Julia Galmiche-Essue (she/her)


Nominated by member scholarly associations of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the 2022 Congress Graduate Merit Awards recognize exceptional graduate students who will be presenting their work at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Une photo de Julia Galmiche-Essue, lauréate du PMCSG


Tell us about yourself.

I am a PhD student at the University of Toronto’s Department of French. My research focuses on the history of print and print culture in contemporary francophone literatures of sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.

At which conference(s) will you be presenting and/or attending? 

APFUCC annual conference

What is the title of your Congress 2022 presentation?

L’homme, la femme et le livre : l’entre-deux narratif dans Les Petits-Fils nègres de Vercingétorix d’Alain Mabanckou (Man, Woman, and Book: Narrative interplay in Alain Mabanckou’s Les Petits-Fils nègres de Vercingétorix)

How would you describe the research you will be presenting at Congress 2022?

My paper examines the relationship between female characters and books in the novel Les Petits-Fils nègres de Vercingétorix (2002) by Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou. As an object, the book is used for its power of seduction, with male characters using it to charm their female counterparts. As a subject, it is valued for its gift as an intermediary, making it a character in the novel in its own right. Through its female characters, the novel (and the novelist) shares with the reader its relationship with books — both its own and those of others.

How does the research you will be presenting connect with the Congress 2022 theme, Transitions

This research is consistent with the Congress 2022 theme “Transitions” in that it addresses issues such as social injustice as it relates to gender identity (the place of women in society), ethnic conflict and insecurity (in the context of a civil war between southerners and northerners in a fictional African country), and the colonial legacy (particularly through school).  It seeks to highlight the opportunities for emancipation and social ascension afforded by access to books.

What is your favourite part of the Congress experience?

The most positive aspect of the Congress experience is meeting and interacting with other researchers, both established and emerging, especially in my field where our activities are mostly solitary. The sense of belonging to a community is a real source of motivation and helps me to re-energize every year.

Share your hopes for Congress 2022. 

Above all, I would like to share my research, whether with specialists in my field or lay people whose comments will help me refine my thinking, both in terms of form and content.  I also see Congress 2022 as an opportunity to develop my professional network and to learn from other researchers in the humanities and social sciences whose work will inform my own thinking.  Finally, it is an opportunity to stay abreast of the latest scientific advances and current and future trends.