Ressources bibliographiques

Abstracts et références bibliographiques

Journée d'études 1 : abstracts et références bibliographiques

1) Table ronde autour de Bernard Banoun (REIGENN) et Rose Labourie (traductrice) : Blutbuch (2022) de Kim de L’Horizon




À l’occasion de la parution toute récente de la traduction de Hêtre pourpre (Blutbuch, 2022 ; trad. Rose Labourie, Julliard, 2023), la discussion entre Rose Labourie et Bernard Banoun abordera plusieurs aspects pertinents quant à la “fabrique du canon”. Après une présentation générale du livre et du succès remporté en Allemagne (attribution du Deutscher Buchpreis en 2022 ; performance de Kim de L’Horizon lors de la remise du prix), la discussion portera d’une part sur la consécration d’un roman queer, d’autre part sur les questions et problèmes de traduction soulevées par le passage de l’allemand au français.




Kim de L’Horizon. Blutbuch. Köln: Dumont. 2022. Trad. fr. Rose Labourie. Paris: Julliard, 2023.

Abdou, Julie. Tenir sa langue. Le langage, lieu de luttes féministes. Paris: Les Pérégrines, 2022.

Clair, Isabelle, Heinen, Jacqueline. « Translations du genre. Entretiens croisés avec Oristelle Bonis, Cynthia Kraus et Gail Pheterson. » Les Cahiers du Genre 54 (2013): 21-44. 

Dustan, Guillaume. Dans ma chambre. Paris: POL, 1996. 

Grunenwald, Noémi. Sur les bouts de la langue. Traduire en féministe/s. Lille: La Contre-Allée, 2021. 

Mazzone, Fanny, « Féminisme et études de genre. » In Bernard Banoun, Isabelle Poulin, Yves Chevrel, eds. Histoire des traductions en langue française. 1914-2000. Lagrasse: Verdier, 2019. 1719- 1756.

Möser, Cornelia. Féminismes en traductions. Théories voyageuses et traductions culturelles. Paris: Les Archives contemporaines, 2013. 

Suter, Henri. Le Dico romand. Lexique de chez nous. Lausanne: Favre, 2020.

Viennot, Éliane. Non, le masculin ne l’emporte pas sur le féminin. Petite histoire des résistances de la langue française. Donnemarie-Dontilly: Éditions iXe, 2014.

2) “Have you read Things Fall Apart?”: Questioning the Canon and Finding a Voice of One’s Own in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (2013)

Guillaume Fourcade (VALE)


It is no overstatement to claim that Nigeria-born Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has reached literary stardom (Guignery 2022, 134) nor to assert, as Elena Rodríguez Murphy does, that “[she] has by now become one of the most talked about African writers on the world literary stage” (Murphy 2017, 94). By March 2022, the winner of twenty-one literary prizes (including the 2005 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Purple Hibiscus [2004]), Adichie had also been short- or long-listed for another twenty literature awards (she was a Caine nominee for African Writing for her short story “You in America” [2002]). A canonized fiction writer, she has also become an active gear in the canon factory through her involvement in African writers’ associations in which she mentors aspiring African authors (Kiguru 2016, 210) and attempts thereby to relocate African canon formation to Africa. Whether the emancipation from publishing houses and award institutions in the global North is likely to succeed is nonetheless debated among scholars of English-speaking African literature (Olusegun-Joseph 2021, 73). Critics have noted that Adichie explores the role played by Western institutions in fashioning the contemporary African canon according to market rules and Western readers’ tastes in her short story “Jumping Monkey Hill” from The Thing around Your Neck (2009) (Kiguru 2016, 206-207). Yet comparatively little critical attention has thus far been paid to her representations of the canon in her most autobiographical novel, Americanah (2013). With a few exceptions (Murphy 2017; Tunca 2018), scholars have seldom mentioned, let alone discussed thoroughly, the intertextual and metafictional quality of the novel. However, it is pivotal to the representation of Ifemelu’s, its main character’s, evolving and new identity as an immigrant and, later, a returnee. Adichie indeed conjures up a whole network of literary references, from books by celebrated British and US authors to no less acclaimed postcolonial, African works, to the electronic pieces that are crafted within the frame of the story. This paper aims at exploring the intertextual and metafictional (if not self-referential) discourse in Americanah and more specifically at analysing to what extent the novel reads as a narrative of emancipation from, and positioning relative to, imposed canonical works. It purports to show that the intertextual references skilfully woven into the fictional plot are not a random collection but that they raise the issue of the immigrant’s ability to define her identity (and the issue of Adichie’s authorial identity) by questioning existing canons and delineating a new literary canon of her own. After considering the way in which the novel stages the tyrannical prescription of canonical works upon its main character, this paper will point out its representation of a strategy of resistance to imposed books. Such a liberation, it will argue, is coterminous with the quest for a stand-alone, singular voice, in other words, for one’s individual canonical writing.


Works cited

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Americanah. 2013. New York: Anchor Books, 2014. 

Bontemps, Arna. “The Negro Renaissance: Jean Toomer and the Harlem of the 20’s.” 1966. In Turner, Darwin T., ed. Cane, by Jean Toomer. New York: Norton and Norton Company, 1988. 186-192. . Accessed October 1, 2023.

Courtois, Cédric. “Les écrivain·e·s nigérian·e·s de la troisième génération et la construction identitaire (Bildung): panorama du roman nigérian depuis les années 2000.” Études littéraires africaines (48): 2019, 207–221. . Accessed October 1, 2023. 

Diala, Isidore. “(De)Stabilising the European Classic: Sycorax, Esiaba Irobi’s The Tempest.” Shakespeare in Southern Africa 24 (2012): 25-43. 

Esplin, Marlene. “The Right Not to Translate: The Linguistic Stakes of Immigration in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah.” Research in African Literatures 49.2 (July 2018): 73-86. DOI: . Accessed October 1, 2023. 

Festa, Maria. “Migrant Multimodal Narratives: From Blogs and Print Media to YouTube.” Studi e Ricerche 30 (January 2023): 247-263. . Accessed October 1, 2023.

Friesen, Alan R. “Okonkwo’s Suicide as an Affirmative Act: Do Things Really Fall Apart?” Postcolonial Text 2.4 (2006): 1-11, 11.

Guignery, Vanessa. “Introduction. Contemporary Nigerian Literature in English: An Orchestra of Pluralities.” Études anglaises 75.2 (2022): 131-146. . Accessed October 1, 2023.

Hewett, Heather. “Coming of Age: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the Voice of the Third Generation.” New Nigerian Writing, special issue of English in Africa 32.1 (2005): 73-97.

“Irobi, Esiaba.” African Writing Online 4 (2008). . Accessed October 1, 2023.

“Irobi, Esiaba.” . Accessed October 1, 2023.

Kiguru, Doseline. “Literary Prizes, Writers’ Organisations and Canon Formation in Africa.” African Studies 75.2 (August 2016): 202-214. DOI: . Accessed October 1, 2023.

Komunyakaa, Yusef 1947- (James Willie Brown, James Willie Brown, Jr.).” In Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. Ed. Amanda D. Sams. Vol. 164. Detroit: Gale, 2008. 210-214. . Accessed October 1, 2023

Landry, Ava. “Black Is Black Is Black?: African Immigrant Acculturation in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing.” MELUS 43.4 (2018): 127-147. DOI: . Accessed October 1, 2023.

Levine, Bettijane and Valerie J. Nelson. “Sidney Sheldon, 89; Prolific Writer.” Los Angeles Times. January 31, 2007.

Maslin, Janet. “Sidney Sheldon: Literate Master of Pulp Panache.” New York Times. February 2, 2007.

Mckenzie, Marilyn Mobley. “Petry, Ann (1908–1997).” In African American Writers. Ed. Valerie Smith. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001. 615-627. Accessed October 1, 2023.

Murphy, Elena Rodríguez. “New Transatlantic African Writing: Translation, Transculturation and Diasporic Images in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Thing Around Your Neck and Americanah.” Prague Journal of English Studies 6.1 (2017): 93-104. DOI: . Accessed October 1, 2023.

Nwankwo, Izuu. “Traditions of Naming in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Fiction.” Postcolonial Text 18.3 (2023): 1-17. Accessed October 1, 2023. 

Obunseh, Hyacinth. “ANA/Esiaba Irobi Prize for Drama: Call for Entries.” Sentinel Literary Quarterly 3.4 (July-September 2010). . Accessed October 1, 2023.

Okagbue, Osita. “John Pepper Clark (1935-).” African Writers. 2 vols. Ed. C. Brian Cox. Vol 1. New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons, 1997. 153-166.|CX1381400023. Accessed October 1, 2023.

Olusegun-Joseph, Yomi. “Canons and Margins: Contemporary Nigerian Writing, Father-Surveillance Criticism and Kindred Economies of Othering.” African Studies Quarterly 20.2 (2021): 62-79. . Accessed October 1, 2023.

Ross, Michael A. “Ownership of Language: Disglossia in the Fiction of Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie.” Research in African Literatures 50.1 (Summer 2019): 111-126.

Smith, Cynthia J. “Jones, Gayl (1949– ).” In African American Writers. Ed. Valerie Smith. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001. 429-442. Accessed October 1, 2023.

Taylor, Jack. “Language, Race, and Identity in Adichie’s Americanah and Bulowayo’s We Need New Names.” Research in African Literatures 50.2 (July 2019): 68-85. DOI: . Accessed October 1, 2023. 

Tunca, Daria. “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as Chinua Achebe’s (Unruly) Literary Daughter: The Past, Present, and Future of ‘Adichebean’ Criticism.” Research in African Literatures 49.4 (Winter 2018): 107-126.

Vlahaki, Marina. “Braiding Worlds: Disharmonious Encounters in Mariama’s African Hair Salon in Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.” Research in African Literatures 52.1 (April 2021): 108-126. DOI: . Accessed October 1, 2023. 


3) “Enough of That Colonialism Piece of Shit” : Creating the New Greenlandic Canon? 

Alessandra Ballotti (REIGENN)


The literary canon and the cultural factory that structures it are reflections of a policy that focuses on combining the glorification of national cultural products and the dissemination of the values linked to the canon through teaching at various school levels. As anachronistic as these aims may seem in an increasingly globalised world, considering the literary canon without questioning its political effects would be tantamount to limiting its artistic scope to a purely aesthetic effect without considering its real consequences. Between the 1990s and the first two decades of the 2000s, the question of the artistic-literary canon was often evoked and politically instrumentalised in the Scandinavian area. It was in Danish cultural policy that the most interesting cultural phenomena were recorded, which then contributed to the development of these issues in the Swedish and Norwegian context as well. However, when one expands the discourse to the rest of the Nordic area, one can see that these topics are alien to Icelandic, Greenlandic, and Faroese cultural policy and cultural circles, at least as far as the period before 2000-2010 is concerned. What is the reason for this apparent cultural disinterest in the desire to create or enter into dialogue with a literary and artistic canon? 

In the Nordic context, the case of Greenland and its cultural, artistic, and literary productions becomes particularly interesting because of its political, sociological, and linguistic relations, but also because of the cultural structures it maintains with Denmark even today. In this paper, I will show how, in Greenland, the concept of the “cultural and literary canon” emerged only very recently and how it is now inseparable from the idea of the “subversive performance” that is expressed through striking linguistic and cultural choices. 

The foundations for a first real phenomenon of literary canonisation were laid out between 2014 and 2021, at the time of the publication of two works by the young Greenlandic writer Niviaq Kroneliussen. With her two books, HOMO Sapienne (2014) and Naasuliardarpi - Blomsterdalen (2021), Korneliussen succeeds in re-dynamising the reception of Greenlandic literature worldwide by constituting the institutionalisation of Greenlandic letters, both in terms of the lexical choices made in her texts and the critical content expressed about Greenland addressed to the current young and cosmopolitan Greenlandic generation. However, all these elements end up further deconstructing the canon rather than creating it, changing the stereotypical representation of Greenland as it had been “staged” in previous literature.

Works Cited 

BORCH, Adam. “Julgubbar och zombier: Niviaq Korneliussen, Sørine Steenholdt och nordiska relationer i ny grönländsk litteratur.” AVAIN-Kirjallisuudentutkimuksen aikakauslehti 3 (2018): 140-151.

BRODERSEN, Randi Benedikte, ed. Kanonisk selskabsleg i nordisk litteratur. Nordic Council of Ministers, 2013.

D’HAEN, Theo. “How Many Canons Do We Need? World Literature, National Literature, European Literature”. In The Canonical Debate Today. Brill, 2011: 17-37.

DYBDAL, Emilie. “Dansk grønlandslitteratur og jagten på det antropocæne”. Academic Quarter| Akademisk kvarter (2022): 37-50.

DYBDAL, Emilie. “Litteraturen rykker nordpå: om Grønland i 10’ernes danske litteratur”. Passage-Tidsskrift for litteratur og kritik 36.85 (2021): 115-128.

EVENGÅRD, Birgitta, LARSEN, Joan Nymand, et PAASCHE, Øyvind, eds. The New Arctic. Springer, 2015.

HEEDE, Dag, HEITH, Anne, et LÖNNGREN, Ann-Sofie, eds. Rethinking National Literatures and the Literary Canon in Scandinavia. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015.

KÖRBER, Lill-Ann et VOLQUARDSEN, Ebbe, eds. The Postcolonial North Atlantic: Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Nordeuropa-Instiitut der Humboldt-Universität, 2014.

KÖRBER, Lill-Ann. “Figurations of the Hybrid: Julie Edel Hardenberg’s Visions for a Post-Postcolonial Greenland.” Globalizing Art: Negotiating Place, Identity and Nation in Contemporary Nordic Art, 2011. 183-203.

KORNELIUSSEN, Niviaq. Homo sapienne: oqaluttualiaq. Milik, 2014.

KRONELIUSSEN, Niviaq. Blomsterdalen. Gyldendal. 2021.

LANGGÅRD, Karen. From Oral Tradition to Rap: Literatures of the Polar North. Ilisimaturarfik/Forlaget Atuagkat, 2011.

LUBOWICKA, Agata, et al. “Mellem det (post) koloniale, det (post) nationale og det globale: en analyse af Niviaq Korneliussens HOMO sapienne.” Folia Scandinavica Posnaniensia 24 (2018): 39-55.

THISTED, Kirsten et GREMAUD, Ann-Sofie N., eds. Denmark and the New North Atlantic: Narratives and Memories in a Former Empire. Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2020.

THISTED, Kirsten. “Discourses of Indigeneity: Branding Greenland in the Age of Self-government and Climate Change.” In Science, Geopolitics and Culture in the Polar Region. Routledge, 2016. 227-258.

THISTED, Kirsten. “Pioneering Nation: New Narratives about Greenland and Greenlanders Launched Through Arts and Branding.” In The New Arctic, 2015. 23-38.

THISTED, Kirsten. ”Danske Grønlandsfiktioner. Om billedet af Grønland i dansk litteratur.” Kosmorama 49.232 (2003): 32-67.

VERVOORT, Rozemarijn. “‘Hold op med den selvmedlidenhed’–nye orienteringer i en grønlandsk samtidsroman.” Tijdschrift voor Skandinavistiek 36.2 (2018).

VOLQUARDSEN, Ebbe. “Pathological Escapists, Passing, and the Perpetual Ice: Old and New Trends in Danish-Greenlandic Migration Literature.” The Postcolonial North Atlantic: Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands, 2014. 391-417.

Journée d'études 2 : abstracts et références bibliographiques

1) Kila VAN DER STARRE, Université d'Utrecht (Pays Bas), "Poetry off the Page, Inside and Outside the Canon"


Poetry is everywhere. On social media, in the public area, on the radio and tv, in newspapers, on stage and more. People read poems in books, but most poetry experiences happen off the page. In her dissertation Poëzie buiten het boek. De circulatie en het gebruik van Poëzie (Poetry Off the Page. The Circulation and Use of Poetry, 2021, open access, with a summary in English) dr. Kila van der Starre researched all types of non-boek poetry in the Netherlands and Flanders. Her case studies were street poetry, poetry tattoos, poetry in funeral announcements, poetry on objects, poetry on the radio and Instagram poetry. Her empirical research was based on a national questionnaire on the experiences of poetry by Dutch adults (Van der Starre 2017). In her presentation for today, she will focus on her findings from the perspective of 'inside and outside the canon'.

One of the most influential Dutch ideas on what the literary field entails, is a schematic overview made by Gillis Dorleijn and Kees van Rees in 2006 (Dorleijn & Van Rees 2006). They used Pierre Bourdieu's ideas to define the literary field as the collection of literary institutions, organisations and actors involved in the material and symbolic production, distribution and consumption of what is called 'literature'. Their influential perspective can be characterised by, what I call, a 'bookcentric perspective'. From this perspective, the book is seen as the medium for literature and all institutions in the literary field evolve around the book. From such a bookcentric perspective non-book poetry seems to exist only in the margins of the literary field. However, from the perspective of poetry users, which I call the 'bottom-up' perspective, poetry off the page turns out to be the main – and sometimes even the only – form of poetry that people experience. From such a bottom-up perspective a new literary canon appears. In many cases, this non-book canon consists of more poetry by women, people of colour and young people than the literary canon we perceive from a bookcentric perspective.

I argue that by adding the element of 'circulation' to Dorleijn and Van Rees' idea of the literary field, all the ways, forms and situations in which people use and share poetry can be included in the concept of a literary field. People do not in fact only produce, distribute and consume literature in books, they also let literature, especially poetry, circulate in non-book media. Viewing the literary field from the perspective of poetry users, in which literature is acknowledged in all its medial instantiations, is what I call the 'inclusive perspective'. From this perspective, one looks at the literary texts that are being produced, distributed, consumed and circulated, while taking into account the variety of texts, media, users and types of use.

An important theoretical idea in this research project is that the way people use poetry, shows us what poetry can mean. Thus, the meaning of a poem is the meaning a person assigns to or derives from that poem, which can differ from person to person and per moment. This is what E.D. Hirsch calls 'significance' (Hirsch 1967, 1976, 1984). A second essential notion is the concept of poetry's 'usability'. Contrary to the longstanding debates on the 'usefulness' of poetry, this research project focuses on the ways in which poetry is 'usable', by researching the manner, situations and forms in which people actually use poems (Felski 2008a, 2008b). 

This perspective on poetry asks for a renewed methodology, which I call 'material reading'. This method is based on two concepts. The first is a distinction between a poem's linguistic code (the verbal elements of the text) and its bibliographical code, which I call the material code (the material form in which the texts exists) (Bornstein 2001). The second is the assumption that both the linguistic and the material code contribute to the 'significance' of a poem. This means that the 'significance' of a poem can differ per version, even if the linguistic code stays the same. During my talk I will show how a material reading is a close reading of a poem, while paying careful analytical attention to both the linguistic and the material code of the text.  

Throughout my research, a tension between 'outside' and 'inside' is explored to investigate the different forms and functions of poetry off the page in the Netherlands and Flanders. This tension can both be understood literally and figuratively. 'Inside' is literally inside the house, evoking both the idea of isolated poets writing their poetry in attics and people silently reading poetry alone at home. While 'outside' can literally be poets taking to the streets and poetry users experiencing poetry collectively in social contexts. On the other hand, the terms can be understood figuratively, as 'inside' and 'outside' literary institutions, literary history, the literary canon and the paper book. Also, poetry off the page can be seen as an invitation for people 'outside' to step 'inside', as many examples discussed in this research project are based on a wish to democratise poetry and to encourage people to read or listen to more poetry in their daily lives. My research reveals a tension between 'inside' and 'outside', which shows two fundamentally different ways of dealing with poetry. At the core of the differences between these two types of uses of poetry are different ways of interpretating the concepts 'authenticity', 'quality', 'status' and 'value'.


Bornstein, George. 2001 'Chapter one. How to read a page. Modernism and material textuality', in: George Bornstein, 2001 Material Modernism. The Politics of the Page, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 5-31.

Dorleijn, Gillis J. & Kees van Rees (red.), De productie van literatuur. Het literaire veld in Nederland 1800-2000, Nijmegen: Vantilt.

Felski, Rita. 2008a Uses of Literature, Malden/Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Felski, Rita. 2008b 'Remember the Reader', The Chronicle of Higher Education 55.17, z.p.

Hirsch, E.D., 1967 Validity in Interpretation, Londen: Yale University Press.

Hirsch, E.D., 1976, The Aims of Interpretation, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hirsch, E.D., 1984 'Meaning and Significance Reinterpreted', Critical Inquiry 11.2, p. 202-225.

Starre, Kila van der. 2017 Poëzie in Nederland. Een onderzoek naar hoe vaak en op welke manieren volwassenen in Nederland in aanraking komen met poëzie, Amsterdam: Stichting Lezen,

Starre, Kila van der. 2021 Poëzie buiten het boek. De circulatie en het gebruik van Poëzie (Poetry Off the Page. The Circulation and Use of Poetry, 2021, open access, with a summary in English,, Universiteit Utrecht.

Starre, Kila van der. 2022 'A Media-Specific Analysis of Candlelight Poetry on the Radio. The World's Longest-running Radio Poetry Show', Journal of Radio & Audio Media, December 2022,


2) Bastien GOURSAUD, Université d'Amiens / CERCLL, “Reinterpreting the Canon as Oral Tradition in 21st Century British Spoken Word—The Examples of Kae Tempest and Patience Agbabi”


   The recognition of spoken word as an established poetic genre is a relatively new phenomenon in British poetry. For that reason, spoken word poets have often tried to construct poetic filiations that allow them to distinguish themselves and the specificities of their art while also authorizing and legitimizing their productions. Canonical works associated with an oral tradition have been central to this effort, firstly because they allow spoken word poets to think about the characteristics of a poetry conceived partly or entirely for oral performance and secondly because they can be read as a counter-canon predating a poetry of the book. 

     This talk looks at how two contemporary British spoken word poets of the last 20 years—Patience Agbabi and Kae Tempest—think about the notion of canonicity through literary figures associated with oral traditions—Chaucer for Agbabi and Classical Greek tragedies for Tempest. It will focus on the creative contradiction implied in the definition of a counter-canon that both rejects literary legitimacy while also resorting to the idea of a primacy of the oral experience of the poem. It will then interrogate how the canonicity of the oral poem implies a reflection on the community created by the performance. On the one hand, spoken word poetry is by nature an experience of a poetic community, and one that has historically relied on openness and plurality. On the other hand, the definition of a canon, even a counter-canon, contains the possibility of distinction or even exclusion. Through close readings and performance analyses, I will thus explore those contradictions, trying to show that the reference to the oral tradition forces spoken word poets to constantly redefine the boundaries of the poetic community prefigured by their work. 

3) John SANNAEE, Université Paris 8 / TRANSCRIT, "Building on a Counter-Canonical Heritage: 21st Century Regional Minority Voices in the British Spoken Word Scene" 


Spoken word poetry, in its contemporary forms, has been popular in the United Kingdom since the popularisation of dub poetry in the 1970s and 1980s. There are thriving spoken word scenes of great variety across the country, and various spoken word poets have reached impressive degrees of cultural sacralisation. Poets such as Linton Kwesi Johnson, John Agard, Grace Nichols and Benjamin Zephaniah, all of immigrant or ethnic minority background, achieving broad recognition which has included the canonisation of some of their works, featured for example in GCSE poetry syllabi and widely anthologised. Nonetheless, spoken word and live poetry remains marginalised in relation to literary and poetic canons. Julia Novak (Novak 2011, 11) agrees with Charles Bernstein that this is in part due to the lack of printed documents for critical attention and publication, and has explored live poetry as “a basic realisation mode of the art of poetry rather than as a mere oral presentation of a printed work” (Ibid. 12). Beyond the question of materiality, which online recording and broadcasting of spoken word poetry could be seen as changing, I would argue that it is also the variety of local spoken word scenes that prevent the formation of a single unified British spoken word poetry canon. As such, spoken word offers a counterweight to canonical production of poetry, and is a minor form in the Deleuzian sense of the word. Moreover, it is a minor form in which minority/minoritized subjects are major actors, as such changing the nature of the English poetic scene through a mixture of international influences and local anchorage, as Corrine Fowler (2016) has examined.

     As such, it is interesting to examine the ways in which some spoken word poets such as those mentioned above have been canonised not only within the literary landscape but also popular culture – Kwesi Johnson’s work has primarily been sold as musical recordings, and more recently spoken word artists such as The Streets and Kae Tempest have had major success via musical radio. John Agard recently reworked one of his most famous poems with the rapper Loyle Carner, Benjamin Zephaniah acts in television series and writes poetry for children. They form a network that brings together different traditions and processes of institutionalisation and canonisation, international origins and a British literary heritage, popular culture and the literary mainstream, in ways parallel to the strong local spoken word scenes and their own developing traditions. I will look at examples of work both from more established poets and focus some works from the West Yorkshire spoken word scene, now interestingly increasingly linked to local universities, literary festivals, and the development of a National Poetry Centre in Leeds. In doing so, I aim to show the multiple (intertextual) references, traditions, and points of identification for minority writers, which create literary identities on the edge of canonisation and popular culture whilst remaining distinctly minor and marginal; showing the development both of something approaching a new national canon, and of regional traditions.



Poetic Works

AGARD, John, Half Caste and other poems. London: Hodder, 2005.

IBRAHIIM, Khadijah, Another Crossing. Leeds: Peepal Tree Press, 2014.

JOHNSON, Linton Kwesi, Bass Culture [recording]. Island Records, 1980.

 Dread Beat an’ Blood [recording]. Front Line, 1978.

Leeds Young Authors, ‘Box’ [recorded live performance] <>

 ‘Hand’ [recorded live performance] <>

 ‘I Come From’ [from the trailer for the film, We Are Poets] <>

 ‘Seven Seven’ [recorded live performance] <>

 ‘True Grit’ [recorded as part of a poetry cycle] <> ; <>

MANZOOR-KHAN, Suhaiymah, Postcolonial Banter. Birmingham: Verve, 2019.

NICHOLS, Grace, I is a Long-Memoried Woman. London: Karnak House, 1984.

 Sunris. London: Virago, 1996.

TEMPEST, Kae, Everybody Down [recording]. Big Dada, 2014.

 Let Them Eat Chaos [recording]. Fiction/Lex, 2016.

The Book of Traps and Lessons [recording]. American Records, 2019.

The Line is a Curve [recording]. Republic, 2022.

ZEPHANIAH, Benjamin, The Dread Affair: Collected Poems. London: Arrow, 1985.

 Nature Trail. London: Orchard Books, 2021.


Theoretical and Critical Works

BRATHWAITE, Kamau, ‘The History of the Voice’. In Kamau Brathwaite, Roots [1986]. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1993. 259-304.

DELEUZE, Gilles & GUATTARI, Félix, Kafka : pour une littérature mineure. Paris: Minuit, 1975.

FOWLER, Corrine, ‘The Poetics and Politics of Spoken Word Poetry’. Ed. Deordre Osborne. The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature (1945 – 2010). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 177-192.

GILROY, Paul, The Black Atlantic. London & New York: Verso, 1993.

GOURSAUD, Bastien, Du spoken word à la parole publique : Inscrire la performance dans la poésie britannique contemporaine, sous la direction de Pascal Aquien. [doctoral dissertation] Sorbonne Université, 2020.

GREAVES, Sara, ‘Transcultural Hybridity and Modernist Legacies: Observations on Late Twentieth- and Early Twenty-First-Century British Poetry’. Ed. Abigail Lang & David Nowell Smith. Modernist Legacies: Trends and Faultlines in British Poetry Today. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, 2015. 159-175.

HALL, Stuart & WHANNEL, Paddy, The Popular Arts [1964]. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

HUK, Romana, ‘Genre Crossings: Rewriting ‘the Lyric’ in Innovative Black British Poetry’. Ed. Deordre Osborne. The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature (1945 – 2010). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 225-240.

KAY, Jackie, PROCTER, James & ROBINSON, Gemma, Out of Bounds: British Black and Asian Poets. Hexham: Bloodaxe, 2012.

NOVAK, Julia, Live poetry: an integrated approach to poetry in performance. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011.

RAMZANI, Jahan, ‘Black British poetry and the translocal’. Ed. Neil Corcoran. The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century English Poetry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 200-214.

ROSE, Tricia, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1994.




Journée d'études 3 : abstracts et références bibliographiques

1)  Dr. Maïmouna Matikainen-Soreau is a postdoctoral researcher in Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki, currently working in a project on racism and antiracism in Finnish lower secondary schools (RILSE). She holds a double PhD (cotutelle) in Nordic literature from the University of Helsinki and in Scandinavian studies from Paris-Sorbonne University (2021). In her doctoral thesis she developed the term "postmigration literature" and analyzed processes of racialisation and white normativity in Nordic fiction. Her teaching and research interests include racism and antiracism, critical race and whiteness studies, decolonial studies, intersectional feminism and critical mixed-race studies.

RésuméThird Culture Kids, rap and national theater. Erik Lundin's making of a new Swedish canon.

In 2015,the Swedish rap artist Erik Lundin released his first EP Suedi and later published the lyrics in the anthology Third culture kids (ed. Ra Hidaya Modig, 2017). The song Suedi is a coming-of-age narrative in which we follow the lyrical I from his birth and childhood in Västerort, one of Stockholm’s disadvantaged suburbs, via his journey back to his parents’ home country where he is welcomed as a Swede. Coming back to Stockholm he and his friends decide to embrace the title and identity of ”suedi” (a mocking word for stereotypical Swedes in suburban slang). Finally, he describes the day he comes out to his parents as Swedish.

In this song, Lundin plays with classical hip-hop tropes while using an atypical mix of seven languages (Nykvist 2019). In my talk I will consider Lundin’s lyrics literarily and analyze his peculiar use of what is often called a multiethnolect: an urban youth language variant which contains influences from various languages (Quist 2000). Looking at the text closely we will notice that the song builds on an effect of authenticity but is actually a series of rhetorical stereotypes. The multicultural allegories are nonethnic and the song appears to have a strong postnationalistic agenda (Oxfeldt 2012), characteristic of the Nordic postmigration generation (Jagne-Soreau 2019).

Finally, I will illustrate how this EP brought Lundin from the margins to the spotlight, from the underground rap culture to the established literary field, where he consciously uses his ethnic capital (Nilsson 2010) to establish a new Swedish literary canon. Since then, he has become a central figure of the Swedish cultural scene and is regularly featured in diverse national medias and cultural institutions, including the national theater.


Jagne-Soreau, Maïmouna. ”Att vakna upp som suedi: om mellanförskap och rap” 2019. In Nordisk Poesi, Vol. 1, nr. 4: 43-60. ​

Lundin Banda, Ibrahima Erik. ”Suedi”. 2017. In Third Culture Kids, red. Ra Hidaya Modig. Stockholm: Ordfront, 46–63.

Nilsson, Magnus. Den föreställda mångkulturen. 2010. Hedemora: Gidlunds Förlag.

Nykvist, Karin. ”Language play and politics in contemporary Swedish hip-hop”. 2019. In The Aesthetics and Politics of Linguistic Borders: Multilingualism in Northern European Literature. Routledge: 9780367203153.

Oxfeldt, Elisabeth. Romanen, nasjonen og verden.Nordisk litteratur i et postnasjonalt perspektiv. 2012. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Quist, Pia. “Ny københavnsk 'multietnolekt'. Om sprogbrug blandt unge i sprogligt og kulturelt heterogene miljøer”. 2000. In Danske Talesprog: 143-211.​


2) Pr. Dirk Weissmann est professeur des Universités à l’Université Toulouse – Jean Jaurès et chercheur associé à l’Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes (CNRS). Ses recherches portent, entre autres, sur la littérature allemande récente (de l’époque de Goethe jusqu’à nos jours), les études littéraires interculturelles, les relations entre littérature et multilinguisme, les transferts culturels franco-allemands, l’histoire des idées dans l’espace germanophone et la théorie et l’histoire de la traduction (littéraire). Choix de publications : (Monographie) Wortöffnungen. Zur Mehrsprachigkeit Paul Celans, Tübingen, Narr Francke Attempto, 2024 (sous presse) ; (Monographie) Les langues de Goethe, Essai sur l’imaginaire plurilingue d’un poète national, Paris, Kimé, 2021 ; (Monographie) Métamorphoses interculturelles, Les ‘Voix de Marrakech’ d’Elias Canetti, Paris, Orizons, 2016 ;  (Volume édité) Istanbul–Berlin : interculturalité, histoire et écriture chez Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2019 (avec Bernard Banoun et Frédéric Teinturier) ; (Volume édité) Identités littéraires franco-allemandes / Deutsch-Französische Schriftstelleridentitäten, numéro hors-série de la revue Recherches germaniques, n° 18, 2023 (avec Maryse Staiber).

Résumé: "La consécration littéraire des écrivains « venus d’ailleurs » et la révision du canon dans les pays germaniques : l’exemple de l’édition 2016 du Prix Bachmann".

À l’instar de la plupart des pays occidentaux, le canon littéraire allemand fait actuellement l’objet de vives discussions, de tentatives de révision, de mises en cause des traditions, etc. En étudiant la politique d’attribution des prix littéraires, ma présentation se propose de décrire cette évolution comme celle d’une ouverture croissante du système littéraire aux œuvres produites par des écrivain-e-s né-e-s hors des pays germanophones et/ou dont l’allemand n’est pas la langue première ou exclusive. Comme le montre un examen des palmarès des trente dernières années, la consécration de cette « autre » littérature allemande par la critique et le publique est manifeste, visible. En même temps, on est en droit de se poser la question des possibles limites de l’intégration d’écritures qui rompent avec des traditions solidement établies depuis la fin du XVIIIe siècle. La littérature allemande est-elle réellement en mesure de s’émanciper de critères tels que le « génie » national, la langue maternelle, l’origine culturelle ? À partir de l’édition 2016 du Prix Bachmann, il s’agit d’illustrer l’ampleur des transformations actuelles de l’identité littéraire, tout en montrant dans quelle mesure la question de la langue, notamment, pourrait poser une limite à cette ouverture. Les deux auteurs germanophones au cœur de mes réflexions seront Sharon Dodua Otoo et Tomer Gardi, tous les deux participants du Prix Bachmann 2016 et lauréats de plusieurs prix importants . 


Gardi, Tomer: Broken German. Graz: Droschl, 2016.

Otoo, Sharon Dodua: Adas Raum. Frankfurt/Main: Fischer, 2021.

3) Dr. Benjamine Toussaint is a senior lecturer at Sorbonne Université, where she teaches translation as well as Scottish history and literature. Her research focuses on 19th and 20th century Scottish novels, especially on the links between national identity and gender in the works of Susan Ferrier, Walter Scott, George MacDonald, George Douglas Brown, Liz Lochhead, Ronald Frame and Kate Clanchy. 

Most recent publications: 

Benjamine Toussaint. “Agnes Owens’s strong fighting women, or the insurrection of small, invisible lives”. Presses Universitaires de Besançon. Women and Scotland: Literature, Culture, Politics, Pittin-Hedon, Marie-Odile (ed), Presses universitaires de Franche-Comté, pp.261-276, 2020, 10.4000/books.pufc.38885.


« “A strong Scotch accent of the mind“ : le nationalisme romantique dans les contes d’artiste de George MacDonald et Andrew Lang » L'Oiseau bleu, numéro 6, janvier 24 : Le conte d’artiste du XIXe siècle au XXIe siècle.

Résumé: To Be or Not to Be Scottish Enough: Kate Clanchy, Nationalism and the Scottish Canon”.

When warning us against the” worrying impasse” of a “too often entrenched polarization” between the “national” and the “post-national” paradigms “in the academic as well as the public debate over the disciplinary definition of Scottish literature”, Carla Sassi suggests that one of the most efficient ways to escape from this form of entrapment is to read against the grain and focus on works and authors that have not become part of the traditional canon. The example of Kate Clanchy is quite interesting from this perspective as she has, in some ways been officially labelled as a Scottish author since several of her poems were included in contemporary Scottish poetry anthologies and since she received several national literary prizes. Yet, she has also been criticized for not being “Scottish enough.” In one of her short stories entitled “The Invention of Scotland” she deals quite explicitly with the cultural tensions between England and Scotland and with the role that nationalism plays in the construction of the literary canon. While in “The View from my Window” she deals with the exclusion of minorities from a fictional space dominated by “English American” characters thus exposing the impact of a lack of diversity in mass market fiction. This paper will focus on Antigona and Me (her memoir about a refugee from Kosovo), her novel Meeting the English and her collection of short stories The Not-Dead and the Saved. It will show how Kate Clanchy explores national myths and demonstrates their complexity by simultaneously debunking them and revealing that they remain extremely potent even when one is aware that they are artificial constructions. Her Oxonian education and “posh accent” may make her “too English” to fit easily within the Scottish canon yet the uncanny resurgence of Scottishness in these works might in some ways be described as a typical example of Caledonian antisyzygy.


Clanchy, Kate. Antigona and Me. London: Picador, 2009.

Meeting the English. London: Picador, 2014.

The Not-Dead and the Saved and Other Stories. London: Picador, 2015.

Journée d'études 4: abstracts et références bibliographiques

1) Jayrôme Robinet est écrivain, traducteur, artiste de spoken word et doctorant en littérature orale à l'Université des Arts de Berlin.


Sonne in Scherben. Berlin: Hanser Berlin, 2024    

Mein Weg von einer weißen Frau zu einem jungen Mann mit Migrationshintergrund. Berlin: Hanser Berlin, 2019

Das Licht ist weder gerecht noch ungerecht. Berlin: w_orten & meer, 2015

Faut-il croire les mimes sur parole ? La Laune: Au Diable Vauvert, 2007

Vous avez le droit d’être de mauvaise humeur, mais prévenez les autres ! La Laune: Au Diable Vauvert, 2005

Fasten your seatbelt. In: Tanja Raich (Hg.): Frei sein. Zürich: Kein & Aber, S. 191-212 

Krieger oder Loser. In: Blum, Donat / Moritz, Valentin (Hg.): Oh Boy. Männlichkeit*en heute. Berlin: kanon verlag, S. 41-53, 2023

Keine Frage! In: Dshamilja, Laura / Gneuß, Charlotte (Hg.): Glückwunsch. 15 Erzählungen über Abtreibung. Berlin: Hanser Berlin, S. 181-195, 2023

Erdbeermarmeladen-Queen-Saga‘ alias ‚Das queere Leben der Anagramme‘. In: Bartelmus, Martin / Nebrig, Alexander (Hg.): Schriftlichkeit. Aktivität, Agentialität und Aktanten der Schrift. Bielefeld: Transcript, S. 103-125, 2022 Online access

Lecken, lecken. Queerer Spoken Word im West-Berlin der 1970er und 1980er Jahre. In: Schrödl, Jenny / Wittrock, Eike (Hg.): Theater* in queerem Alltag und Aktivismus der 1970er und 1980er Jahre. Berlin: Neofelis, S.161-189, 2022
Online access

Geniale Geneal(l)ogie. Meine Spoken-Word-Vorfahr*innen. In: Voß, Heinz-Jürgen (Hg.): Westberlin - ein sexuelles Porträt. Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag, S. 187-204, 2021


2)Dr. Christine Meyer (l’Université de Picardie Jules Verne; directrice l’UR 4283 – CERCLL)


« Un poète a besoin d’ancêtres », note Elias Canetti en se retournant sur sa trajectoire intellectuelle après avoir reçu le prix Nobel de littérature en 1981. Marginal parmi les marginaux de la littérature allemande, cet écrivain qui n’aura cessé de proclamer sa dette envers la tradition – une tradition choisie, soigneusement composée à partir des œuvres et des auteurs de la littérature mondiale – était bien placé pour savoir qu’un apatride a particulièrement besoin de repères et de figures tutélaires. Mais qu’on soit exilé soi-même, descendant de personnes « déplacées » ou immigrées, ou bien qu’on essaie simplement d’écrire sur la « condition exilique » (A. Nouss), la question des repères se pose. Ce n’est donc pas un hasard si la référence à des œuvres consacrées est si souvent mobilisée dans la refugee literature d’aujourd’hui. Le recours à des références canoniques répond ici à au moins deux objectifs : 1) légitimer un sujet a priori peu visible et peu reconnu dans le champ culturel ; 2) contribuer activement à dissoudre la dichotomie entre l’ici et l’ailleurs, l’indigène et l’étranger, de façon à (ré)inscrire la figure de l’exilé dans l’imaginaire et la mémoire du collectif. Raconter l’histoire d’un migrant sans-papiers comme si c’était celle d’un héros classique (Ulysse, Antigone…) ou de toute autre figure de banni consacrée par l’histoire littéraire, équivaut ainsi à une déclaration d’intention qui pourrait se résumer ainsi : mon héros n’est pas moins digne de votre intérêt – et de votre empathie – que tous les autres personnages qui peuplent les théâtres et les bibliothèques. Vous ne l’avez jamais vu sous cet angle jusqu’ici, mais je vais vous prouver qu’il/elle est parfaitement crédible dans ce rôle.

La somme des œuvres convoquées dans ce geste citationnel à la fois rassurant et iconoclaste dessine les contours ce qui pourrait s’appréhender comme un « corpus secondaire » de la refugee literature : un corpus complémentaire d’œuvres précurseuses, prélevées à des fins critiques sur le répertoire des « classiques » de la littérature mondiale. Ce corpus sélectif représenterait alors un « canon partiel » ou un « sous-canon » spécifique à la littérature exilique, de la même façon que s’est constitué au cours des dernières décennies un corpus de référence féministe, Noir, postcolonial, queer, etc.

La constitution de ces canons spécifiques a été prise en charge, dans bien des cas, au moins autant par des théoricien·ne·s et critiques littéraires, spécialistes des épistémologies critiques et des savoirs situés (études féministes et de genre, études postcoloniales et décoloniales, Black/African-American studies, queer/LGTB studies…), que par des créateur·rice·s d’œuvres « au second degré » (réécritures, adaptations, continuations…). Tel ne semble pas être le cas, à ce jour, du canon de l’exil et des migrations, malgré le nombre croissant d’études consacrées à la refugee literature, et malgré l’engagement de certaines chercheuses et chercheurs qui, à l’image d’Alexis Nouss, plaident pour faire des études exiliques un « nouveau paradigme migratoire ».  En attendant, la « fabrique » d’un canon spécifique aux récits de réfugiés revient pour l’essentiel aux auteur·rices elles/eux-mêmes, qui en esquissent les contours de manière empirique par leurs choix d’écriture.

C’est à ces choix qu’on s’intéressera ici, en dégageant les enjeux esthétiques, éthiques et politiques de pratiques visant à articuler les questions liées à l’exil, à l’asile et à l’hospitalité à un canon de référence en devenir. La communication prendra appui sur quelques exemples récents, comme les nouvelles adaptations de Transit (A. Seghers) par C. Petzold (2018) et de Berlin Alexanderplatz (A. Döblin) par B. Qurbani (2020), ou encore la « suite » transmédiale en deux volets (film d’animation et roman graphique) que le réalisateur israélien Ari Folman a donnée au Journal d’Anne Frank sous le titre Where is Anne Frank (2021).



Arendt, Hannah. “We Refugees.” Menorah Journal 31, no. 1 (January 1943), p. 69-77. 

Berlin Alexanderplatz, long-métrage. Réalisation : Burhan Qurbani. Scénario : Burhan Qurbani et Martin Behnke. Allemagne/Pays-Bas, 2020, 183 minutes.

Casteel, Sarah Phillips, « Writing Under the Sign of Anne Frank: Creolized Holocaust Memory In Michelle Cliff and Caryl Phillips », Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 60, no. 4, 2014, p. 796-820.

Derry, Ken, « Where Is Anne Frank? », Journal of Religion and Film, vol. 25, no. 2, Oct. 2021. DOI :

Folman, Ari, et Lena Guberman, Where is Anne Frank, Penguin, 2021.

Folman, Ari, et David Polonsky, Anne Frank’s Diary – The Graphic Adaptation, Penguin, 2018.

Guillory, John, Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Hirsch, Marianne, « Who Was Anne Frank? Who Is She Now ? », The Women’s Review of Books, vol. 30, no. 2, 2013, p. 8-9.

Kirshenblatt-Gimblet, Barbara, and Jeffrey Shandler (eds), Anne Frank Unbound : Media, Imagination, Memory, Indiana University Press, 2012.

Klein, Uri, « ‘Where Is Anne Frank’: Why You Need to Watch the New Holocaust Animation », Haaretz, 10.05.2023.

Malkani, Fabrice, Anne-Marie Saint-Gille et Ralf Zschachlitz (dir.), Canon et mémoire culturelle :  Œuvres canoniques et postérité, Études germaniques 243, 3, 2007.

Malkani, Fabrice, Anne-Marie Saint-Gille et Ralf Zschachlitz (dir.), Canon et identité culturelle : Élites, masses, manipulation, Saint-Étienne, Publications de l’Université de Saint-Étienne, 2010.

Hasian, Marouf, « Anne Frank, Bergen-Belsen, and the Polysemic Nature of Holocaust Memories », Rhetoric and Public Affairs 4, no. 3 (2001), p. 349-74.

Levy, Daniel, et Natan Sznaider, « Reflexive Erinnerung. Anmerkungen zur Kontroverse über die "Wa(h)re" Anne Frank », dans Daniel Levy et Natan Sznaider, Erinnerung im globalen Zeitalter: Der Holocaust, Frankfurt/M., Suhrkamp, 2001.

Novick, Peter, The Holocaust in American Life, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1999.

Nuselovici (Nouss), Alexis, La Condition de l'exilé. Penser les migrations contemporaines, Paris, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 2015.

Pabel, Annemarie, and ﺁنماري پابل. “‘I Want the Diary to Be My Friend’: The Imagined Friend in Anne Frank’s Diary / ((أريد أن تصبح اليوميات صديقتي)): الصديقة اﻟﻤﺘﺨﻴﱠﻠﺔ في يوميات آن فرانك.” Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, no. 36, 2016, p. 140-57.

Platthaus, Andreas, „Peinlich bemühte Anbiederung“. Filmkritik „Wo ist Anne Frank“. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. En ligne :

Plunka, Gene A., « Transcending the Holocaust: Nelly Sach’s Eli and the Stage Version of The Diary of Anne Frank », South Central Review, vol. 26, no. 3, 2009, p. 98–118.

Rosenfeld, Alvin, The End of the Holocaust, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana UP, 2011.

Samoyault, Tiphaine. L'intertextualité. Mémoire de la littérature. Paris, Armand Colin, 2010.

Sepp, Arvi, « Récriture et création de sens : adaptations idéologiques dans les traductions allemandes du journal intime d'Anne Frank », dans Anne Béchard Léauté (dir.), La traduction comme source de création, Paris, Chemins de traverse, 2018, p. 149-159.

Steinitz, Rebecca, « Review of In Search of the Real Anne, by Lawrence Graver, Anne Frank, Mirjam Pressler, and Otto Frank », The Women’s Review of Books 13, no. 4 (1996): 12–13. DOI :

Transit, long-métrage. Réalisation et scénario : Christian Petzold. Allemagne/France, 2018, 101 minutes.

Vogel-Klein, Ruth (dir.), Les premières voix. / Die ersten Stimmen : L‘écriture de la Shoah en langue allemande 1945-1963 / Deutschsprachiges Schreiben über die Shoah 1945-1963, Würzburg, Königshausen & Neumann, 2010.

Webber, Andrew J.. „Casting Post-migrant Identities in Berlin Films“, Zeitschrift für interkulturelle Germanistik 13/02 (2022). DOI:

Where is Anne Frank, long-métrage d’animation. Réalisation et scénario : Ari Folman. Belgique, Luxembourg, France, Pays-Bas, Israël, 2021, 99 minutes.

Wilson, Katherine, « Anne Frank Abroad: The Emergence of World Atrocity Literature », World Literature Today, vol. 87, no. 3, 2013, p. 28-33. 

Zayzafoon, Lamia Ben Youssef, « Anne Frank Goes East: The Algerian Civil War and the Nausea of Postcoloniality in Waciny Laredj’s ‘Balconies of the North Sea’ », College Literature, vol. 37, no. 1, 2010, p. 61-80.


3)Dr. Cécile Beaufils (Sorbonne Université—VALE)

Résumé :This is a book of spells to be spoken aloud” (The Lost Spells): Literary Events and Contemporary British Nature Writing.”

Contemporary British nature writing has gained continuous momentum in the past ten years, with renewed attention to writing about nature, in varied forms (fiction, non-fiction and poetry in particular). Thanks to authors like Robert Macfarlane, Sarah Hall, Melissa Harrison and James Rebanks, to name but a few, the UK book trade has known a marked increase in sales from the nature writing category. This evolution, which can also be attributed to the Brexit vote and the Covid-19 epidemic, also showcases the growing importance of literary events, taking place all over the country — and the internet. For instance, before the launch of her novel All Among the Barley, Melissa Harrison was invited to talk about the British pastoral at the 2018 BBC Proms, introducing Ralph Vaughan Williams' Pastoral Symphony with archaeologist Francis Pryor. These events (concerts, readings, participative events, etc.) largely contribute to the displacement of nature writing from the margins of the literary world to its centre: as the number of publications rise, literary events do to as they consolidate the place of the genre in the literary canon as well as contribute to the solidification of a canon of British nature writing. 

Nature writing occupies a critical place in the British cultural landscape not exclusively in the form of books: authors and publishers take advantage of contemporary event culture to showcase publications in a different, immersive format. To examine the shape of such event culture, we will examine the way authors become proponents of the “experiential turn” (Dorothea von Hantelmann 2014). We will specifically examine the evolution of the literary events taking place at the Southbank Centre in London since 2020, events around the James Cropper Wainwright Prize for nature writing, and Robert Macfarlane's work on literature, the visual arts and music starting with his Lost Words project which started in 2017. 


Brouillette, Sarah. Literature and the Creative Economy. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2014.

Canongate Website, Unsigned, “The Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing”, Undated, Accessed Jan. 15, 2024.

Clark, Timothy. The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011.

---. Ecocriticism on the Edge: The Anthropocene as a Threshold Concept. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

Farrell, Marchelle. Interview, 2022. Accessed March 13, 2024.

---. Uprooting: From the Caribbean to the Countryside – Finding Home in an English Country Garden. Edinburgh: Canongate, 2023.

Hall, Sarah, Interview, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Union Square, New York, May 6, 2013. My transcription.

Hall Sarah. Wolf Border. London: Faber and Faber, 2015.

Haraway, Donna J.. Staying With the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.

Harrison, Melisa. All Among the Barley. London: Bloomsbury, 2018.

—-. At Hawthorn Time. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.

Lash, Scott and Lury, Celia. Global Culture Industry: The Mediation of Things. Polity, 2007.

MacFarlane, Robert. The Old Ways: a Journey on Foot. London: Penguin, 2013.

—-. Landmarks. London: Penguin, 2015.

—- and Morris, Jackie. The Lost Words: A Spell Book. London: Hamish Hamilton at Penguin, 2017.

Manfredi, Camille. Nature and Space in Contemporary Scottish Writing and Art. Springer, 2019.

Moran, Joe. ‘A Cultural History of the New Nature Writing’. Literature and History (23:1). Manchester: Manchester UP, Spring 2014, 49-63.

Rebanks, James. English Pastoral, An Inheritance. London: Penguin, 2020.

Smith, Jos. The New Nature Writing, Rethinking the Literature of Place. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.

Stenning, Anna and Gifford, Terry, “Introduction: European New Nature Writing” | Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment. Vol. 6 No. 1 (2015)., Accessed May 20, 2024.

von Hantelmann, Dorothea. "The Experiential Turn." In On Performativity, edited by Elizabeth Carpenter. Vol. 1 of Living Collections Catalogue. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2014. Accessed May 20, 2024.