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«Parcours de femmes»

Twenty Years of Women in French

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Edited By Maggie Allison and Angela Kershaw

This collection of essays celebrates twenty years of Women in French, a network of female academics working in the discipline of French Studies. Based on papers delivered at the group’s tenth biennial conference in Leeds, which was entitled ‘Le parcours’, the volume investigates the theme of trajectories in French and Francophone women’s lives and writings.
The book begins with consideration of the ways in which traces of women’s lives, experiences and texts are conserved in archives and communicated to new generations of readers through the practice of women’s biography. It then addresses the presence of women in public spaces such as journalism, politics and the street. The volume goes on to examine women’s representations in literary space and their use of imaginative writing to depict, interrogate and transform their life trajectories. It considers women’s movements through geographical space, looking at the intersections between gender and travel. With the inclusion of essays from a range of disciplinary perspectives, the volume highlights the variety of French and Francophone women’s contributions to society, culture and politics as well as celebrating the diversity of women’s contributions to the discipline of French Studies in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Europe.

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Part II - Women’s Trajectories through Public Space -39

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Part II Women’s Trajectories through Public Space The five chapters in Part II are examples of the practice of women’s biogra- phy and women’s history. Jane Chapman’s chapter focuses on the inscrip- tion of female concerns into the public consciousness via journalism in the second half of the nineteenth century, considering the example of Le Petit Journal. In Part I, Verdier demonstrated the importance of Margue- rite Durand’s contribution to the conservation of documents relating to women’s history; now Chapman stresses the significance of Durand’s La Fronde in relation to the history of journalism and thus the presence of women and their concerns in public space. The contributions by Manda Green and Maggie Allison take us into the twenty-first century to consider the presence of women in politics at a time when equal access to public space is a theoretical possibility, but far from a reality. Allison pays close attention to the mediation of Ségolène Royal’s political trajectory through contemporary journalism. Green analyses the obstacles to women’s access to political power. Imogen Long and Estelle Soudant use two very dif ferent types of autobiographical texts to analyse dif ferent kinds of female trajec- tories. Long considers the career of Gisèle Halimi, who has established a significant place for herself in the public sphere through politics and writing, whilst Soudant addresses the dif ficult and traumatic trajectories of anonymous homeless women. Soudant’s analysis of the presence of homeless women in public space is an attempt to create a...

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