CFP: ‘The Local and the Global’, University of Exeter, 7 March 2015

Lori Lee Oates
History Department, University of Exeter

globe celeste

The Local and the Global

ASMCF- SSFH PG Study Day, University of Exeter

Saturday March 7th 2015

Call For Papers

Keynote Speaker: Dr Claire Eldridge (Southampton)

Planned Professional Development Sessions: archival research; social media for academia; publishing journal articles; the Viva; and from PhD to monograph.

Deadline for Submissions: 9 January 2015

‘Tout le Monde à Paris’, proclaimed a poster for the 1900 Exposition Universelle. The world on your doorstep; the global meets the local through a cultural conduit. A century later, and with the World Wide Web in your pocket, the global has never been more connected to the local. Conceptually these terms are antonymous: the local is specific, on a small scale, and often suggests civic or regional affiliations to a place; the global is universal, world-wide, and lacks definitive spatial rooting. Yet considering the local and the global as opposites may belie the potential impact that they can have upon one another. 

French schools teach history and geography as a single subject: histoire-géographie. Place, therefore, informs how history is conceptualised, understood, written, and taught. Place can also be central to cultural production: the backdrop to a literary or cinematic plot, the principal subject for painting or photography. Recent advancements in the study of other, non-European, cultures, particularly through postcolonial studies, have opened avenues that foreground the comparison of histories and rethink the centre-periphery. Scholars in Humanities are beginning to look beyond a national organising principle towards the transnational. The global is an increasingly useful category for historical analysis; Translation and World Literature are growing disciplines.

Yet, despite this cumulative emphasis on the global, the recent Scottish Referendum debate, which elicited interest in contested Francophone regions in Europe and Canada, demonstrated that local sentiments still remain strong for many. How, then, does current scholarship understand the intersection between the local and the global? Is it possible to adopt a global approach without losing sight of the local? Must we reconsider our understanding of local or even national history in light of these recent theoretical developments?

It is our intention that the conference theme will be widely interpreted, and bring together young researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines. We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers in English or French on any relevant topic. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • The effects of globalisation
  • The global in microcosm
  • Writing global history
  • Transnational literary movements, comparative literature, and translation
  • French foreign policy and international relations
  • Local/civic/regional history
  • The use of place or setting in cultural production
  • Historiography
  • Regional/local languages or identities
  • Regional literature or art
  • Contested Francophone regions
  • Cultural conduits: travel writing, museums and exhibitions

The conference is generously funded by the Society for the Study of French History and the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France. In order to offset the costs of holding this event, we kindly ask that speakers and students in attendance join one of the societies if they are not already a member. Both societies offer affordable rates for postgraduates with membership benefits. Some travel reimbursements will be made available for speakers.

Proposals/abstracts of no more than 250 words, either in English or French, should be sent to The deadline for submissions is January 9, 2015. Informal enquiries also welcome.

Organising Committee: Stacie Allan (Bristol), Ellen Crabtree (Newcastle), Lori Lee Oates (Exeter), Mason Norton (Edge Hill/Rouen)