PhD Students Hannah Olsen and Vanessa Weller Present at International Colloquium

On Feb. 22, PhD students Hannah Olsen and Vanessa Weller presented at the 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium in Philadelphia, PA.

The theme of the conference was independence, and authors were asked to write and submit an essay explaining how artists and intellectuals from the French-speaking world have expressed their independence when faced with the significant shifts in societies of the past century.

Hannah was awarded second place in the Prix de Recherche for her essay submission, “Reproductive Independence After the ‘loi Veil’: The Legacy of the Fight for Abortion ‘libre et gratuit’ in Agnès Varda’s ‘L’Une chante, l’autre pas’ (1977).”

Hannah Olsen’s award certificate for second place in the Prix de Recherche

This prestigious and highly competitive award exists to recognize innovative research that engages in important modern and contemporary debates in the field and whose submission is linked to the given annual theme of the colloquium. Hannah’s piece “espouses feminist arguments that were central to women’s continued fight for reproductive rights in France after the passing of the loi Veil to ensure that abortion was [indeed legal].”

Vanessa presented her paper, “Women’s self-determination in Márta Mészáros’ Adoption and Agnès Varda’s Vagabond.” Her essay “aims to analyze the perception of the non-conformist woman and her motivations through a comparison of the female protagonists Mona in Agnès Varda’s Vagabond, and Kata and Anna in Márta Mészáros’ Adoption, specifically how her ostracization from a male-dominated society brings about the impetus to create a niche for herself, the dynamic of female-centered friendship, and the inherent dangers of a woman who knows her own mind.”