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LERMAsteriales 2017: Rémanences

Julia Bongiorno and Nicolas Locks

Both feared and longed-for by the Master students, the LERMAsteriales are study days organized by the students themselves, with an audience comprising academics and fellow students. This year’s guiding theme for the 6th edition of the event was ‘Rémanences’, which could be translated, remanence or retentivity. It goes without saying that the topic in itself was not an easy task to deal with. However, due to the numerous interpretations of the term, the papers were varied and truly interesting.

For instance, Celia Bourcy’s paper was entitled ‘Vestiges d’influences linguistiques et historiques dans les langues artistiques’. During this presentation, Celia talked about how Tolkien used different languages and historical events to create new languages, featured for example in The Lord of The Rings. Emmanuelle Bontemps’ was based on a civilization topic entitled ‘Rémanences de la vision impérialiste sur la représentation de l’Afrique contemporaine’: this added a historical aspect to the term ‘rémanence’. Later during the day, Simon Pasquini spoke about ‘La voyelle STRUT dans le système chanté et les accents du nord des Île britanniques : témoin d’un accent rémanent?’: how people tend to change the way they pronounce vowels when they sing. Within the last panel, Miriam Haddjeri talked about ‘Les rémanences au service de la cause abolitionniste dans Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl d’Harriet Jacobs’, the subject of her paper being slavery.

The speakers were grouped by panels formed by associating their research content under a sub-theme. The panels were arranged in such a way that all the disciplines—literature, history, phonology, translation and linguistics—were merged to illustrate the complexity of the theme ‘Rémanence’, which proved to be an interdisciplinary concept. Thus, the whole range of English studies was represented, and it offered us the opportunity of discovering research in other disciplines.

As you may have guessed, thorough rehearsals were in order before the big event, alone at home or in group sessions. Not only were our papers grouped within a panel but also within the whole conference, which means that they had to be in accordance with those of our fellow students.

A particularly interesting task was the selection of the conference image that went on publicity material. Since we participated in all aspects of the conference, with the help of Mrs Page and the doctoral students, some students volunteered to create posters of their own. They were quite well done all in all and a vote decided which one was to be selected.

The LERMAsteriales was a great opportunity for us. Indeed, it allowed us to organize a workshop and to go from attendees to participants.

Looking back on this experience, we were reminded how important it is to collaborate with colleagues, learning from and supporting each other in order to play a part in academic work.

Zotero, or your best friends when it comes to bibliography and organising your references


Writing a thesis or a dissertation is a very meticulous and complex task. Indeed, you have to find the perfect outline, write something you and your supervisor are happy with, limit yourself to a certain length, and add references, among other things. But references are not always easy to use, because the bibliographic norms that you should respect will not be the same if you study literature, civilisation, or linguistics. You also have to pay attention to the edition, to the type of media you are quoting, and even to punctuation.

But what if I told you that there was a software that could take care of everything that has to do with references for you?

This software is called Zotero. It is a free and open-source program that will help you manage references and bibliographic data. Although it is not well-known by students, it is a very helpful tool that is easy to use and that can save you time and provide perfect norms and references.

Once Zotero is installed on your computer, you will find it in your browser’s toolbar. It means that every time you read an interesting article, the only thing you will have to do is click the Zotero logo, and the article’s reference will be added to your database.

In the same way, every time you want to quote a book, all you have to do is add a few information such as the author, the edition, or the pages you consulted in Zotero (you can add up to 27 pieces of information for each entry), and the software will record them, thus creating an electronic library of everything you used to write your thesis or dissertation.

Once the information about a book (or an article, a TV show etc.) is in Zotero, you can add personal notes about it, thus allowing you to have them with you all the time (as opposed to revision cards that can be lost or damaged).  Thanks to the synchronisation option, you can use your Zotero account on different computers and even on your smartphone.

Finally, once everything is recorded and you want to create a bibliography, all you have to do is click the “create a bibliography” option, select the norm you want to use (APA, CMS, MLA…), and paste it to your dissertation or thesis.

Thus, you have a perfect list of references, with all the information needed, correct punctuation, and all of the works consulted during the writing of your dissertation.

Since the software is often updated, it will never make a mistake, and so you will only have to focus on your research.

Another option that is available on Zotero is the creation of research groups, that allows members to share their research library and to communicate with each other.

You can find the software on, it is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.