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«Parcours de femmes»

Twenty Years of Women in French

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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 IV - Women’s Trajectories through Geographical Space -227

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Part IV Women’s Trajectories through Geographical Space The final part considers the notion of ‘trajectory’ in terms of geographical space in order to examine French women’s contributions to the contested genre of travel writing. Ying Chen’s fiction, discussed in Part III, demon- strates the dif ficulty of using the concept of travel to define a genre, since there are many points of contact between this essay and the chapters which constitute Part IV. The chapters in this section illustrate the ways in which the experience of travel is necessarily a gendered one, and they demonstrate the importance of gender as an analytical tool in the study of travel writ- ing. This part considers issues of identity, home, language and ideology as they are filtered through the trope of travel. These analyses of movement though geographical space encompass the novels of Marie Etienne and Silvia Baron Supervielle (Dawn Cornelio) and the films of Marguerite Duras, Agnès Varda, and Virgine Despentes and Coralie Trinh (Michelle Royer) as well as the works of Ella Maillart, Laurence Deonna and Ethel Mannin ( Joy Charnley and Angela Kershaw) which are more obviously recognisable as ‘travel writing’. Dawn M. Cornelio I’m going back where I came from: Travels in Languages and Prose in Marie Etienne’s Sensò, la guerre and Silvia Baron-Supervielle’s Le livre du retour As child in the 1930s, Marie Etienne left France with her parents and went to live in Indochina, towards the end of the colonial period. Though Etienne is known principally as...

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