Autofiction: A Female Francophone Aesthetic of Exile

Autofiction: A Female Francophone Aesthetic of Exile
8 September 2021, 12.00pm - 1.30pm

All times in BST

Antonia Wimbush (Liverpool)
Leslie Barnes (Australian National University)
Amaleena Damlé (Durham)
Natalie Edwards (Adelaide)

Chair: Joseph Ford (IMLR)

Antonia Wimbush is joined by Leslie Barnes, Amaleena Damlé and Natalie Edwards to talk about her new book, Autofiction: A Female Francophone Aesthetic of Exile, published by Liverpool University Press in August 2021. The book examines themes of exile, mobility, and identity in contemporary autofictional narratives written in French by women writers from across the Francophone world. Wimbush draws on postcolonial theory, gender theory, and autobiographical theory to analyse narratives of exile by Kim Lefèvre, Gisèle Pineau, Nina Bouraoui, Michèle Rakotoson, Véronique Tadjo, and Abla Farhoud. She reads exile in light of both gender and literary genre, arguing that autofiction gives these women writers the space to reconfigure their literal and metaphorical exile on their own terms. Wimbush demonstrates that the French colonial past continues to shape female articulations of mobility and identity in the postcolonial present.

Antonia Wimbush is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Liverpool. Her current research project investigates cultural responses to post-war Caribbean migration to metropolitan France. She is the author of Autofiction: A Female Francophone Aesthetic of Exile (Liverpool University Press, 2021). She also recently co-edited Queer(y)ing Bodily Norms with Francophone Culture (Peter Lang, 2021).

Leslie Barnes is Senior Lecturer of French Studies at the Australian National University. Her first book, Vietnam and the Colonial Condition of French Literature (Nebraska, 2014), offers a literary history of twentieth- and twenty-first-century France that figures border crossings and contact with the colonial other as constitutive elements of metropolitan literary production. Her current project studies literary and cinematic narratives that engage with questions of sex work, mobility, and human rights in Southeast Asia. She has published on these and other subjects in Journal of Vietnamese Studies, Modern Language Notes, and French Cultural Studies. She is also co-editor of The Cinema of Rithy Panh: Everything Has a Soul (Rutgers University Press, 2021)
Amaleena Damlé is Associate Professor in French at Durham University. Her research interests reside in questions of embodiment, affect, gender, sexuality and race in contemporary French and francophone literature and philosophy. She is the author of The Becoming of the Body: Contemporary Women’s Writing in French (Edinburgh University Press, 2014), and has co-edited, with Gill Rye, three books on twenty-first-century women’s writing in French. Amaleena is currently working on a monograph on the politics of consumption in francophone Mauritian author Ananda Devi’s writing, and a crosscultural project on contemporary narratives of birth.

Natalie Edwards is Professor of French and Deputy Dean for Research in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Adelaide. She specialises in contemporary literature in French, especially women’s writing, multilingual writing and transnational writing. Her most recent book is Multilingual Life Writing by French and Francophone Women: Translingual Selves (Routledge 2020). She is currently work with Chris Hogarth on a project funded by the Australian Research Council on French Migrant Writing to Australia.

All are welcome to attend this free event, which will be held online via Zoom at 12:00 BST. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button below to register.

30% discount on book purchase for all those registered

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Cathy Collins