Conference Cerpanac: "Revisiting Slave Narratives"
Paul Valéry University, Montpellier III, France, 4-5 April 2003

The narratives of Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass or Mary Prince, to name but a few, have now become classics. But over the past two decades, a good number of novels have been published that echo the original slave narratives, both narratologically and thematically speaking.

The aim of the conference is not to examine once more the 18th & 19th  century narratives. Even if the historical & generic reference is necessary,  it will rather focus on the new versions as such. What were the choices made by the late 20th century writers when they revisited the original texts with fictionalised versions, historical novels, pseudo-autobiographies, etc. ? Why did they adopt this architecture? How did they reappropriate or distort it ? What can be said of the generic tension between the original model and its rewritten versions ?

A few names might serve as a starting point although not as a limit : Fred D'Aguiar, Dionne Brand, Patrick Chamoiseau, Beryl Gilroy, Charles Johnson, Toni Morrison, Caryl Phillips, Simone Schwarz-Bart, John Alfred Williams, Sherley Ann Williams.

This conference can be of interest to all those working in the Caribbean field, anglophone or francophone, as well as the African and African-American field.

Please submit your proposals (half a page) by September 15, 2002

Judith Misrahi-Barak
By email:
Or by post:
Département d'Etudes Anglophones
Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier III
Route de Mende
34199 Montpellier cedex 5

Department of History, York University,  Toronto, Canada
Fax: (416) 650-8173