Ba mwen un ti bo

I’m currently in Tallahassee for an international conference and to undertake research – more on that soon!

In the meantime, the night before I left, I had a lovely surprise when my colleague and collaborator in Martinique, Mme Raphaëlle Bouville, sent me a surprise link (thanks again, Raphaëlle!):

It’s the Guadeloupean folk song, ‘ba moin un ti bo’, being sung by school children in Seoul! So I’ll leave you with this for now!

 

 

EU Climate-KIC

I haven’t managed to update the blog for a couple of weeks, as I’m currently balancing my research activities with a placement through the EU Climate-KIC scheme.

I’m learning a lot and it is fantastic experience of discussing my research – and its practical applications – with partners outside academia.

More on this in the coming weeks – in the meantime, here’s a little item about my placement which appeared on the University of Birmingham website:

Dr Louise Hardwick has been awarded 2000 Euro by the EU Climate-KIC programme Pioneers into Practice.

The award enables Louise to develop her research in Ecocriticism and Ecoliteracy through a specific training scheme (workshops, online exercises, and a dedicated coach) and to undertake a placement with a non-academic stakeholder, The Small Woods Association, a charity in Ironbridge with strong interest in practical applications of her research. It also strengthens Louise’s cross-College activities as a University of Birmingham BIFoR Interdisciplinary Leadership Fellow.

New articles on Zobel

 

This project has now been running for two years.

In addition to regularly updating the blog, I’ve appeared on TV, radio and in the UK and French Caribbean press, to report on my progress and most recent findings.

I’m currently preparing my book on Zobel – scholarly books or ‘monographs’ (a scholarly book written by one author, rather than a team of authors) require several years of research, and it’s exciting to now be at the stage where the manuscript is taking shape.

In the meantime, two other shorter pieces of my research have just been published. These were commissioned by The Literary Encyclopedia, an online resource which provides up-to-date 2500-word profiles of literary authors, works and topics. Here’s how it describes iteslf online:

“The Literary Encyclopedia is a constantly evolving and updating repository of authoritative reference work about literary and cultural history. All our articles are solicited by invitation from specialist scholars in higher education institutions all over the world, refereed and approved by subject editors in our Editorial Board. The LE is thus uniquely selective, reliable and authoritative. Its online format allows for rapid publication and frequent updating of articles; its integrated digital resources (author life-chronologies, customisable timelines, thematic or course-oriented bookshelves, related article clusters, critical bibliographies) respond dynamically to teaching and learning demands.” (source: https://www.litencyc.com/litencycdescribed.php)

I hope that these two articles will be of help to students and scholars, and anyone else with a keen interest in Zobel!

2016 Louise Hardwick, ‘Joseph Zobel’, The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 4.1.2: Francophone Writing and Culture of Central America and the Caribbean. First published 06 June 2016

2016 Louise Hardwick, La Rue Cases-Nègres, The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 4.1.2: Francophone Writing and Culture of Central America and the Caribbean. First published 06 June 2016

 

Ecocriticism: New article published

What really matters in life? What are the real ‘products’ or ‘items’ of essential importance, and how can we recognise and protect them? The ideas were widely discussed during the 2009 strikes in the Francophone Caribbean.

For my analysis of this important recent moment in Francophone Caribbean history, and the insights it provides on attitudes to work, play, and the environment, see my most recent article, which has just been published and is available online for free.

Here’s the abstract:

This article undertakes a cultural and political examination of the Manifeste pour les ‘produits’ de haute nécessité, a manifesto co-authored by a collective of leading Martiniquan cultural figures, including Patrick Chamoiseau and Édouard Glissant, in response to the general strikes of 2009 in Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Réunion. These strikes focused metropolitan attention on the high cost of living or ‘la vie chère’. After a discussion of the aesthetics of the manifesto, with particular attention to the dichotomy it develops between le prosaïque and le poétique and the wider role of culture in challenging neo-liberalism’s global hold which is advanced by the Manifesto, this article introduces the new methodology of biopolitical ecocriticism. A biopolitical ecocritical reading of the manifesto, building on the biopolitical work of Foucault through reference to ecocriticism and the philosophical works of Edgar Morin and André Gorz, reveals the fundamental links between global governance and natural life, raising urgent questions about the relationship between language, life, the environment, history, and politics.

And here’s the link to the article: http://fs.oxfordjournals.org/content/70/3/362

I’ll leave you with this for a couple of weeks, as Zobelproject is taking its annual break! See you in September!

What academics do over the summer ‘holidays’

Le temps passe vite…!

Well, this post is a round-up of recent June-July activities, and another opportunity to set the record straight about what academics do during the summer ‘holiday’. Although the Undergraduate students have mostly left campus, the Postgraduates are still around and we continue to supervise them… and I have been so busy that I realise now that this blog is long due an update! So here goes:

I’ve been juggling a number of projects these last few weeks. Firstly, we brought our series of Francophone Postcolonial film screenings to a close with a public workshop reflecting on what we’d done. It was a chance to unpick the terms ‘francophone’ and ‘postcolonial’ with members of the general public, and we were delighted to have teachers and A Level students present, as well as others who are interested in some or all of the terms Francophone / Postcolonial / Film. This rounded off our film series with some very positive feedback and ideas for future developments!

Then it was off to York, to present at the inaugural AHRC Commons event, which brought together academics and organisations including charities, businesses and educational bodies to showcase and discuss how Arts & Humanities research contributes to bring about real world impact and societal change. My talk was a co-presentation called ‘When Mockingbird met French Studies…’ delivered with my collaborator at Mockingbird, an SME at Birmingham’s Custard Factory. We discussed our work together screening Francophone Postcolonial films to date, and in future, and shared advice and best practice on our experiences. We were thrilled to see that our fantastic image of the Mockingbird was chosen to head up the Collaborate section of the programme for the AHRC Commons: (see p.3).

Since then, I’ve been sequestered away and writing my book about Zobel, as well as supervising dissertation students, mentoring a postdoctoral researcher, supervising a postdoctoral Research Assistant, attending meetings and training courses, making preparations for a conference in the US in the autumn, advising potential future PhD students, preparing module paperwork, preparing bids for more work with non-academic partners… the list goes on…!

So all in all, it has been a very busy end to the academic year, and certainly not a ‘holiday’! The summer is the time when we push forward with lots of projects that are either in progress or in the pipeline! And it continues… but more about that next time!

 

Francophone Postcolonial Films & Free Workshop

Another busy few weeks – last week, my colleague Dr Claire Peters and I organised a free Francophone Postcolonial film screening of Sissako’s Heremakono, as part of Claire’s AHRC Cultural Engagement Fund activities.

Claire has blogged about it for the UoB website, and you can read more here:

http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/lcahm/departments/languages/sections/french/news/2016/waiting-for-happiness.aspx

mockingbird all 3.jpg

We’re now gearing up for our final event, a workshop on Francophone Postcolonial Film to be held this Saturday at Mockingbird Theatre in the Custard Factory, Digbeth. Here are more details:

BOOK FREE TICKETS for Workshop on FRANCOPHONE POSTCOLONIAL FILM

Held: Sat 11th June between 10am – 12 noon Mockingbird Theatre, Custard Factory, Digbeth

Participants are welcome to leave after 12 noon, or to enjoy a free post-workshop lunch in the Mockingbird’s informal bistro (meat or veg. option available)

Structure:

This morning workshop offers an insight into cinema from other cultures. Together, we will explore some key terms and briefly discuss three important films that two Modern Languages researchers have recently shown to the Birmingham public: Sugar Cane Alley, Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask, and Waiting for Happiness.

No prior knowledge of the films is necessary!

Come and think about what these films and cultural questions mean to you, and share these thoughts in an informal and friendly setting, guided by researchers who work in these fields.

The workshop will be relevant to anyone with interests in ONE or MORE of these topics: Film, Postcolonial cultures (particularly Africa and the Caribbean), French & Francophone cultures.

The event has been generously funded by an AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellowship award.

*Places are limited, so please reserve you place now to avoid disappointment*

Book your free place here: http://www.designmynight.com/birmingham/bars/digbeth/the-mockingbird-theatre-and-bar/free-workshop-francophone-postcolonial-film

Ecocritism Keynote at Durham IAS

On Friday 13th May, I gave a keynote paper at the international symposium ‘Aesthetics of Crisis: Ecology, Disaster, Representation‘ which was held at the University of Durham’s Institute of Advanced Study, and was generously funded by the Durham Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience (https://www.dur.ac.uk/ihrr/).

The symposium was organised by Dr Kerstin Oloff (Hispanic Studies, Durham) and is part of a wider programme of activities. It followed the ‘Plotting the Crisis’ symposium held at the Durham IAS in 2013, and is part of the series of events run by the Ecology and the Arts Research group in the Modern School of Languages and Cultures at Durham (https://www.dur.ac.uk/mlac/research/groups/ecology/).

I spoke on my recent research, and my paper was called ‘Experiments in Ecocriticism in the French Caribbean’.

It was a chance to discuss the ideas I set out in an article which will be published any month now… In this article, I undertake a cultural and political examination of the Manifeste pour les ‘produits’ de haute nécessité, a manifesto co-authored by a collective of leading Martinican cultural figures, including Chamoiseau and Glissant, in response to the general strikes of 2009 in Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Réunion. These  strikes focused metropolitan attention on the high cost of living or ‘la vie chère’ in the overseas departments. I argue that authors are creating new forms of hybrid cultural creation which aim to transform human attitudes towards work and natural life, and to address the potential impending environmental catastrophe in the Caribbean, and beyond.

What is the link to Zobel, you may well ask…?  Well, as I’ve commented before on this blog, my current research is identifying a number of environmental themes in Zobel’s work (see previous posts on my public talk at the Toulouse La Novela festival, my work with Birmingham Institute for Forest Research, and my page on Ecocriticism).

The day had a fantastic line-up of papers which discussed the anthropocene, depictions of migration, and Cli-fi, the branch of Sci-fi that focuses on environmental themes.

It was a pleasure to meet so many colleagues working in related fields, and it provided a rare opportunity to mix in an interdisciplinary environment. The other keynote was provided by Dr Mark Anderson (University of Georgia) who gave a fascinating paper on  “Latin America in the Anthropocene: Crisis and Cultural Representation” and has a book out soon on that research project. I’ll be looking out for it…

 

 

 

Cardiff guest talks/Angolan book launch

It has been a very busy week. Marking dissertations, presenting research, more marking, meetings, emailing, planning…

I’ve just written an item for my University webpages giving an update on my activities, and here it is below, too:

On 25-26th April, Dr Louise Hardwick gave a guest seminar paper at Cardiff University on her current research into Joseph Zobel. The talk was part of a larger event which included a research paper on Mozambique, and a book launch for a cultural Foundation based in Angloa. Louise was invited by Dr Rhian Atkin, Lecturer in Portuguese, who organised the stimulating programme of activities!

neto

These activities were an invaluable opportunity to consider postcolonialism and the black consciousness movement of Negritude across Francophone and Lusophone contexts. Although the presentations spanned different languages and continents, the similarity of the themes discussed was striking.

After the papers, the book launch celebrated a generous donation of books about the life and works of the Angolan poet and politician Agostinho Neto. The donation was made by the Agostinho Neto Foundation, which is based in Angloa. For more about the foundation, see the @zobelproject twitter feed https://twitter.com/ZobelProject , and visit the foundation’s official website: www.faan.og.ao (in Portuguese) which currently features items on the events in Cardiff. The TV station Televisão Pública de Angola also ran stories on the launch.

The following day, to celebrate 26th April, which would have been Joseph Zobel’s 101st birthday, Louise led a workshop where she discussed her public engagment and Impact activities in Martinique, metropolitan France and the UK.

Joyeux anniversaire Joseph Zobel!

Today would have been Joseph Zobel’s 101th birthday! Thanks for stopping by to learn more about his work and legacy. For a quick introduction, you might enjoy the pages on Martinique’s history and the media links page.

Hard to believe it’s one whole year since we celebrated the centenary in Martinique! Below is a photo of me with some of the fantastic team that made it all happen. Bonjour aux Saleens! Hello to Riviere-Salee!

Today I’m in sunny Cardiff to give an invited seminar paper about Zobel’s  work.

The paper was part of a panel of talks which compared black consciousness movements across Francophone and Lusophone contexts in Africa and the Americas.

I’ve been tweeting about events @zobelproject and will add more once I’m back in my office!me and centre cult

 

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