Forum Executive Committee Candidates

1 reply, 2 voices Last updated by Ashley Williard 2 years, 3 months ago
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    Joy Palacios

    The MLA Forum Executive Committee Elections are around the corner! Voting will begin in early November and close on December 10th. I am creating this topic so that candidates for the LLC 17th-Century French Forum’s executive committee can post a notice about their interests and goals.

    My name is Joy Palacios and I am an assistant professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Before moving to Calgary, I was an assistant professor of early modern literature in the Department of French at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, Canada. I hold a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and my research interests concern the religious practice, culture, and literature of the French Counter-Reformation, with particular attention to the tensions between the church and the theater. My book, Ceremonial Splendor: Performing Priesthood in Early Modern France, is forthcoming from the University of Pennsylvania Press (Fall 2022) and examines the way seminary-trained clergymen used representational strategies such as rehearsals, ceremonies, and framing to construct themselves in the image of the parfait ecclésiastique, or perfect churchman. I am a strong advocate of interdisciplinary dialogue and of collaborations that bridge the many humanities fields that inform our study of seventeenth century France, especially performance studies, religious studies, literature, and history. As part of my effort to foster interdisciplinary exchange, I co-organized the MLA Commons Early Modern French Studies Reading Group with Anna Rosensweig from 2013 to 2016, I served as treasurer for the Association des Professeur.e.s de Français des Universités et Collèges Canadiens from 2014 to 2016, and I co-founded and have served as president of the Collectif d’Anthropologie et d’Histoire du Spirituel et des Affects (CAHSA) since 2016. In these roles, I have helped organize four conferences, as well as online and in-person reading groups and writing groups, an online lecture series, and nine conference panels. As a member of the executive committee for the LLC 17th-Century French Forum, I would look forward to working with our colleagues to plan the annual MLA sessions for our Forum and to continuing to promote the study of seventeenth-century France.


    Ashley Williard

    Thanks, Joy, for setting up the topic and getting the conversation going!

    I’m Ashley Williard, assistant professor in the Francophone Studies Program (Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) at the University of South Carolina. I completed my PhD in French at the City University of New York Graduate Center. My research examines disability, gender, and race in the early modern French-speaking world. My first book, Engendering Islands: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Violence in the Early French Caribbean (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World series at University of Nebraska Press, 2021), argues that early Caribbean reconstructions of masculinity and femininity upheld slavery and nascent ideas of race. My current book project, Disruptive Minds: Madness in the Early French Atlantic, argues that the mediated voices of the “mad” can expose unique sites of subjectivity that interrogate colonial power structures and archival silences.

    In my service to the profession, I aim to promote issues of access, diversity, equity, and inclusion. I am involved in DEI initiatives on the program and department level at my university. After participating in a related task force, I was recently nominated as one of two diversity officers for the Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies.

    I have organized conference sessions related to intersectionality, new directions in early modern studies, and antiracist pedagogy. For MLA 2022, I am co-organizing (with Ellen Welch and Annette Joseph-Gabriel) a roundtable on “Francophonie and the Early Modern: Intertextual Connections,” affiliated with the LLC 17th-Century French and Francophone Studies Forums.

    If elected to the LLC 17th-Century French Forum, I would seek feedback from members to identify ways to support inclusion and access. I would also look forward to fostering ongoing interdisciplinary collaborations with other forums in fields such as English and Spanish.

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