To celebrate the annual conference of the Society for French Studies (1-3 July 2019), we are delighted to present a Virtual Issue of French Studies on “Migration and Mobility”. Responding to the prominence of this theme across the conference programme, we have chosen articles from throughout the history of French Studies concerned with movement of various kinds, from migration and travel to the movements of the body, or indeed of the spirit. Across the globe, the acute suffering of large numbers of people fleeing the disasters of conflict, extreme poverty, and climate change have made migration a defining feature of the contemporary world: with this horizon firmly in mind, we have sought to present a collection of articles in which the stakes of displacement remain to the fore, inflected in each case by such dimensions as nationality and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, or locality and class.
The shifts of territory and perspective brought about by travel in various modes have contributed a recurrent concern with the representation of place, while the movement of human bodies in transit – or indeed their uncanny automatic doubles – is accompanied by its spiritual, psychical, and historical resonances. Taken as a whole, this collection also suggests the mobility of French Studies as representative of its discipline. If the different concerns and approaches apparent across the seventy-one years intermittently in evidence here allow us to trace something of this discipline’s journey over this time, they also testify to the vibrancy of a field committed to registering and responding to the movements of all those times and places which compose its plural worlds.