News from the France–Florida Research Institute

As the director of the FFRI, it is my pleasure to report that this past year the FFRI has been active and productive through organization, sponsoring of varied activities involving several UF departments, centers, and units.

The FFRI 2017-2018 annual research project, led by Dr. Blum as Principal Investigator, was titled “Deaf Cinema” and dedicated to the study of closed captioning, audio description, and the examination of silent film. In Fall 2017, Dr. Blum and Dr. Richard Burt (English/Film) organized a symposium, which brought together scholars Jean-François Cornu (“Deafness’ in subtitled and Dubbed Versions”), Dr. Michel Chion (“Intertitles or captions in some recent neo-silent films: Pastiche or Reinvention”) and Dr. Peter Szendy, (“Phrasing the Moving Image”). In Spring 2018, Dr. Blum invited Dr. Esther Heboyan who gave a talk titled “La traduction malaisée de l’américain vers le français dans America America d’Elia Kazan”.

Spring 2018 saw the closure of the 2013 interdisciplinary initiative “French in contact” led by Dr. Blondeau and Dr. Sow. The project “French in contact” involved collaboration between LLC department, Linguistics, the Center for African Studies and the Université Paris Descartes, Université Rennes 2 and the University of Ottawa. Focusing on the concepts of “intersection” and “contact” in French, the project examined cultural productions and language practices across multiple locations including Haiti, Montreal, Dakar and Paris. As part of the project, in Fall and Spring 2018, Mireille Tremblay (Université de Montréal, Raymond Mougeon (College Glendon, Toronto), Gudrun Ledegen (Rennes 2), Isabelle Léglise (Université La Réunion) came to UF to give seminars and lectures. On March 21, Yolaine Parisot (Paris Créteil) gave a talk titled “Rumeurs de faille. Fictions politiques d’Haïti: fenêtres d’un monde réellement possible”). The project “French in contact” has been instrumental in consolidating faculty and students’ exchanges between UF and Rennes 2. It also initiated new collaborative network and opportunities to facilitate faculty and student mobility with Paris Créteil.

I am also very pleased to mention that the 2016-2017 annual project “Aftermath and confrontations” led by Dr. Gayle Zachman is still ongoing. Under the aegis of the project, Dr. Bernadette Cailler has organized the visit of creative writer, researcher and professor Michaël Ferrier. Ferrier gave a lecture titled “Français de souche, Français de papier, Français de branche” and presented Kenichi Watanabe’s documentary The World after Fukushima.
two men standing in art gallery
In addition to the annual research projects, the FFRI has contributed to several events on campus. It contributed to the annual Carter conference organized this year by Dr. Nancy Hunt and myself at the Center for African Studies. This year conference was dedicated to the relation text/image and included the visit of France based visual artist Didier Viodé and Congolese novelist Fiston Mwanjila. The FFRI contributed to the remarkable Harn Museum exhibit “Becoming a Woman” and sponsored Thomas Hale (Penn State) and Carla Calargé (FAU) who respectively gave talks on Françafrique (Francophonie and Françafrique) and Lebanon (“Fragmented Memories of a Haunting War: Anamnesis and the Francophone Cultural Production of the New Millennium”).

The details of some forthcoming events are on our website.