Category Archives: Visiting Fellow Emory

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!

 

 

 

Back from the USA

I have just arrived back from Atlanta, and then went to Swindon last week to be filmed by the AHRC for a video on research funding  which is aimed at Early Career Researchers. It’s always nervewracking being filmed, particularly when it’s about subjects such as ‘the application process’, so I hope my answers will be honest and helpful guidelines for others. More on that when the film is ready…

I’ve also been busy Tweeting (@zobelproject) my support for a very exciting UK Zobel event – a film screening of Sugar Cane Alley which will be held at Leeds Town Hall on Saturday 14th November, with a special introduction by the author’s daughter, Jenny, and granddaughter, Emily! Here’s the link: http://www.leedsfilm.com/films/sugar-cane-alley/

Jenny and Emily have been very supportive of my own research, and I encourage anyone in the Leeds area next Saturday to head to the screening! I’ll blog about that a little more in the coming days!

And then I’ve been reading and writing! I have produced this account of my activities for the University of Birmingham online news pages, so I’ll leave you with this:

Dr Louise Hardwick has just returned from a Visiting Fellowship at Emory University, Atlanta, as part of her AHRC-funded research project into Joseph Zobel.

The Visiting Fellowship was crucial to Louise’s reframing of Zobel as an author whose importance transcends the Caribbean region: the issues of race, diversity and post-slavery identity which are central to his work find particular resonance in the American South.

Emory University is recognized internationally for its outstanding liberal arts colleges, graduate and professional schools, and its scholars and experts generate more than $572 million in research funding annually, while also maintaining a traditional emphasis on teaching. The city of Atlanta is itself an important location for the study of civil and human rights, and is the birthplace of Martin Luther King.

At Emory, Louise worked alongside experts in African American Studies and Caribbean Studies. She met with graduate students, and taught classes on Joseph Zobel and Francophone Caribbean literature. Louise also gave a research seminar on Zobel’s publication Laghia de la mort, and continued to draft her forthcoming monograph on Zobel.

While in Atlanta, Louise also collaborated with colleagues at Georgia Institute of Technology, a leading research and teaching institute, where she was invited to give classes and a research seminar at the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts which had just celebrated its 125th Anniversary.

Visiting Fellowship at Emory University, Atlanta

The Zobel project is on the move once again… special greetings to any new readers of this blog who are in Atlanta, Georgia! It is a privilege to be here. DSC02022

I am currently working in Atlanta as a Visiting Fellow at Emory University, where I am based in the Department of French and Italian. This is a wonderful chance for me to exchange more transatlantic perspectives on Zobel and his legacy, and was an activity I planned when I submitted my AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellowship application in 2013.

Zobel is widely taught across the US, through text and film, and my time in Atlanta gives me an invaluable opportunity to understand how he is taught, and to discuss possible new approaches to teaching his work based on my new research findings with my American colleagues.

Over the past few days, I’ve taught classes on Zobel and on Caribbean literature more generally with my colleague Prof. Valérie Loichot, an expert on Francophone Caribbean literature whose latest book The Tropics Bite Back: Culinary Coups in Caribbean Literature was awarded the Modern Language Association of America’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize earlier this year. It is a fascinating study and Valérie’s insights into food are particularly interesting to me in the light of my own recent work on ecocriticism and food security in Martinique.

I’ve been explaining my pDSC02161roject to faculty members and to students, and this helps me to think about how I present my research to different audiences.

It’s an excellent chance to discuss my past activities – from the Paris Salon du Livre to my work in April for the Zobel Centenary in Rivière-Salée in Martinique, to my ‘Indiana Jones moment’ at the British Library in London.

Next week, I’ll also be working with Prof. Michael Wiedorn at Georgia Institute of Technology, and I’m looking forward to meeting colleagues and students there!

I am also preparing to give research seminars and am really impressed at the quality of the poster produced by a graduate student at Emory – here it is!

poster