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Australia and France in a Regional and Global Context: Past Engagements and Future Research Directio

35th Anniversary Symposium of the Institute for the Study of French Australian Relations (ISFAR)

8-9 April 2021, RMIT University

Call for Papers

As two neighbouring middle-powers in the Pacific, France and Australia share a fruitful and complex relationship, rooted in a long history of engagement at local, regional and global levels. The 35 th anniversary of ISFAR provides an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of the study of that relationship over the last few decades. In a rapidly changing world, it is also an opportunity to discuss its future and, notably, the shift of focus to the study of French-Australian relations in the Indo-Pacific region.

In recent years, the idea of the Indo-Pacific has gained wide currency. Diplomats, politicians and journalists refer to it as a self-evident geopolitical space, but it is also a powerful concept that is changing and influencing the ways in which states and non-state actors relate to one another. Papers that directly engage with the idea of the Indo-Pacific are particularly encouraged but we welcome abstracts on any aspects of Franco-Australian history and engagement, in any geographical area, time period and field of inquiry.

The session topics might include:

  • Commemorative agendas.

  • Language and/or cross- and intercultural communication.

  • The ‘imperial turn’ in the study of French-Australian relations.

  • France and Australia in the Indo-Pacific: past engagements and present challenges.

  • Cultural exchange today: institutional (exhibitions, festivals, museums) and popular.

  • Researching the impact of study tours and exchanges.

  • Mis/Representations of French and Australian life in art and literature.

  • Diplomatic, political and scientific rapprochements in the new world order.

Keynote speaker

Professor Rory Medcalf, Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, has agreed to be guest speaker. He is the founding convenor of the Australia-France Strategic Dialogue and the author of several recent publications on the Indo-Pacific region, including The Contest for the Indo-Pacific: Why China Won’t Map the Future (2020).


We intend to offer a bursary, in honour of the late George T. Parsons, to support one or two PhD students wishing to attend.


Subject to the usual review, we intend to publish articles from the conference, both in the French-Australian Review and in an edited volume.

Abstracts Send abstracts of 150-200 words and a brief bio (150-200 words) to: and

Deadline for submission: 30 September 2020.

Results announced: 30 October 2020.

More information about ISFAR:

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