- Editor’s Preface
This twenty-fourth volume of Women in French Studies offers a wonderful window on the amazing scholars that currently make up our organization. In the pages of this volume, you will find articles that focus on French and Francophone women novelists, playwrights, photographers, filmmakers, and one painter. The scholarship covers 150 years of creative works, from 1863 to 2014, and explores works created by women from many different Francophone areas of the world, including two in Algeria, two in Tunisia, one each in Guadeloupe, Lebanon, Québec, and Switzerland, and of course several in France.
We begin the volume with Catherine Schmitz’s article on a collection of plays written in the early 1860s and published in 1868 by Maria de Solms Rattazzi de Rute (née Bonaparte-Wyse). She examines de Solms’ message to women of her time on how to find happiness in marriage. Next we read Lauren Tilger’s article on the performativity of gender in André Léo’s 1869 Aline-Ali, as a way to compare her feminist statements in the novel alongside her nonfiction work published in the same year, La femme et les moeurs : monarchie ou liberté. Following these two nineteenth century authors, we change centuries and land in the 1980s, where our next article, by Jenny Odintz, compares the subjects of coming-of-age, community, and alternative narrative structures in Maryse Condé and Nicole Brossard, in order to explore different strategies used to resist patriarchal social structures. We then continue in the francophone world, with two articles devoted to Algerian women: the first one, by C. Wakaba Futamara, seeks to deconstruct the “fairy tale” legend surrounding the Franco-Algerian artist Baya Mahadienne, discovered at age sixteen by André Breton and who continued to create paintings in her own style for fifty years, until her death in 1999. The second article, by Mary McCullough, explores sexuality and independence in Maïssa Bey’s 2005 novel, written after and in part inspired by the devastating 2003 earthquake in Algeria. We remain in North Africa for the next two articles, which are devoted to two Tunisian women. The first, by Nevine El-Nossery, focuses on writer and photographer Doris Latiri and her 2013 work Un amour de tn : Carnet photographique d’un retour au pays, a photographic and textual memoir of her recent return to Tunisia. The second article, by Anna Rocca, provides a comparative study of works by Evelyne Accad (from the 1990s) and Azza Filali (from 2014); although Accad is from Lebanon and Filali is from Tunisia, both women writers focus on the status of women in Tunisia during major political turning points in that country’s history. We finish this year’s volume with Claire Mouflard’s article on Sciamma’s controversial 2014 film Bande de filles; Mouflard focuses on the ways in which Sciamma’s film produces an “artistic anticolonial practice of feminism”, through [End Page 9] showing us how surveillance and bodily control affects the lives of young women in the banlieue.
Following this selection of essays, you will find Michèle Schaal’s intriguing interview with the young Swiss writer Isabelle Flükiger whose works have not yet begun to receive the attention that her French consoeurs Virginie Despentes or Claire Legendre or Christine Angot have received in recent years. The volume concludes with a wonderful selection of a dozen book reviews, including some works written by our own Women in French members. All of these authors’ research, writing, and contributions to the field are first rate, and I am honored to be the editor of such dynamic scholarly works.
I want to thank as well the nearly fifty evaluators whom I called on during this past year to review the submissions that we received. Their expertise in a wide variety of fields, their helpful comments and suggestions all contributed so much to shape the articles that you will read in the following pages. These readers include many of our editorial and advisory board members, but also numerous scholars in our organization as well as scholars from around the world in the field of French and Francophone Studies. Without their time and their dedication, I would...