Sabrina Parent

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Université Libre de Bruxelles
Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres
Avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 50
*CP 175*
1050 Bruxelles

Narratological interest

My current project is concerned with novels and films representing World War II as experienced by peoples under French colonial rule in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. The body of works consists of sixteen documents produced in French from the fifties onwards, by writers (Chraibi, Mammeri, Dib, Assia Djebar, Sussan, Freha, Memmi, Doumbi-Fakoly, Kourouma, Oyono Dongala,
N'Djehoya) and filmmakers (Sembene, Bouchareb) coming from these former colonized areas. Dealing with two types of war experiences (plight of local peoples and soldiers' lives abroad), these works establish a dialogue within each of the two geographical areas and between them, between three generations of authors, and between male and female experiences of war. The project aims to demonstrate that the selected documents form a consistent whole, a « postcolonial poetics of World War II ». This poetics is « postcolonial » to the extent that it focuses on the perspective of the colonized « caught » in the « structure of [colonial] domination » (Young). The consistency is considered at three levels. From a poetic viewpoint, all the works share formal features that make them belong to a poetics of « hybridity » (Bhabha) between the « colonizer's culture » and the « colonized's culture », and to a poetics of transcultural « encounter » (Rosello) and « movement » (Tissières). From an ethical standpoint, this corpus, by its intellectual and emotional aims, belongs to a poetics that challenges « the hegemony of the homogeneous » (Derrida), although the ethical challenges may vary according to the sociohistorical context in which the works were produced. Finally, despite the dialogue that this corpus establishes with history, it constitutes a discourse whose epistemological aims (the object of knowledge) are distinct from the historical discourse.

This project implies examining closely the narrative structures of the fictions belonging to the corpus. I am also interested in the links between narrative and poetical texts.


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10 years 8 months
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About us

ENN is the European Narratology Network, an association of individual narratologists and narratological institutions. ENN aims to foster the study of narrative representation in literature, film, digital media, etc. across all European languages and cultures.