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Gallouët Publishes on Race and Resistance in French Lit and Cinema

KbxMS01bProfessor of French and Francophone Studies Catherine Gallouët’s scholarship has been published in Poétique et politique de l’altérité. Colonialisme, esclavagisme, exotisme, which translates to the Poetics and Politics of Alterity. Colonialism, slavery, exoticism. The transdisciplinary anthology, published by Classiques Garnier, examines alterity – the state of being different or other – in music, literature, cinema and more. The work includes two book chapters by Gallouët, whose texts interrogate the construction of race in European culture.

The chapter, “Le Noir “contre” le Blanc. Rhétorique de la représentation littéraire de resistance” (“The Black “against” the White. Rhetoric of the literary representation of resistance”), examines whether resistance against European ideology is possible in 18th century Euro-centered cultural productions. According to literary theorist Gayatri Spivak, the “pervading ideology of conquest, of knowledge and of empire by Europe renders impossible any authentic representation” of Other. Gallouët challenges this assertion by asking whether there are “traces, fragments or clues” of an “authentic Other discourse” in contemporary fiction.

In her second chapter, “La politique de la représentation des Noirs, du XVIIIe au XXIe siècle, sur la page et à l’écran” (“The Politics of Black Representation, from the 18th to the 21st Century, on the Page and Screen”) Gallouët asks, “What happens when the representation of the Black subject proceeds, not from the dominant culture, but from a representation of oneself by the same?” Gallouët’s chapter includes a comparative reading of various representations of Black protagonists, including: Belle du Portrait de Lady Elizabeth Murray (anonymous, 1779), Ourika (Claire de Duras, 1824), Belle (Amma Asante, 2014) Oroonoko (Apha Behn, 1667) and 12 Years a Slave (Solomon Northup, 1854, and Steve McQueen, 2013).

Classiques Garnier is a premiere publishing house for topics in French literature, foreign literature, linguistics, history, art, music, law, and economic and social sciences.

Gallouët, the John Milton Potter Professor of the Humanities, is the author of several books and some 50 articles and book chapters. Much of her research has been devoted to the French playwright and author Pierre de Marivaux and to examining the construction of race in the French Enlightenment through the lens of 18th century French literature. Read more about her scholarship here.