forthcoming event

Upcoming Event: Jackqueline Frost, ‘Aimé Césaire, Vichy Martinique, and the History of the Future’

18th February 2021

We are pleased to share that SFPS member Jackqueline Frost will be presenting a research paper, via Zoom, for Manchester French Studies on Thursday, 25 February 2021, at 6PM (UK time). This event is free and open to all. To register and receive the Zoom link, please email

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Aimé Césaire, Vichy Martinique, and the History of the Future

 This talk will explore links between non-linear temporalities and Césaire’s clandestine writings undertaken during Vichy’s occupation of Martinique (1940-1943). Focusing on Césaire’s first play, Et les chiens se taisaient, I will discuss how temporal schemas associated with Greek and African antiquity abound in a text that moves non-synchronously from pre-colonial Black civilization to nineteenth century slave revolt. An examination of Césaire’s philosophical source materials reveals lines of influence including 1930s European political theology and Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy. By analyzing the relationship between text, intertext and context, I show that Vichy fascism and Césaire’s chance meeting with Surrealists in 1941 Fort-de-France set the scene for the Martiniquan’s conception of anticolonial revolution as a ‘prophetic vision of the past,’ articulating historical social transformations with the decolonized world to come.

 Jackqueline Frost is an intellectual historian of transatlantic political culture. She is a member of the Groupe Aimé Césaire (Équipe manuscrits francophones) at the Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes in Paris. Her writing on figures such as Daniel Guérin, CLR James, Aimé Césaire and Jean Genet has appeared in The Global South, Third Text, Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Journal of Historical Materialism and Radical Philosophy.

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