Western Sydney University
13th-16th July 2016

We are pleased to announce the 20th George Rudé Seminar in French History and Civilisation, which will be held at the Parramatta Campus of the Western Sydney University, NSW from the 13th to 16th of July 2016. The George Rudé Seminar is a biannual conference that brings together specialists in French history and culture from Australia, New Zealand, and around the world. These seminars recognise the contribution of George Rudé to study of French history and culture in Australasia. Since 2006, a peer-reviewed selection of papers from each Rudé seminar has been published online through H-France at

The Parramatta campus of WSU is one of the most elegant and historically significant sites among institutions of Australian higher education. The campus is located on the traditional lands of Darug people, and is graced by the nearby Parramatta River, which can be followed via a regenerated 35-minute riverside walking-tour from the centre of Parramatta city. The WSU is home to the historic Female Orphan School, one of the very few surviving public buildings of its size dating from the early colonial period. Predating even Hyde Park Barracks, the Female Orphan School is the oldest three-story building in the country.

The Rudé Seminar welcomes 20-minute papers, in English or in French, whether as individual papers or within group panels, on the following topics:.

(1) ) all aspects of French and Francophone history and civilisation, from the Middle Ages to the present, for inclusion in the general program, and we particularly welcome papers addressing the three special themes listed below:

(2) the ‘History of French Science, Medicine and Technology’. We welcome scholarship on all aspects of medical practice and research, scientific knowledge, technology and its application, in the long history of all francophone societies.

(3) the ‘French Colonial Imaginary’ for which we invite papers on all aspects of French imperialism, colonisation, colonial governance and ideas, Francophone colonial independence movements, post-colonial histories, and legacies of colonialism in recent history, including the history of immigration, racism and ethnic minority movements.

(4) digital humanities projects relating to French history. Furthermore, the conference will be preceded by a two day symposium on Digitizing Enlightenment on 11-12 July, for which delegates will also be able to register.

All these themes reflect areas of research strength at Western Sydney and, in addition to the conference proceedings, we hope to publish collections of essays addressing all three following the conference.

Confirmed Keynote speakers for the George Rudé seminar include:

Dan Edelstein, Professor of French and of History at Stanford University, author of The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 2009), and of The Enlightenment: A Genealogy (University of Chicago Press, 2010).

Mike Osborne, Professor of History at Oregon State University, author of The Emergence of Tropical Medicine in France (University of Chicago Press, 2014), and of Nature, the Exotic, and the Science of French Colonialism (Indiana University Press, 1994).

Anita Guerrini, Horning Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History, Oregon State University, author of Obesity and Depression in the Enlightenment: The Life and Times of George Cheyne (University of Oklahoma Press, 2000), and of Experimenting with Human and Animals: From Galen to Animal Rights (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).

A fourth keynote speaker will be announced soon.

Abstracts of up to 300 words per presenter should be sent to the seminar e-mail, together with a 100-word profile of each speaker giving name, professional title and affiliation, by 1 December 2015. General inquiries can be addressed to the same address. Further announcements and information will be posted at our website: