Speaker, Dr. Emmanuel Jean-François, Penn State
This talk takes islands and seas as its focus, outlining an approach to geographies that can be considered globally in any context. It explores the case of the Indian Ocean but relates to broader themes such as colonialism/postcolonialism, racism, and global movements and migration.
As Dr. Jean-François puts in in his abstract: "Using the New Thalassology and Kamau Brathwaite’s notion of “tidalectics” as a relational framework for exploring multipolar connections, minor solidarities, and long-ignored forms of cosmopolitanism, this presentation discusses how the transcolonial and transoceanic imaginaries of Francophone Indian Ocean writers disrupt the colonial taxonomies that have construed islands as spaces of colonial difference, isolation, and vulnerability. While their “de-insularization” of islands and their rewriting of geographies, temporalities, and epistemologies bridge the gap between landmasses and seas, oceans and archipelagoes, it also configures fluctuating horizons and symbolic spaces of relation from which minority, racialized, and subaltern subjects across multiple sites can interact in fruitful and lateral ways."