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Melbourne Salon - French in Australia during WWI

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What did it mean to be French in Australia during the First World War? by Dr Pauline Georgelin
Tuesday 12 October 2021 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (UTC+11)

Online Event: you will receive the link on registration.

This talk will focus on how French Australians responded to the Great War and consider the role of French identity and culture in the wider pro-war discourse. In Australia, support for France - ‘our noble ally’ - stood alongside loyalty to the British Empire as a reason to continue fighting, and to encourage recruitment. French cultural symbols inspired support for French war charities. 

French identity was defined not only by the French residents of Australia, but also by francophiles and francophones, and Australians more generally, often linked to patriotism. Based on research in Australian and French archives, this talk will trace how this cultural mobilisation occurred in a variety of contexts, both civilian and military, through connections between French people and Australians.   

Pauline Georgelin recently completed a jointly-awarded co-tutelle PhD at the University of Melbourne and Université Paris Nanterre. Her thesis, entitled “For Noble and Valiant France”: French-Australian Relations, French-Australian Identities during the First World War, examined how French identity and culture were perceived, projected and mobilised in Australia during the First World War. Pauline also teaches French at the University of Melbourne and is Hon. Secretary of ISFAR.