President’s Welcome

Welcome to the website of the Society for French Studies. You will find here a comprehensive source of information about the Society’s many activities, including our publications, our annual conference, and our other contributions to the French studies community, including four highly prestigious prizes that recognise annually some of the best work produced by students and researchers in the field.

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The Society for French Studies is the oldest and largest association in the UK and Ireland, actively representing the interests of scholars and students of French in higher education and sustaining a disciplinary community at a time of rapid change. Our internationally renowned journal, French Studies, has appeared continuously since 1946. Published by Oxford University Press, it includes articles on the literature, language and culture of France and the wider Francophone world, encompassing periods from the medieval to the modern and contemporary, and covering work on thought and the history of ideas, cultural studies, film, and critical theory. The journal is valued internationally as the most comprehensive source of reviews of publications in French studies, unmatched in their breadth and quality, and it also includes ‘états-présents’ outlining some of the key developments in the field. We have also published for over three decades French Studies Bulletin: A Quarterly Supplement, which is the sister journal to French Studies. It publishes short articles on topics spanning all areas as well as on topical issues and debates.

The Society's annual conference provides a forum for researchers and postgraduate students to present and discuss some of the newest scholarship.

The Bulletin also features reports of selected conferences, and now includes a dedicated postgraduate bulletin board. We also have a book series, Research Monographs in French Series (Legenda), in which some of the most important work in the area has appeared in recent years.

Our annual conference provides a forum for researchers and postgraduate students to present and discuss some of the newest scholarship, and we are pleased to be able to invite four keynote speakers each year from among the leading international scholars in the field. Central to our work is renewal of the subject area through support of postgraduates and early career researchers, and we arrange an annual workshop for research students as well as providing generous grants to allow our members to organise events in their own departments. The Society is responsible for awarding annual awards to students and scholars at every career stage: the R.H. Gapper Undergraduate and Postgraduate Essay Prizes; the Malcolm Bowie Prize for the best article in any area of French studies published by an early career researcher; and the R.H. Gapper Book Prize for the best book published by a scholar working in Britain or Ireland in French studies.

In what is an increasingly challenging context for research and teaching in Modern Languages, the Society also continues to lobby government, the research councils and other bodies on behalf of our membership regarding issues related to our subject area. These range from defending the importance of the Year Abroad in the Brexit era, the essential value of the arts and humanities, and the close ties between the French studies community and our colleagues across Europe. As the damaging consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union become increasingly apparent, we hold strongly to the conviction that we need more, not less, cultural exchange and that the future of the continent depends on cooperation and acceptance. We support Open Access for the dissemination of research, and, just as in the Enlightenment, a continent in which research has no borders and scholars are citizens of the world. If you are not yet a member of the Society, we hope you will consider taking out a subscription now, at a time when strength is measured in numbers. There are many benefits to membership, outlined elsewhere on the site – but the principal one remains the opportunity to join our dynamic community of almost 500 students and scholars from over twenty countries, all of whom share a commitment to French studies in all its twenty-first-century breadth and complexity.

Diana Holmes - President of the Society for French Studies

Details of the Society’s Executive Committee can be found here.

A quick list of the Society’s activities is available here.

The Society’s full Constitution can be found here.

The Society for French Studies is charity no. 1078038 and is a company, limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, no. 3801778. Our registered office is 41 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JF.