calls for papers, job opportunities, news, SFPS monthly mailing

SFPS Monthly Mailing: February 2018

27th February 2018

1. Calls for Papers

1.1 Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures (Abstract Deadline: 5 March)

1.2 The Routledge Handbook of Francophone Africa  (Abstract Deadline: 9 March)

1.3 Refugees in Literature, Film, Art, and Media – Perspectives on the Past and Present (Abstract Deadline: 18 March)

1.4 Exoticism, Colonialism and Decadence around the fin de siècle/ L’exotisme, le colonialisme et la décadence autour de la fin du siècle (Abstract Deadline: 31 March)


  1. Job Opportunities

2.1 Visiting Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies (Hobart and William Smith)

2.2 Dean’s Postdoctoral Scholar in French (Tallahassee, FL)

2.3 Society for French Studies: Visiting International Fellowship

2.4 Lectureship in French (University College Cork – School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures)


  1. Announcements

3.1 A revolutionary legacy Haiti and Toussaint Louverture (British Library, 22 February-22 April 2018)

3.2 World Literature: For and Against (7 March 2018)


  1. New Titles

4.1 France’s Modernising Mission Citizenship, Welfare and the Ends of Empire(Routledge, 2018)

4.2 Cinéma-monde: Decentred Perspectives on Global Filmmaking in French (Edinburgh University Press, 2018)



  1. Calls for Papers/Contributions

1.1 Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures

University of Leeds, U.K.

31 Aug – 2 Sept 2018

Three-day International Conference

At a time when new dynamics are emerging around the issues of justice (transitional, reparative, etc.), mourning and commemoration in Africa and its diaspora, the conference “Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures” seeks to consider the current historical conjuncture and the extent to which it reveals new questions about memory in the historical, temporal and social contexts of slavery and imperialism. For example, how do the growing calls for reparations and the urge to restructure or challenge the politics of commemoration within imperialist societies point to the emergence of new “conceptual-ideological problem-spaces” (Scott, Conscripts of Modernity) in how African-Atlantic postcolonial communities engage with historical memory? How will an analysis of these dynamics, of the gaps they point to, and of the urgencies they highlight, foster new understandings of the stakes that the particular memories of slavery and imperialism bear within the spaces marked by this history, including the imperialist societies themselves?

In tackling these questions, we wish to consider the valences of performance in the contemporary moment and the extent to which they are cross-fertilising and mediating the most urgent issues in Africa-Atlantic memory. We wish to reflect on how spaces and modes of performance – including, but not limited to, theatre, dance, literary texts, music, visual art and sports – are being used to energise both the particular and the entangled concerns of aesthetics, politics and epistemology within the memories linked to African-Atlantic colonialism and slavery. Are contemporary performances of memory, particularly those that point to African and Afro-diasporic alternatives to Euro-Western modes and models, reflecting historico-political and cognitive shifts in how the relationship between African-Atlantic pasts, presents and futures is conceived?

The three-day international conference “Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures” seeks to approach these issues from a vigorously cross-/inter-disciplinary perspective. We invite scholars, artists, curators and other professionals within fields as varied as literature, theatre and the performing arts, visual art, history, law, anthropology, cultural studies, to engage in a conversation around the dynamics of memory within the historical framework of African-Atlantic slavery and colonialism and the political, aesthetic and epistemological specificities that they engage in the current moment. We hope to underscore how these dynamics, too often overlooked in the critical and theoretical sites of memory studies, are currently shaping, reshaping and (re)mediating the global flows of memory.

We propose two main axes of investigation:

Shapes and forms of memory

How do we think the forms and effects of the enfleshed, material memories of slavery, colonialism and their afterlives and the ways in which these are enlisted in the spaces of performance, be they physical (theatre, dance, ritual, oral performance, etc.) or textual (the different performative manifestations of the written word)?

This question necessarily involves a consideration of how African diaspora time-senses fashion modes of performance of memory and how oral and ritual performance forms impact, shape, record and encode memory in the context of colonial violence. Can African and diasporic forms of embodied memory become tools that combat imperialism? How can the performance of post-slavery/ post-Empire memory shed new light on Western theories of memory that emerge from Holocaust studies or on Western theories of haunting, trauma and mourning?

Epistemologies of memory

What challenges do African diasporic modes of memory bring to Euro-Western epistemologies of justice, History, and the human? How does postcolonial memory call into question the social deployment of memory within the nation and across nations? At a time when the movement for reparations for slavery in the African diaspora is achieving unprecedented momentum, we invite contributions that question settled understandings of the triad of time, history and justice and those that address postcolonial engagements with memory through “corrective” performance practices of justice, “truth-telling” and witnessing. Additionally, in considering institutional marginalization, suppression, and exclusion of postcolonial memories, we seek contributions about practices that challenge the order of remembrance in official commemorations, museums, schools, archives and discourses.

Papers may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • institutions of memory
  • memory and the law
  • memory and reparations
  • memory and colonial enlightenment
  • memory and ‘the human’
  • new ‘problem-spaces’ of memory
  • memory and futures
  • Black Speculative Arts Movement and futures
  • ritual performance and futures
  • decolonising memory
  • decolonising the museum
  • decolonising the curriculum
  • citation as a politics of memory

Each presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes in order to save time for questions and to ensure a smooth program.

Submission Guidelines

Abstracts in English of no more than 300 words should be submitted through the link below or emailed directly to  by Friday, 2 March 2018. Please send abstracts in PDF or Word format, accompanied by the title of the paper and a short biography. ­­­­­­

We also welcome proposals for complete panels, which should consist of 3 presenters. Panel proposals should not exceed 500 words and should be accompanied by short biographies of each of the presenters.

The organising committee will communicate acceptance decisions no later than 9 March 2018.

Conference Conveners

Dr. Jason Allen-Paisant (University of Leeds)

Prof. Maxim Silverman (University of Leeds)


1.2 The Routledge Handbook of Francophone Africa 

The Routledge Handbook of Francophone Africa seeks to provide a state-of-the-art of current research from a range of disciplines (history, political science, IR, cultural studies…) on those parts of Africa to which the label ‘Francophone’ is still attached. This label is of course problematic, and one of the aims of the volume is precisely to problematize the term, exploring its origins, usages and the ways in which it is no longer useful as an approach to study the politics, economics, cultures and societies of countries and regions in Africa formerly under French or Belgian rule.

Having found our first 20 contributors, we are now seeking colleagues who could offer a chapter on the themes indicated below. The chapter would be 6000-8000 words, and the deadline for first drafts December 2018, with finalised texts submitted to editors in June 2019. Texts can be in English or in French, but the final publication will be in English.

[Themes: titles TBC/ Thèmes: titres à définir]

  1. African post-independence re-imaginings/ Réimaginer l’Afrique après les indépendances: Rwanda OR/OU Zaire/RDC
  2. Francophone/Anglophone African relations // Relations Afrique Francophone/ Afrique Anglophone
  3. Francophone Africa beyond “colonial” partners (China, USA) // Afrique francophone au-delà des partenaires « coloniaux » (Chine, Etats Unis).
  4. La Réunion, Africa and France // La Réunion, l’Afrique et la France.
  5. France’s relations with Tunisia and Morocco // Relations Franco-Tunisiennes et Franco-Marocaines (could be language politics)
  6. Cultural pan-Africanism/Le pan-africanisme culturel.

Please contact either Tony Chafer or Natalya Vince as soon as possible if you are interested in contributing a chapter. We would need a 250-300 word abstract of your proposed chapter by 9 March 2018. Contact details:


1.3 Refugees in Literature, Film, Art, and Media – Perspectives on the Past and Present

This event will be held at the Liverpool Guild of Students, University of Liverpool, on Thursday 17 May 2018 with support from the STAR society as part of the 2018 Writing on the Wall festival ‘Crossing Borders’. The event is sponsored by the AHRC ‘Translating Cultures’.


The workshop focuses on the profound and challenging issues raised by the contemporary global movement of refugees. Refugee studies can benefit from an interdisciplinary perspective and in particular from a Humanities focus on the current political and social implications of refugees settling mainly in Europe. This conference aims to highlight the impact of different forms of cultural production and reception that have emerged within recent years. In literature, film and art, the cultural significance of creative production lies in addressing discrimination, perilous life conditions, and the fear of new beginnings.

We welcome researchers at any career stage from any discipline, as well as writers, artists and activists, to participate in a one-day workshop that aims to open up new ways of thinking about refugees and telling the many important, yet untold stories of migration. We also encourage papers that demonstrate new conceptual tools to comprehend refugees’ experience and embrace the heterogeneity of ethnicity and religious beliefs in order to achieve a more nuanced discourse in the media.

Conference topics

  • Refugee routes and trauma.How is the, at times, dangerous journey from war-torn societies to a country perceived as safe depicted, and to what extent do such representations introduce a new discourse in comparison to refugee movements in the 20th century? Which themes are used to communicate the psychological burden that is collectively shared? How can art serve as a successful form of trauma therapy?
  • International refugee “crisis”?Does the media follow a certain refugee narrative in the UK? Does a common narrative across Europe exist? How can the study of cultural production help overcome the binary labels of refugees depicted as either ‘victims’ or ‘criminals’?
  • Agency and authenticity in literature.What are the implications for the refugee community, when narratives are co-authored? How can literature improve the relationship between host societies and refugees?
  • Translating and interpreting stories of migration.Can a traumatic memory be translated into a(ny) form of art? How are these stories understood in various translations? Does a reception study of digital or printed media reveal differences across different European cultures?
  • Cultural production and memory. Do diasporic communities embrace cultural production by refugees and the attention they attract? Is there a successful engagement with the creation of a possibly new collective memory?

The keynote talk will be delivered by, author and cineaste, Atiq Rahimi.

Submission deadline

Please send a proposal of no more than 300 words together with a brief biographical sketch of no more than 150 words to by 18 March 2018.


1.4 Exoticism, Colonialism and Decadence around the fin de siècle/ L’exotisme, le colonialisme et la décadence autour de la fin du siècle

A conference to be held at the University of Oxford (Christ Church), 25–26th September 2018

This conference aims to explore the intersections between ideas of decadence and the  experience  and  discourses  of  colonialism,  the  latter  being  understood  to include  neo-colonialism,  or  cultural  and  economic  imperialism  in  the  broader sense. ‘Exoticism’, though at first reading the term might seem evocative of a Romantic attitude that is already out-dated by the fin de siècle, continues to arise at  the  intersections  of  far-flung  colonial  realities  and  the  predominantly  urban, metropolitan phenomena of decadence. Shifting between nostalgia, parody, and polemic,  literary  exoticism  is also  held  up  as  a  foil  for  ‘true’  colonialism. Decadence, meanwhile, is a concept that is more provocative than prescriptive.

Ideas of a decline since a hypothetical Golden Age sit uneasily with the doctrine of  progress  and  the  ‘mission  civilisatrice’  that  underpin  colonial  ideology.  The conception  of  French  or  European  society  itself  as  being  in  a  state  of  social, physiological  and  moral  degeneration  (Nordau)  casts  other  cultures  as  either  a model of decadence, or a source of potential regeneration. Even regeneration has two faces: while some remain attached to the earlier, essentially Romantic, idea of a ‘renaissance orientale’ (Quinet) that draws on the Islamic world or ancient oriental  civilisations,  others  see  in  the  colonies  a  source  of  energy  for  the coloniser, and thus a means of combatting metropolitan decadence (an ‘école de la virilité’, Psichari). And anxieties about metropolitan sexual identity likewise draw  on  colonial  territories  and  ‘exotic’  lands in  widely  differing – indeed, contradictory – ways, torn between hopes of regeneration and a displacement of sexual menace.

Decadence  is  often  expressed  in  medical  or  historical  terms,  although  literary decadence  can  also  be  understood  as  a  style.  It  has  been  described  as  an  art  of sophistication and self-consciousness that rejects mere nature (Baudelaire), or a beautiful new  disease  (Arthur  Symons).  Paul  Bourget  defines  decadent  style  in formal terms as one in which the unity of the book decomposes to give way to the independence of the page, while the unity of the page decomposes to give way to the  independence  of  the  word.  For  Gautier,  summing  up  Baudelaire’s achievement after his death, decadent style – complex, nuanced, knowing – is a characteristic  of  aging  civilisations.  Alongside  this  foregrounding  of  stylistic, historical  and  medical  concerns,  decadence  is  also  understood  in  terms  of geographical  and  cultural  difference.  This  intersection  of  decadence  with  the exotic  is  constantly  revisited  during  the  nineteenth  century  and  well  into  the twentieth,  a  period  that  is  much  broader  than  the  narrow  period  of  time most obviously  associated  with  the  decadent  ‘movement’.  Romantic  Orientalism, whose rise corresponds with the first steps towards France’s modern colonial era (the abortive 1798–1801 Napoleonic campaign in Egypt and Syria; the conquest of Algeria in the 1830s and 1840s), already contains many of the traits of later decadence.  It  is  however  in  the  1880s  and  1890s  that  the  decadent  literary movement asserts its existence most explicitly, and this is exactly the period when a truly colonial ideology begins to take on importance in French popular culture.

Contributions might include papers that reflect on orientalism or exoticism, and colonialism, in relation to the decadent movement of the fin de siècle, or which link these concerns to earlier or later periods. Although the focus is primarily on literature in French, we welcome broader, or comparative, approaches: decadence, like  colonialism,  requires  us  to  think  in  a  world-literary  context.  Papers  (and abstracts) can be in English or French.

Organisers: Dr Julia Hartley (University of Oxford, Queen’s), Ms Wanrug Suwanwattana (University of Oxford, Merton), Prof. Jennifer Yee (University of Oxford, Christ Church)

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to

By 31 March 2018.


Colloque à l’Université d’Oxford (Christ Church), 25–26 septembre 2018

Appel à communication jusqu’au 31 mars 2018. “Ce colloque explorera les entrecroisements entre la notion de décadence et le colonialisme à la fois en tant que pratique et en tant que discours, une catégorie dans laquelle nous incluons le néo-colonialisme, ou l’impérialisme culturel et économique au sens large. Quant à l’exotisme, si le terme semble à première vue évoquer une attitude romantique qui est démodée à la fin du siècle, il continue à surgir aux intersections entre la réalité coloniale géographiquement éloignée et le phénomène principalement urbain et métropolitain de la décadence. Apparaissant sous des formes nostalgique, parodique ou polémique, l’exotisme littéraire est également évoqué par antithèse, pour faire valoir un esprit colonial « authentique ». La décadence, quant à elle, est un concept plus provocateur que descriptif. La notion d’un déclin depuis un Âge d’Or rêvé contredit les doctrines du progrès et de la « mission civilisatrice » qui forment la base de l’idéologie coloniale. Concevoir la société française ou européenne comme étant elle-même dans un état de dégénérescence sociale, psychologique et morale (Nordau), c’est présenter les autres cultures soit comme modèles de décadence, soit comme sources de régénération. Cette régénération elle-même présente deux faces : alors que certains restent attachés à l’idée essentiellement romantique d’une « renaissance orientale » (Quinet) qui s’inspire du monde islamique ou bien des anciennes civilisations orientales, d’autres croient voir dans les colonies une source d’énergie pour le colonisateur, source d’énergie qui permettra de contrecarrer la décadence métropolitaine (une « école de la virilité », Psichari). De même, une anxiété toute métropolitaine au sujet de l’identité sexuelle puise, elle aussi, dans les territoires colonisés et l’imaginaire exotique, hésitant de manière parfois contradictoire entre l’espoir d’un renouveau et la hantise d’une menace sexuelle transposée sur l’autre.

Si la décadence est souvent comprise par le biais d’un vocabulaire médical et historique, la décadence littéraire peut aussi être définie en tant que style. Elle a été décrite comme étant un art de l’esthétisation et de l’autoréflexion qui rejette le naturel (Baudelaire), ou une exquise maladie nouvelle (Arthur Symons). Pour Paul Bourget, dans le style décadent « l’unité du livre se décompose pour laisser la place à l’indépendance de la page, … la page se décompose pour laisser la place à l’indépendance de la phrase, et la phrase pour laisser la place à l’indépendance du mot ». Pour Gautier, qui résume les accomplissements de Baudelaire après sa mort, le style décadent, « ingénieux, compliqué, savant, plein de nuances et de recherches », est typique des civilisations vieillissantes. La décadence est ainsi comprise en termes stylistiques, historiques et médicaux. Elle est également perçue en termes de différence culturelle et d’éloignement géographique. Cette intersection entre la décadence et l’exotisme est régulièrement revisitée au cours du dix-neuvième siècle et jusqu’au vingtième. Elle recouvre ainsi une période bien plus longue que celle communément associée avec le « mouvement » décadent. L’Orientalisme romantique, dont l’essor correspond aux premiers pas vers le colonialisme français moderne (la campagne napoléonienne avortée en Égypte et en Syrie en 1798–1801 ; la conquête de l’Algérie au cours des années 1830 et 1840), cet Orientalisme romantique contient déjà bien des traits de la décadence qui viendra plus tard. Mais c’est bien dans les années 1880 et 1890 que le mouvement littéraire décadent s’affirme de manière explicite, précisément à l’époque où l’idéologie coloniale prend de l’envergure dans la culture populaire française.

Les communications analyseront l’orientalisme ou l’exotisme, et le colonialisme, dans leurs relations avec le mouvement décadent de la fin de siècle, ou établiront des liens entre ces mêmes préoccupations et des périodes antérieures ou postérieures à la fin de siècle. Bien que le colloque se concentrera principalement sur la littérature écrite en langue française, nous invitons également des approches plus larges et des perspectives comparatistes : la décadence, comme le colonialisme, nous demande de penser dans un contexte mondial. Les communications (et propositions de communication) peuvent être en anglais ou en français.”

Comité d’organisation : Dr Julia Hartley (University of Oxford, Queen’s), Ms Wanrug Suwanwattana (University of Oxford, Merton), Prof. Jennifer Yee (University of Oxford, Christ Church)

Vous êtes invité(e)s à envoyer des résumés d’un maximum de 250 mots à :

Date butoir : 31 mars 2018.


  1. Job Opportunities

2.1  Visiting Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies (Hobart and William Smith) 

The French and Francophone Studies Department at Hobart and William Smith invites applications for a one year Visiting Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies to teach French language, culture, and literature classes. The successful candidate will teach courses in 20th–21st Century Literature and/or Film Studies, with preference given to candidates specializing in Francophone Africa. The teaching load for the 2018–2019 academic year will be 3-3, with the possibility of renewal.

Advanced language acquisition courses (advanced grammar, conversation, and writing) will represent the bulk of teaching responsibilities, although ability to teach a culture course on Francophone Africa and a course on Francophone literature and/or cinema, with a focus on Francophone Africa is desirable.

PhD is preferred but ABDs will be considered. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply. Native or near native fluency in French and English are required. A demonstrated potential in scholarship and proven record of working with diverse populations are highly desired.

Please send a current CV, a letter of application, concise statements of teaching and research philosophies, and three letters of via Interfolio: Additional inquiries may be directed to Professor Courtney Wells at

Review of applications will begin March 15, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are committed to providing a non-discriminatory and harassment-free educational, living and working environment for all members of the HWS community, including students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and visitors.  HWS prohibits discrimination and harassment in their programs and activities on the basis of age, color, disability, domestic violence victim status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other status protected under the law.   Discrimination on the basis of sex includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct including stalking and intimate partner violence, and gender based harassment that does not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

Founded as Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women, Hobart and William Smith Colleges today are a highly selective residential liberal arts institution with a single administration, faculty and curriculum but separate dean’s offices, student governments, athletic programs and traditions.  The Colleges are located in a small diverse city in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.  With an enrollment of approximately 2,300, the Colleges offer 62 different majors and minors from which students choose two areas of concentration.  Creative and extensive programs of international study and public service are also at the core of the Colleges’ mission.


2.2 Dean’s Postdoctoral Scholar in French


Modern Languages and Linguistics | French Program, Tallahassee, FL


The French program in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at Florida State University is seeking a postdoctoral fellow for two academic years beginning in Fall 2018. The successful candidate will be expected to teach two courses per semester for the French program and to be involved in research and in the activities of the French program.

We invite applicants whose research in contemporary French and Francophone Studies makes innovative connections across the disciplines and genres in areas including, but not limited to, translation studies, sociolinguistics, media studies, and digital humanities.


Applicants should have degree in hand by May 2018.

Contact Info

Please address questions about this position to Professor Aimée Boutin, Coordinator of the French Language Program, at

Pay Plan

This is an OPS/temporary Job.

How To Apply

If qualified and interested, apply to Florida State University at If you are a current FSU employee, apply via myFSU > Self Service. Applicants are required to complete the online application with all applicable information. Applications must include education details even if attaching a Vita.

The application process includes an essay or statement of purpose detailing how the applicant’s research and critical outlook will contribute to and complement the French program and Winthrop-King institute.

To apply, submit an application package that includes a cover letter, a CV, a statement of purpose, a writing sample, and three confidential letters of recommendation.

**All documents should be uploaded as a single PDF. Only electronic applications are accepted.**

Request Letters of Reference

This position requires that you have three confidential professional letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf. Applicants must follow the steps below to request these letters through our system:

1) After submitting your application, click the Return to Job Search link;

2) Click the My References link;

3) Click the Send/View Reference Request button next to the appropriate position; and

4) Follow the steps on that page to send your references a system generated email requesting they submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

You may also return to the My References link and click on “Send/View Reference Request” to see if your references have responded, add additional references, or resend requests.

Open until filled

Application review will begin March 19, 2018 and continue until the position is filled.


2.3 Society for French Studies: Visiting International Fellowship

The Society for French Studies is pleased to accept applications for the 2018 Visiting International Fellowship scheme.The deadline for this round is 1 April 2018. The scheme is intended to support an annual visiting fellowship, tenable in any UK or Irish university, or institution of higher education in the UK or Ireland, to allow outstanding academics in the French Studies field based in overseas universities to spend time at UK or Irish higher education institutions.

In order to extend the global reach of the scheme, the Society has increased the maximum value of the award to £5,000 and extended the maximum length of the Fellowship to eight weeks. It strongly encourages applications to support visits from scholars in all parts of the world, including Africa, Australasia and the Caribbean. The key objective of the Fellowship grant is to encourage the internationalization of French Studies in the UK and Ireland through engagement with those active in the field elsewhere. It is also intended that the Fellow will use the occasion to further their own academic interests, and to visit more than one UK institution. Visits should be of no more than eight weeks’ duration, although an extended period may be appropriate if additional funding is available from institutional sources.

Full details of how to apply are on the Society’s website:


2.4 Lectureship in French (University College Cork – School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures)

UCC wishes to make an appointment to the permanent role of Lecturer in French. Reporting to the Head of Department, the successful candidate will have a PhD or equivalent in French Studies or relevant field, and native or near-native competence in French. We are looking for academic expertise and evidence of research and teaching in one of, or in a combination of, the following areas: Modern and Contemporary French History; Modern and Contemporary French Society; Modern and Contemporary French Politics; Modern and Contemporary French Thought. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to our BCL Law and French and B.Comm International (French) programmes, among others.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

For an information package including full details of the post, selection criteria, and application process, see The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Dr Patrick Crowley (Tel: + 353 21 4903247, Email: Further information on the Department is available at

Appointment will be made on the Lecturer Below the Bar Salary Scale, €33,149 – €58,547 (Scale B); €34,972-€55,710 (Scale A). In all instances the successful appointment will be at the first point of the scale.

Applications must be submitted online via the University College Cork vacancy portal. Queries relating to the online application process should be referred to, quoting the job-title.

Candidates should apply, in confidence, before 12 noon (Irish Local Time) on Thursday 22nd March 2018.

No late applications will be accepted.


Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.


  1. Announcements

3.1 A revolutionary legacy Haiti and Toussaint Louverture (British Library, 22 February-22 April 2018)

This display features a selection of objects, artworks and poetry from the 18th century to the present. Together, they explore the legacy of the Haitian Revolution and its leader Toussaint Louverture.

Louverture was one of the leading figures in the Haitian Revolution, which began in 1791 as an uprising of enslaved men and women in what was then the French sugar colony of Saint-Domingue. It culminated with the outlawing of slavery there and the establishment of the Republic of Haiti.

The display features representations of Toussaint Louverture, including a work by African American artist Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000), showing Louverture as a powerful revolutionary general. For Lawrence and his contemporaries in 1930s America, the radical history of Haiti became an important reference point in debates about rights, race and ethnicity.

The United States occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. During this period, Vodou – a religion practised by people in the African diaspora, and sometimes incorrectly referred to as ‘voodoo’ – was suppressed. Vodou had played an important role in the Revolution of 1791, uniting communities and helping enslaved people to organise themselves against injustice. Another key object in the show is a Haitian Vodou boula drum, seized by US Marines during the occupation, and on display in the Museum for the first time. Haitian-born artist and anthropologist Gina Ulysse’s contemporary juxtaposition of Vodou chant with words of anti-imperial protest provides an audio accompaniment.

The legacy of the Revolution is showcased through objects made at the time and centuries later – a banknote featuring female revolutionary Sanité Bélair, William Blake’s illuminated poetry celebrating slave revolution, a coin commemorating the abolition of slavery, and C L R James’s influential account of the Revolution, Black Jacobins, reissued during the US Civil Rights movement.

Together, this wide variety of objects highlights the reach of the Haitian Revolution across both time and space, and this display reminds us that the struggles first begun in Haiti are still crucial in our world today.

For more information, see


3.2  World Literature: For and Against

Wednesday 7 March, 2-6.45pm (Week 8)

St Hugh’s College, Maplethorpe Lecture Room

TORCH, the English Faculty and St Hugh’s College are delighted to invite you to an afternoon of talks and discussions led by Rosinka Chaudhuri, Mellon Global South Visiting Professor (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta in Kolkata).


2pm Introductory talk Robert J. C. Young (NYU)

3pm Workshop Questions of method led by Asha Rogers (Birmingham, discussing The Literary Thing), Fariha Shaikh (Birmingham, Indian Arrivals) and Andrew Dean (Oxford, Artefacts of Writing) with Rosinka Chaudhuri, Elleke Boehmer (Oxford) and Peter D. McDonald (Oxford).

5pm Keynote lecture Rosinka Chaudhuri ‘Whose World?’

6pm Panel-led Q&A with Francesca Orsini (SOAS), Robert Young (NYU), Jane Hiddleston (Oxford), and Matthew Reynolds (Oxford).

All welcome. Refreshments will be served! We also have some funds to help with the travel costs for graduate students wishing to attend from outside Oxford. These will be allocated on a first-comefirst-served basis. For details please contact Victoria McGuinness at TORCH:



  1. New Titles

4.1 France’s Modernising Mission Citizenship, Welfare and the Ends of Empire(Routledge, 2018)

Edited by Ed Naylor

This volume explores how France’s ‘modernising mission’ unfolded during the post-war period and its reverberations in the decades after empire. In the aftermath of the Second World War, France sought to reinvent its empire by transforming the traditional ‘civilising mission’ into a ‘modernising mission’. Henceforth, French claims to rule would be based on extending citizenship rights and the promise of economic development and welfare within a ‘Greater France’. In the face of rising anti-colonial mobilization and a new international order, redefining the terms that bound colonised peoples and territories to the metropole was a strategic necessity but also a dynamic which Paris struggled to control. The language of reform and equality was seized upon locally to make claims on metropolitan resources and wrest away the political initiative. Intertwined with coercion and violence, the struggle to define what ‘modernisation’ would mean for colonised societies was a key factor in the wider process of decolonisation. Contributions by leading specialists extend geographically from Africa to the Pacific and to metropolitan France itself, examining a range of topics including education policy, colonial knowledge production, rural development and slum clearance.

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4.2 Cinéma-monde: Decentred Perspectives on Global Filmmaking in French(Edinburgh University Press, 2018)

Edited by Michael Gott, Thibaut Schilt

A wide-ranging study of developments in global French-language cinema

The first book devoted to a wide-ranging study of developments in global French-language cinema, from Quebec to Mauritania and from Belgium to Cambodia, Cinéma-monde picks up on the lively scholarly debates generated by the related topic of littérature-monde. Extending the scope of this debate to cover the thriving and diverse area of international French-language cinema, this innovative book also considers cinema from France within the context of global production. With contributions from an international range of specialists, and with considerations of works by contemporary directors like Rachid Bouchareb, Abderrahmane Sissako and Rithy Panh, Cinéma-monde explores the porous borders around francophone spaces and the ways in which languages and identities ‘travel’ in contemporary cinema.

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