The 34th SSFH Annual Conference 2021: Power, Protest and Resistance

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34th SSFH Annual Conference: Power, Protest and Resistance

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The Society’s first virtual annual conference will revolve around a combination of live and pre-recorded events which engage with the theme of power, protest and resistance.

Live events including keynote sessions, roundtables and dozens of panels will take place in the week 28 June 2021 to 2 July 2021. All pre-recorded papers will be available to view for those registered for the conference between 7 June 2021 and 9 July 2021.


The panels, keynotes and roundtables for our first virtual annual conference engage in some way with the themes of protest, power and resistance in the history of France and the Francophone World. Indeed, the political scenes in France, the UK, Europe and the USA have undergone serious shocks in the past few years. From Trump to Brexit to the Gilets Jaunes, the tensions between civil society and political government have crystallised in numerous ways across these countries, and beyond. From environmental issues to #MeToo, and now in the throws of a pandemic, it is impossible to ignore the changing structures of power, protest and resistance in the contemporary world. For historians of France and the (post) imperial world, focus on the structures of power and resistance has long informed the understanding of changing contexts. But how, exactly, have these themes allowed us to write, shape and ultimately understand French history?

The theme of ‘Power, Protest and Resistance’ invites us to reflect on a number of questions: How, indeed, did power structures underpin the changing role of the state or understanding of class, race and gender privilege? How did actors in France and its empire protest and resist power in all its iteration, and how – and to what extent – did they change existing power structures? And lastly, how do French historians view the interplay between power, protest and resistance? Are the three defined in opposition to one another, or is there a way to move beyond these?


Professor Hanna Diamond (University of Cardiff), Professor Frédéric Régent (Sorbonne), and Professor Emmanuelle Saada (Columbia University)


The conference programme is available via our website

It will be subject to changes until June 2021.


Live events including keynote sessions, roundtables and dozens of panels will take place in the week 28 June 2021 to 2 July 2021.

Please note that live panel sessions will not include the individual papers; individual papers have been pre-recorded and are available to watch via an H-France password-protected website which can only be accessed by registered attendees. The recordings can be viewed between 7 June and 9 July 2021, after which point they will be taken down. The pre-recorded papers will ideally be viewed in advance of the live events commencing 28 June; live panels will then focus on discussion and Q&A regarding the individual papers as well as overlapping themes between them, giving speakers and audiences time to really flesh out ideas and concepts.


There are no registration fees for this year’s virtual conference.

However, we encourage attendees to click on the DONATE button which will appear on the conference website in June. We would ideally recommend donations of £10, £20 or £30, depending entirely on what attendees feel they can afford. These donations will be divided between the Society for the Study of French History and H-France to cover technical support costs, funds for early career scholars and other projects run by the societies. You are also invited to become a member of the Society if you are not one already. As you’ll see from this link, there are a number of pricings for different forms of membership:


For any queries or assistance regarding recordings, please contact us at

Conference Organisers: Ludivine Broch (Westminster) and Itay Lotem (Westminster)

Conference Assistance Bursar: Elena Rizzi (European University Institute)

Conference Committee: Alison Carrol (Brunel); James Connolly (UCL); Charlotte Faucher (Manchester); Colin Jones (QMUL); Daniel Lee (QMUL); Julia Nicholls (King’s College London); Rob Priest (RHUL); Andrew Smith (Chichester); Iain Stewart (UCL)

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Organiser SSFH in collaboration with the University of Westminster and H-France

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