Category Archives: about zobel project

Thoughts on my new book – Joseph Zobel: Négritude & the Novel

I’m delighted to dip back into this blog today, as my book is published and out with Liverpool University Press! Here it is:

book cover online

 

The book is the fruit of:

  •  many years of research in archives across the world
  • several talks, conference papers and seminar presentations in Europe, the Caribbean and the USA
  • many, many hours typing away at my desk!

I met a great number of inspirational people along the way who are very passionate about Zobel and his literature. Many of them can be found across the pages of this blog! I’m also hugely grateful to the Zobel family for allowing me to use the fantastic image of Joseph on the cover.

As my book finds its way out into the wider world, I am looking forward to seeing how the fresh perspectives that I offer on this canonical author will lead to new debates and discussions about Zobel and the Négritude movement…

You can read the official write-up on the Liverpool University Press publisher’s page here.

The publication has also given me a great reason to log back in to the blog!

Right now, I’m mainly concentrating on other projects, as I explained in my previous post. But I’ll continue to update things here every now and again.

Bonne lecture!

 

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New page launched: media links

I’ve been spring cleaning the blog, and have now created a new page: 08 Media links.

This page draws together my media work over the past few years.

I have been invited to discuss my work for the British, French and Caribbean media, in English and French, and you will find links to video and newspaper articles here, as well as links to other media material.

If you use these materials as teaching resources, or would like to discuss how this might be possible, please do get in touch

Don’t forget the project’s Twitter account: https://twitter.com/zobelproject

Transnationalizing Modern Languages

Last week, I attended an event held at the British Academy in London which addressed many of the challenges facing Modern Languages as a discipline, and which proposed innovative responses to these challenges.

The event was structured around the following questions:

  • How do Modern Languages promote cultural as well as linguistic competences that are vital in an increasingly globalized world?
  • How do University curricula articulate with the range of subjects that students study in schools?
  • How do they encourage a nuanced and inclusive understanding of notions of translation within multicultural spaces and societies?
  • How do they enable students to compete and meet the demands of a changing workplace?

Put simply, to quote Prof. Charles Burdett (Bristol), how do Modern Linguists – researchers and students – articulate what Modern Languages study is?

This blog is one small part of responding to that challenge, as it aims to present the various strands that go into ML research activities – from queuing for hours to get into a Parisian library with a one-in, one-out policy (see Jan 2015 posts) to being interviewed on the Martinican evening news (see this post).

006 me on atv

The large project, ‘Transnationalizing Modern Languages’ (TML), on which Prof. Burdett is a PI, is part of the AHRC’s ‘Translating Cultures’ initiative, and aims “to provide a model that allows Modern Languages to be construed and practised not as the inquiry into separate national traditions, but as the study of cultures and their interactions.”

This prompted me to reflect on my own research practice, and how it has evolved during my current AHRC Fellowship to integrate processes of consultation and the co-production of knowledge with wider communities in Martinique, Paris and the UK… As I’ve said before on this blog, no researcher is an island, and the photo memories below certainly reflect this!

Update on MLA and other activities

It’s already February!

January passed in a blur of conferences… First, the Modern Languages Association annual convention in Austin, Texas, where I presented research into gender in Zobel’s novels.

Then I spoke in London at the launch of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies at the School of Advanced Studies, which is part of the University of London. This was an opportunity to discuss activities fostered by the FRANCOPOCO Network at the University of Birmingham.

And January has also been a month of forms: from PhD applications and funding applications which I’ve supported, to getting ready for ResearchFish (more on that in another post)… Not to mention working on my book proposal form!

I’m also back teaching, and am really enjoying giving the MA modules on Postcolonial Theory and World Literature which I convene and teach, as part of the MA in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. So a busy start to the new year!

 

End of 2015 Round-Up

The Joseph Zobel centenary year is drawing to a close.

Looking back on the past 12 months, it is incredible to think of all the different activities that have taken place all over the world to celebrate the life and work of Joseph Zobel!

If you scroll down and click through the month-by-month archives for this blog, you’ll see spring activities such as March’s Paris Book Fair talks on Zobel where Roland Monpierre’s new graphic novel adaptation of Diab’-là was launched thanks to a crowd-funding initiative, with Patricia Thiéry’s excellent organisational skills…

… then it was on to April’s centenary events in Zobel’s place of birth, Rivière-Salée, in Martinique, and even me popping up on the Martinican evening news in May, and on ZoukTV with Raphaëlle Bouville, Frantz Edouard and Rodolf Etienne…

…in June and July, there are a couple of reports, including one published with the Guardian Higher Education Network website, about the discovery of a watercolour with a mystery link to Zobel at the British Library in London…

…followed by autumn or, as the Americans say, Fall, when I made an extended visit to Emory University, Atlanta. This was a chance to reflect on some of the continuities between the American Deep South and the Caribbean, and to give research talks about the laghia combat dance, as well as having great fun teaching La Rue Cases-Nègres to Undergraduates…

…then in November, three generations of Zobels – including Joseph’s daughter, Jenny, and granddaughter, Emily, organised a sell-out special filming of Rue Cases-Nègres at Leeds Town Hall… And I reflected on the role of French Caribbean soldiers in WW1 in Zobel’s works, and an event held earlier in the year at the Library of Birmingham…

Alongside all these activities, the traditional academic research continues, as I’ve been drafting conference papers and a book on the work of Joseph Zobel…

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the fantastic work achieved by so many different groups who came together to celebrate the author’s legacy. And as my Martinican colleagues have commented, now it’s time to think about our next moves – or, as they say in French, l’après-centenaire!

 

 

 

Flash-back: Zobel Centenary launch in Martinique

Here’s part two of the photo narrative I have produced to document my work with local communities on the legacy of Zobel (part one was in my last blog post).

Zobel activities have certainly kept me pretty busy over these past 12 months…!

I have learned so much from these opportunities to exchange and collaborate with partners all over the world, and cannot thank them enough! I hope you will enjoy this record.

me and centre cult

Me with members of the Zobel Centenary Team after my talk and Q&A session at the cultural centre in Rivière-Salée. My PhD student Antonia was also in the audience!

002 me at lycee jz 003 me at lycee jz

Speaking to a packed auditorium at the Joseph Zobel High School in Rivière-Salée – it was fantastic to see the local school pupils take such an interest in Zobel

004 me at college GE

Daunting but an incredible challenge – taking the floor to speak at the whole school Zobel centenary celebrations at the middle school College Georges-Elisabeth in Rivière-Salée!

005 me and raphaelle

Me with librarian Rapaelle Bouville, with whom I co-organized a Zobel exhibition at the Médiathèque de Rivière-Salée

006 me on atv

Me speaking on ATV Martinique evening news – watch again here: http://www.atv.mq/replay_trois-questions-a_9-2867_louise-hardwick-professeur-de-francais-et-chercheuse-en-angleterre.html

007 me on zouk tv

Straight after ATV was recorded, I was driven off to speak on Le Mag Littéraire on ZoukTV for a special programme on Zobel

008 me at march

The community Nocturnal Parade marking Zobel’s centenary – I was asked to walk up front, next to the Mayor of Rivière-Salée, which was an incredible honour.

September Round-Up

Zobel Project is back from its two-week summer break!

I’ve been doing lots of writing and planning over the past week, since my return from vacation.

One key activity was meeting with my colleagues to discuss my work over the last year.

I have produced a photo narrative of my collaborative endeavours in Paris and Martinique – so to ease us in to ‘la rentrée’, here is the first set of images, from the Paris Salon du Livre (Paris Book Fair).

patricia

This was part of my collaboration with the fantastic ‘Passions partagées’ Joseph Zobel network based in Paris which is coordinated by the inspirational Patricia Thiéry, who you can see in action at the Salon du Livre in the photo (right).

The network has the support of several French Ministries: the Ministry for France Overseas, the Ministry for National Education and the Ministry for Culture and Communiation.

It was an absolute honour to be asked to speak as part of the network, to bring an Anglophone and international perspective to the French understanding of Zobel’s legacy.

You can follow the network’s activities here: http://www.exposition-joseph-zobel.fr/ 

The Paris Book Fair (March 2015)…

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Me speaking at the Round Table on Zobel at the Paris Book Fair…

Salon du Livre Louise Table ronde

… with George Pau-Langevin, Minister for France Overseas, in the audience!

George-Pau Langevin in our audience

Last but not least, discussing the project with Jenny Zobel, Yves Chemla and Charlotte Zobel.

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