Beyond French: New Languages for African Diasporic Literature (Conference)

A Conference of Scholars and Authors at Yale University
Organizers: Edwige Tamalet Talbayev and Christopher L. Miller

March 29-30, 2013

In recent years, Africans from former French colonies in both the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan regions have been settling in countries other than France and writing in languages other than French. This break with the colonial and postcolonial habits of la Françafrique—the familiar bind of metropole and colony—has been going on for years and is now ripe for analysis.Writing in German, Italian, Dutch, Catalan, Spanish, English, and other languages, these authors suggest new patterns of diasporic belonging and raise new questions about the postcolonial world. Issues of immigration, language choice, cosmopolitanism, global citizenship, and world literature will be addressed.

Friday, March 29, 2013 

Whitney Humanities Center
53 Wall Street, Room 208

1:30 Welcome and Opening Remarks: Christopher L. Miller and Edwige Tamalet Talbayev

2:00-3:30 Panel 1: Diaspora and Transnational Affiliations
Chair: Moulay Youness Elbousty, Yale University

  • Sabrina Brancato (University of Bayreuth) :
    “Polyglotism, Intercultural Memory and Nomadic Identity: Afrosporic Literature in the Spanish Context”

  • Allison Van Deventer (Harvard University):
     “Tourist Trajectories in Nassera Chohra’s Volevo diventare bianca and Jadelin Gangbo’s Verso la notte bakonga”

  • Ieme Van der Poel (University of Amsterdam):
    “Homing the Patriarchs: Second Generation Narratives about First Generation Immigrants”

3:30-4:00: Coffee Break

4:00-5:30 Plenary Address

Dominic Thomas (University of California, Los Angeles):
“Afropeans: A Family of Nations?”
Introduced by Christopher L. Miller

5:30-6:00 Reception

Saturday, March 30, 2013 

82-90 Wall Street, 3rd floor
Romance Languages Lounge

10:00-12:30 Featured Session
Screening: Io, L’altro. Dir. Mohsen Melliti (2007) followed by a Q&A.

Hakim Abderrezak (University of Minnesota):
“Fishy Fishing: The Big Catch in Mohsen Melliti’s Io, L’altro (2007)”
Introduced and moderated by: Mary Anne Lewis, Yale University

Whitney Humanities Center
53 Wall Street, Room 208

2:00-3:30 Panel 2: Rewriting Postcoloniality
Chair: Christopher L. Miller

  • Cristina Lombardi-Diop (Loyola University Chicago):
    “African Italian Poiesis:Blackness and Indirect Postcolonialism”

  • Graziella Parati (Dartmouth College) :
     ”Making a Language Transitive: Amara Lakhous’s Clash of Civilizations for an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio”

  • Cristián Ricci (University of California, Merced):
    “Ahmed Ararou: the Reversed Side of Orientalism”

3:30-4:00: Coffee Break


4:00-5:30 A Conversation with Authors
Chair: Edwige Tamalet Talbayev
Interpreter: Mary Anne Lewis

Pap  Khouma
Originally from Senegal, lives in Italy; writes in Italian. Director of online review of migration literature El Ghibli. Author of Io, venditore di elefanti (I Was an Elephant Salesman) and Noi Italiani Neri- Storie di Ordinario Razzismo (We Black Italians- Stories of Ordinary Racism).

Rachida Lamrabet
Originally from Morocco, lives in Belgium; writes in Dutch. Lawyer for the Brussels Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism. Author of Vrouwland (Woman Country) and De man die niet begraven wilde worden (The Man Who Didn’t Want to be Buried).

Anouar Majid
Originally from Morocco, lives in the US; writes in English. Founding director of the Center for Global Humanities and Associate Provost for Global Initiatives at the University of New England; editor of Moroccan-American magazine Tingis. Author of Si Yussef and We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades Against Muslims and Other Minorities.

Contacts: and

Conference supported by Yale University:

Department of French, The Edward J and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Fund, Council on African Studies, Council on Middle East Studies, The Program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Departments of Comparative Literature, Italian, and Germanic Languages and Literatures

Friday, March 29, 2013 - 1:30pm
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 10:00am
Whitney Humanities Center See map
53 Wall Street, Room 208
New Haven