Callaloo 36.4 – A Special Issue on Édouard Glissant

IMG_4892A special issue of Callaloo. A Journal of African Diaspora, Arts and Letters on Édouard Glissant has come out, edited by Celia Britton. I have just received it, and after reading Celia’s introduction it seems to me that this is first of all a great achievement worthy of Glissant’s memory. It includes essays by the most important scholars working on Glissant and it especially adresses the relation between poetics, philosophy and politics in Glissant’s work. The main contributors are Celia Britton, Maryse Condé, Heidi Bojsen, Charles Forsdick, Christina Kullberg, Alexandre Leupin, Valérie Loichot, Carine Mardorossian, Adlai Murdoch, Nick Nesbitt, François Noudelmann and Michael Wiedorn. I quote Britton from the introduction: “The relations between poetics and both philosophy and politics are never straightforward and not always harmonious; but it is precisely the tensions between them that constitute the central dynamic and the continuing relevance of Glissant’s thought”. You can find the issue on MUSE.

The title of my contribution is: “The Living and the Poetic Intention. Glissant’s Biopolitics of Literature”.

Well, I must say that I am quite proud and honored to be among such great scholars!

In my next posts I am going to say something more about this volume and other journals that have recently dedicated a special issue to Glissant, such as the Revue des Sciences Humaines (special issue edited by Valérie Loichot) and Francofonia (special issue edited by Carminella Biondi and Elena Pessini). They are all so interesting and so rich in analysis and interpretations, opening new paths for the study of this great writer, that they need the right time and space to be reviewed. Coming soon …


Podcast: “The Living and the Poetic Intention: Édouard Glissant’s Biopolitics of Literature”

Eventually, I can say that the conference on Biopolitics and Literature Louise and I have organised at the University of Birmingham – Modern Languages on June the 26th, has been a great achievement. First of all, it’s the very first conference I have organised and I am quite proud of that. But this is not the most important thing. We had five papers presented that I consider of very high quality and, even if the arguments and the research fields were quite different, all papers showed strong bonds and linkages between them. The subjects ranged from the Rwanda genocide to the memory of the Haitian “persil” genocide, from the construction of the “Creole” identity to the “Coolies” literature in the Francophone Caribbean; they analysed texts by Edouard Glissant, Edwige Danticat, Gilbert Gatore, Maurice Virassamy and Lafcadio Hearn. However, all papers deeply questioned the complex relationship between literature, historical violence and biopower, that was the main topic of our colloquium. Above all, I think we had a great time with Michael, Judith, Nicki and all the other people (professors, researchers and remarkable students) who attended the conference. Everybody was interested in the arguments we discussed together, during the panels, of course, but also at the dinner we organised after the conference.


If you want to find some more informations about the conference (abstracts etc.), please go to the conference page on this blog.

I would like to share with you a podcast of my paper: The Living and the Poetic Intention: Édouard Glissant’s Biopolitics of Literature. You can listen to it here:

And this is the main bibliography related to my paper:

Agamben, G. (1995) Homo Sacer. Sovereign power and bare life, trans. by D. Heller-Roazen, Stanford – California, Stanford University Press, 1998.

Baucom, I. (2001), ‘Specters of the Atlantic’ in The South Atlantic Quarterly, Volume 100, Number 1, Winter 2001, pp. 61-82.

Bazzicalupo, L. (2010) Biopolitica. Una mappa concettuale, Roma, Carocci.

Deleuze, G. (1995) ‘Immanence: A Life’ in Id. Pure Immanence. Essays on A Life, New York, Zone Books, 2005.

Esposito, R. (2004) Bíos. Biopolitics and Philosophy, trans. and pref. by T. Campbell, University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

Foucault, M. (1976) The History of Sexuality Vol. 1: The Will to Knowledge, London, Penguin, 1998.

Foucault, M. (1985) Life: Experience and Science, in Id. Essential Works of Michel Foucault. 1954-1984. Vol. II – Aesthetics, Method and Epistemology, ed. by J.D. Faubion, New York, The New Press, 1998, 465-478.

Glissant, É. (1990) Poetics of Relation, trans. by B. Wing, Ann Arbor, U. of Michigan Press, 1997.

Glissant, É. (2010) La terre le feu l’eau et les vents. Une anthologie de la poésie du tout-monde, Paris, Galaade Éditions.

Glissant, É. (2012) Rien n’est Vrai, tout est vivant’ in Francofonia. Studi e ricerche sulle letterature di lingua francese, 63, 2012, special issue: “Le frémissement de la lecture. Parcours littéraires d’Edouard Glissant” (eds. C. Biondi and E. Pessini).

Nancy, J.-L. (1992) Corpus, Paris, Métailié.

Philip, N. (2008), Zong!, Wesleyan University Press.

Conference trip to Atlanta – Georgia Institute of Technology

Back from my first conference trip in the USA! It has been amazing! As I wrote in the previous post, Dr Louise Hardwick and me have attended an important annual conference, co-organized by 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium and the Georgia Institute of Technology, on the theme of ‘Traces, Fragments, Remains’. We both presented a paper, in a panel chaired by Louise and entitled ‘(T)Races, Memories, Identities’. This was the program of our panel:

CHONG WOJTKOWSKI BRETILLON, City University of New York, Some Kind of Other: Invisibility and Whiteness in French Hip Hop Music

ALESSANDRO CORIO, University of Birmingham, L’errance violente du poème: the ambivalence of the Trace in Édouard Glissant

LOUISE HARDWICK, University of Birmingham, «Comment répondre à ces pourquoi d’enfants» Tracing Childhood, tracing slavery in Francophone Caribbean Literature

I have also attended many other interesting panels, among which two panels on Glissant, with Valérie Loichot, Michael Wiedorn, Hugo Azérad, Ania Kowalik and Lovia M. Mondésir.

Louise, Michael and me at the Georgia Tech

Louise, Michael and me at the Georgia Tech

We were invited and hosted (in his beautiful house) by Dr Michael Wiedorn, a specialist in Francophone Caribbean Literature at Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts – Georgia Institute of Technology. Michael helped us to know the city, the Georgia Tech and Emory campus, Martin Luter King birthplace and museum (and some very nice coffee shops and restaurants, to taste the gorgeous tasty food of the south!)

This visit was conceived in order to develop future projects with a view to nurturing links between the University of Birmingham, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Emory University in order to explore future funding opportunities, research conferences and joint publications. We developed plans with Michael Wiedorn for a one-day International Research Colloquium, Postcolonialism, Race and Biopolitics, to be held at the University of Birmingham on 26th June 2013. Michael has accepted to be a keynote speaker at this event.

I have also met Prof. Valérie Loichot (specialist on Glissant and Caribbean Literature) and Prof. Geoffrey Bennington (specialist on Derrida and French Theory), from Emory University, and they suggested me to spend one month at Emory next year as Visiting Scholar, to work on Glissant and literary theory.