CFPs: 16th-Century French–LLC for MLA 2022 Washington, DC (Due: 15 March)

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    Robert J. Hudson

    1. Current Work in Sixteenth-Century French Literary and Cultural Studies

    The Executive Committee for the Forum on Sixteenth-Century French Literature invites proposals for 18-minute papers on any aspect of sixteenth-century French literature and culture to be delivered at the MLA in Washington, D.C., 6–9 January 2022. We will consider scholarship from a variety of perspectives and theoretical approaches, and welcome abstracts from scholars at any stage of their careers. Please send abstract (max. 250 words) and a brief CV to Bob Hudson ( by 15 March 2020.

    2.French Drama in Context (1498–1610)

    French sixteenth-century theater and drama studies are enjoying a revival. We invite proposals in English or in French dealing with any aspect of dramatic form and dramatic life in sixteenth century France. Proposals on drama, dramatic writing, and theater arts from the reigns of Louis XII to Henri IV – even Louis XIII, if the joint imprint of humanism and religious conflict prevails in the works and contexts examined – will be considered. Dramatic works published or not, staged or not, explicitly labeled as such or not, may be discussed. We are especially interested in papers examining controversial issues in context – be that context political, economic, religious, philosophical, juridical, social, artistic, cultural, or even biographical – as well as the risk-management and discursive strategies (e.g., pragmatic address, conciliation, allusiveness, allegory, example, comparison, irony, polyphony, etc.) chosen to tackle such controversial issues. Please send abstract (250 words maximum, in French or English) and brief CV to Corinne Noirot ( by 15 March 2021.

    3. Multilingualism & Humanism in Renaissance France

    As Katie Chenoweth demonstrates in her ground-breaking and award-winning book The Prosthetic Tongue (2019), sixteenth-century France witnessed something of a revolutionary turn towards monolingualism, as an official mother tongue progressively emerged from the vernacular alongside the development of print technology. While this reflects the Ciceronian ideal of a refined centralized language taken up by Italian humanists, the writers and poets of Renaissance France – along with François I’s “three-tongued academy” that would become the Collège de France – simultaneously championed multilingualism. Indeed, the humanistic printing hub of Lyon has been nicknamed “Myrelingues” for the myriad of languages one encountered there. This literary model of multilingualism, taken as an effervescence of linguistic variety, is seen in the texts of Lemaire, Marot, Rabelais, Marguerite de Navarre, Peletier, the Pléiade, and Montaigne, just to name a few. Engaging the MLA 2022 presidential theme of Multilingualism, we welcome abstracts on this idea. Please send abstract (250 words max) and a brief CV to Bob Hudson ( by 15 March 2021.

    4. Joachim Du Bellay at 500

    2022 is the quincentenary year of Joachim Du Bellay’s birth. For much of the intervening time, he was overshadowed by his longer-lived, more prolific, and more self-promoting friend Ronsard. Critics once judged Du Bellay’s Olive and Deffence et illustration de la langue françoyse to be derivative. Though the Regrets and the Antiquitez de Rome have long been highly regarded, scholars have lately seen value throughout his œuvre: the Olive turns out to be a web of political agonistics, the Deffence to embrace poetry’s migration to print; his poetry and poetic theory were of key importance in the English Renaissance. Du Bellay has re-emerged as one of the most original and influential poets of early modern France. We seek papers on any aspect of his work that continue this reassessment. Please send abstract (250 words maximum) and brief CV to Hassan Melehy ( by 15 March 2021.

    5. Precarity in Early Modern French Literature

    Lauren Berlant defines precarity as a life lived “at someone else’s hands,” when one’s relation to the future becomes tenuous. The nexus of capital, neoliberalism, and precarity is particularly intense, but what about the nexus between feudalism, capitalism, state-building, and uncertainty in writers’ lives in sixteenth-century France? Topics include the examination of structural precarities versus the universal image of fortune, the status of non-aristocratic or impoverish and disfavored aristocratic writers, the conjunction of political service or service in war and writing, the emotional labor of the writer (for example, in writing trauma), challenging aristocratic and bourgeois constructs of the sixteenth century French national literary canon. Please send abstract (250 words) and brief cv (one page) to Antonia Szabari ( by 15 March 2021.

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