Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Dissertation Defense: Marie Paillard

Dissertation Defense: Marie Paillard

Feb 11, 2022
11:00AM
– 1:00PM
226 Burrowes Building

Marie Paillard

Candidate for the PhD in French

CREOLIZING EXPLORATIONS: TRAJECTORIES, RELATION, AND DECENTERING IMAGINARIES IN FRANCOPHONE CARIBBEAN AND INDIAN OCEAN FICTIONS
 

Friday, February 11, 2022

11:00 a.m. EST

226 Burrowes Building

All are welcome to attend!

Dissertation Committee:

Emmanuel Bruno Jean-François (Dissertation Adviser; Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies and Comparative Literature)

Bénédicte Monicat (Professor of French and Women’s Studies)

Jennifer Boittin (Associate Professor of French, Francophone Studies and History)

Magalí Armillas-Tiseyra (Associate Professor of Comparative Literature)


Bruno Thibault (Professor of French Literature, University of Delaware, Special Member)

Abstract

In “Creolizing Explorations: Trajectories, Relation, and Decentering Imaginaries in Francophone Caribbean and Indian Ocean Fictions,” I examine literary representations of marginal experiences in the context of transnational migration. I foreground my concept, creolizing explorations, as an integrated and comparative framework that brings together fictions from Creole islands: Mauritius, Guadeloupe, Haiti, la Réunion. I underscore how these works recalibrate our understanding of migrant experience in the context of globalization, by staging representations of creolizing processes through the exploration of and adaptation to new cultural geographies, sociolinguistic realities, and natural environments.

I consider eight novels by authors Marie-Célie Agnant, Carl de Souza, Emmanuel Genvrin, Émile Ollivier, Gisèle Pineau, Barlen Pyamootoo, and Amal Sewtohul. While predominant representations of migrants from the Global South tend to deprive them of their histories, memories, and subjectivities, I argue that these texts confer a different agency to migrants relocating from Creole islands to continental spaces, by depicting them as active agents of change and creolization and, I contend, as explorers.