Western Society for French History


46the Annual Conference: French History from the Edge

Portland, ME

1-3 November 2018



46th Annual Conference:
Portland, ME (Nov. 1-3, 2018)



The forty-sixth annual conference of the Western Society for French History will be held from November 1-3 in Portland, Maine. The theme for this year’s conference is “French History from the Edge,” exploring how the study of geographic peripheries, marginalized populations, the intersectionality of gender, race, and class, and interdisciplinary methodologies informs our understanding of France and Francophone worlds. Bonnie Smith (Board of Governors Distinguished Emeritus Professor of History, Rutgers University) will deliver a keynote address titled "History from the Margins -- Riches and Costs" on Friday, November 2. Emmanuelle Saada (Director of French and Francophone Studies, Columbia University) will deliver a keynote address titled " 'Without Distinction of...Sex': The Constitutional Politics of Race and Sex in Contemporary France" on Saturday, November 3. There will also be a plenary roundtable on the topic of "Global France" over lunch on Saturday, with Jennifer Boittin (The Pennsylvania State University), Mary D. Lewis (Harvard University), Amelia Lyons (University of Central Florida), Salar Mohandesi (Bowdoin College), Emmanuelle Saada, and Jennifer Sessions (University of Virginia).

We thank our generous sponsors for their support: Bowdoin College, Bowdoin College Department of History, Wellesley College, Bates College, Bowdoin College Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and the University of Alaska Southeast.

In preparation for this year’s WSFH Annual Conference, this practical information may be useful:


Option A: Fly directly to Portland: https://portlandjetport.org/. Airlines that service Portland International Jetport from include American, Delta, Elite, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, and United. The Westin has a shuttle from the airport. Be sure the airport is PWM (not PDX, which is Portland, Oregon).

Option B: Fly to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and take the Concord Coach Lines bus to Portland: https://concordcoachlines.com/route/portland-to-boston-logan-airport/. Concord Coach also has a routes to/from Boston South Station, if people prefer the Amtrak train. The buses are very nice and reliable. The tickets are $30 one way or $50 round trip to/from Boston. If you purchase in advance, be sure to print out your ticket. You can also buy a ticket the day of travel. The driver will take a photo ID when you board the bus in Boston, which will be returned to you when you pay for your ticket in Portland. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.

Concord Coach Lines also operates a bus between New York City and Portland. Tickets are $75 each way and must be reserved in advance here. Travel time is approximately 6 hours.


The conference will take place at the Westin Portland Harborview, which is ideally situated within easy walking distance of Portland's charming downtown, working waterfront, lovely views of Casco Bay, and stellar restaurant scene. Portland is also within a short drive to beautiful recreational areas such as Two Lights State Park and Wolfe's Neck State Park. 

Conference rate rooms are $149/night for two standard double beds or $159/night for a king bed: BOOK HERE: https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/WSFH2018. Questions may be directed to the Westin Portland Harborview at (207) 775-5411 or (866) 716-8108.

The Program Committee: Gayle Brunelle (California State University, Fullerton), Christopher Church (University of Nevada, Reno), Stephen Harp (University of Akron), Joelle Neulander (The Citadel), Christy Pichichero (George Mason University), and Robin Walz, Chair (University of Alaska). The Local Arrangements Committee is chaired by Meghan Roberts (Bowdoin College).
Please direct queries to Robin Walz at president@wsfh.org.


Future Conference Locations

  • 2019 Bozeman, MT

  • 2020 Victoria, BC

  • 2021 Memphis, TN

Previous Conference Programs

Click on the links to find recent conference programs. Any scholars who can provide electronic copies of programs from earlier conferences should contact the WSFH secretary.