French and Francophone Studies | Keynote: Professor Jarrod Hayes – Australian Society for French Studies 31st Annual Conference 2023: Body, Motion, Space – School of Languages and Cultures French and Francophone Studies | Keynote: Professor Jarrod Hayes – Australian Society for French Studies 31st Annual Conference 2023: Body, Motion, Space – School of Languages and Cultures

French and Francophone Studies | Keynote: Professor Jarrod Hayes – Australian Society for French Studies 31st Annual Conference 2023: Body, Motion, Space

The 2023 Australian Society for French Studies (ASFS) 31st Annual Conference: Body, Motion, Space presents

Staging the Racialised Body: Victor Séjour, 19th-century Louisiana Playwright of Colour in Parise
Professor Jarrod Hayes (Monash University)

“Victor Séjour was born Juan Victor Séjour Marcon in New Orleans in 1817 to parents who were both free people of color, his father being an immigrant from Haiti. Séjour moved to Paris around 1836 and wrote a total of 22 plays. This talk will focus on two of these plays—Diégarias (1844) and La tireuse de cartes (1859)—both of which focus on Jewish characters. Praised by Gautier, the former is about a Jewish member of the Spanish court (the eponymous character) passing for Christian in the 15th century during a period of civil unrest. The latter openly presents itself as a reflection on the real-life “Mortara affair,” which occurred in 1858 when the Inquisitor of Bologna removed six- year-old Edgardo Mortara from his Jewish family because the Mortaras’ Christian servant had previously baptized him during a potentially deadly illness. In 2002, both plays were translated into English as The Jew of Seville and The Fortune-Teller by Norman R. Shapiro, which did much to bring Séjour into the way in which English- language American studies understands American literatures in languages other than English. M. Lynn Weiss, in her introduction to The Jew of Seville, suggests that it might be read as an allegory of race in Louisiana: Diégarias in part performs the identity of a free man of colour capable of passing as white in Louisiana and the anti-Semitism he must negotiate provides a way of considering Louisianan racism. This talk will consider the full implications of this suggestion for both plays to argue that they stage racialized characters in a context in which racial differences are not necessarily visible. More generally, this talk will consider these two plays as a ways of questioning the notion
that racial differences should be visible and that we can or should always see them.”

Jarrod Hayes became Professor of French Studies at Monash University in 2018, having previously taught for twenty-two years at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is the editor of the Australian Journal of French Studies. The bulk of his research, like his two published monographs, may be situated at the intersections of French postcolonial studies and queer theory. He is the author of Queer Nations: Marginal Sexualities in the Maghreb (Chicago University Press, 2000), and his second, more pan-Francophone project, Queer Roots for the Diaspora, Ghosts in the Family Tree, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2016. He is the co-editor, with Margaret R. Higonnet and William J. Spurlin, of Comparatively Queer: Interrogating Identities across Time and Cultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). He has also written on the topics of world literature in French, French theory, contemporary LGBTQ writing and crime fiction. His current single-authored project is titled Reading across the Color Line: Racialization in the French Americas, which seeks to foster dissonance between Anglo-American readers’ expectations and French representations of race as well as denaturalize race through readings of the cultural productions of French America.”

This keynote is open to 2023 Australian Society for French Studies Conference registrants only.

Register now

 

View the conference program on 2023 ASFS Conference page.

For more information, contact: asfs2023.conference@sydney.edu.au

–––

Social media

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Listen to talks on SoundCloud
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

The event is finished.

Date

Dec 08 2023
Expired!

Time

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

More Info

Register now

Organizer

French and Francophone Studies
Website
https://sydney.edu.au/arts/french

Comments are closed.