France in Flux

Space, Territory and Contemporary Culture

Edited by Ari J. Blatt and Edward Welch

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ISBN: 9781786941787

Publication: March 31, 2019

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 59

The look and feel of metropolitan France has been a notable preoccupation of French literary and visual culture since the 1980s. Numerous writers, filmmakers and photographers have been drawn to articulate France’s contrasting spatial qualities, from infrastructural installations such as roads, rail lines and ports, to peri-urban residential developments and isolated rural enclaves. In doing so, they explore how the country’s acute sense of national identity has been both asserted and challenged in topographic terms.

This wide-ranging collection of essays explores how the contemporary concern with space in France has taken shape across a range of media, from recent cinema, documentary filmmaking and photographic projects through to television drama and contemporary fiction, and examines what it reveals about the state of the nation in a post-colonial and post-industrial age. The impact of global flows of capital, trade and migration can be mapped through attention to the specificities of place and topography. Investigation of liminal locations, from seaboard cities and abandoned industrial sites to refugee camps and peasant smallholdings, interrogates the assertion of a national territory (and, by extension, a national identity) through the figure of the hexagon, and highlights the fluidities, instabilities and lines of flight which render it increasingly unsettled.

Ari J. Blatt is an Associate Professor of French at the University of Virginia

Edward Welch is Carnegie Professor of French at the University of Aberdeen

Ari J. Blatt and Edward Welch
Chapter 1: Angels of History: Looking Back at Spatial Planning in the Mission photographique de la DATAR
Edward Welch, University of Aberdeen
Chapter 2: Disuse and Affect: Post-Industrial Landscapes of France’s Labour Lost
Derek Schilling, Johns Hopkins University
Chapter 3: Depth of Field: Farmland and Farm Life in Contemporary French Documentary
Alison J. Murray Levine, University of Virginia
Chapter 4: Sylvain George’s Minor Mode, or Cinema at the Margins of its Fragile Community
Anna-Louise Milne, University of London Institute in Paris
Chapter 5: Girlhood Luminosities and Topographical Politics: 17 Filles (Delphine and Muriel Coulin, 2011) and Bande de filles (Céline Sciamma, 2014)
Fiona Handyside, University of Exeter
Chapter 6: Les Revenants, Tignes, and the Return of Postwar Modernization
Catherine E. Clark, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brian R. Jacobson, University of Toronto
Chapter 7: French Edgeland Poetics: Topography and Ecology in Jean Rolin’s Les Événements
Joshua Armstrong, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Chapter 8: Picturing a Nation of Local Places in the Observatoire photographique du paysage and France(s) territoire liquide
Ari J. Blatt, University of Virginia

"An invaluable contribution to French cultural studies [...] France in Flux provides an enlightening multi-faceted vision of issues affecting our understanding of contemporary French space and identity."
Carrie Tarr, Kingston University

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 × 163 mm

256 Pages

ISBN: 9781786941787

Publication: March 31, 2019

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 59

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