginary
  • Voice, gender, and sexuality
  • Voice, race, colonialism
  • Voice and spirituality
  • Music, bruitage 
  • Oral performance, oration
  • Sound ecologies
  • Sonic Arts
  • Sound technologies
  • Soundscapes
  • Digital sound
  • Voice, body, and the 5 senses

The conference also supports the One Book, One WIF selection for 2017-2018 and will include a panel on Camille en octobre by Mireille Best (1943-2005) and a public reading of her novel. Launched jointly in 2016 by WIF-North America and WIF-UK, the One Book initiative seeks to foster international collaboration by the members of and participants in the two organizations and conferences with the goal of drawing scholarly attention to the work of lesser-known Francophone women writers.

We invite 250 word proposals for panels and papers in French or English on the theme “Women and Sound.” Proposals should be accompanied by a short biography. Please submit proposals by August 3, 2017 via the online submission portal.

Proposals for papers may be submitted here.

Proposals for panels may be submitted here.


For more information about the conference, please contact: 

The Winthrop-King Institute

Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida 32306-1540

Telephone 850.644.7636

Fax 850.644.9917



The Winthrop-King Institute, Florida State University
The Winthrop-King Institute