French Connections seminar (Online) | A story of boats: Migration, Agency, and the Work of Empathy
Department of French and Francophone Studies Research Seminar Series
A story of boats: Migration, Agency, and the Work of Empathy
Emmanuel Bruno Jean-François (Penn State University)
Creole literatures and expressive cultures from the Mascarene Islands and the Caribbean region have long trained our minds to think transversally. Foregrounding narratives of migration and displacement that have put diverse peoples, cultures, and languages into close contact over extended historical periods, they bring together trajectories and epistemologies that turn minor-to-minor solidarities into a rhetoric of a new humanism. Through the figure of the migrant, the creative works of transnational artists and writers such as Nathacha Appanah, Nirveda Alleck, Ananda Devi, and Patrick Chamoiseau produce powerful relational imaginaries and transoceanic connections, which destabilise the historical, geographical, and cultural divides and imaginaries inherited from colonialism. In this presentation, I demonstrate how they create new kinships of the sea by engaging with questions of comparative history, subaltern agency, and human empathy.
About the speaker
Emmanuel Bruno Jean-François is an Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies, and Comparative Literature at Penn State University, USA. He is the author of Poétiques de la violence et récits francophones contemporains (Brill, 2017) and has published numerous articles in scholarly journals such as the PMLA, the International Journal of Francophone Studies, and Lettres romanes. He has also co-edited special issues of Cultural Dynamics (“The Minor in question”), Contemporary French and Francophone Studies (“Mapping Francophone Postcolonial Theory”), and Nouvelles études francophones (“Nouvelles forms d’altérité dans les littérautres francophones de l’Île Maurice et de Madagascar”). Jean-François is currently working on a second monograph, titled Indian Ocean Creolization: Empires and Insular Cultures. It focuses primarily on contemporary Indian Ocean literatures and expressive cultures.
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Registrations for this seminar close on 24 November 2020, 5pm (AEDT).
For more information, contact: Dr Nathalie Ségeral – firstname.lastname@example.org
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