Ecotopia: Ecopoetics of In-Common Reimagining Migration Narratives with Ecopoetical Postcolonial Perspectives in Transatlantic Francophone Literature (Caribbean Archipelago, Metropolitan France and Sub-Saharan Africa, 1999-present)

01 October 2021 → 30 September 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Contemporary literature
    • Literatures in French
    • Poetics
    • Postcolonial studies
    • Stylistics and textual analysis
Littérature transatlantique francophone utopie et migration écopoetics et écocritique
Project description

ECOTOPIA aims to analyse a new literary trend never exposed nor studied and will define a new critical viewpoint on current migration and environmental stakes: the ecopoetics of “in-common.” Combining text hermeneutics with ecopoetics and postcolonial ecocriticism, this innovative approach of utopia in literary studies will demonstrate how literature renews the imaginaries of borders, and bring counter-knowledge to the narrative of “migrant invasion” which vehicles a false perception of the nature of human mobility set in the “postcolonial melancholia” and encourages the states to fortify their borders. This project will analyse the representations, challenges and solutions offered by transatlantic francophone literature to rethink migration governance in relation with our planet’s environmental and climatic evolution, as asylum and environmental crises need to be addressed as one. In the aftermath of triangular trade (forced exile and soil exploitation) that still shape current migration patterns, the chosen texts explore the critical and imaginary potential of utopia, both in an ecological and in a postcolonial perspective, to investigate pragmatic alternatives, thereby contributing to rethink narrative modalities. The outcome of ECOTOPIA is to place transatlantic literature on the map of contemporary theoretical developments within the budding field of ecopoetics, and to demonstrate that literary studies can bring its own answers to today’s global challenges.