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Professor Pierre-Philippe Fraiture

Professor Pierre-Philippe FraitureProfessor

Email: p-p dot fraiture at warwick dot ac dot uk

Office: FAB 4.35

Fourth Floor, Faculty of Arts Building
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

Research interests

  • My research interests include twentieth- and twenty-first century French and Belgian literatures (especially colonial writing and discourses), francophone postcolonial literature and thought from Sub-Saharan Africa, African philosophy, French thought and race, the relationship between African literature and the visual arts and extractivism.
  • My research has been supported by the AHRC and the British Academy (BA Mid-Career Fellowship); Between 2010 and 2015 I was a member of the international research network 'Conceptual Histories of the World and Global Translations', funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Fund. With colleagues from SOAS, Charles University (Prague), and INALCO (Paris), I have been awarded, as ‘Senior Research Fellow’, a five-year European Research Council Consolidator grant (2020-2025) focusing on African philosophy and genres.
  • I was a member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2012-2020).
  • Corresponding Fellow of the Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer/Koninklijke Academie voor Overzeese Wetenchappen (Brussels) since 2015; Research Associate at the ‘Les Afriques dans le monde’ (LAM), CNRS-funded research team, Sciences Po, University of Bordeaux.
  • I have supervised doctoral theses on the notion of the postcolonial ‘fable’ (in Chamoiseau's texts); on political Islamism during the Algerian civil war of the 1990s; on the Guinean novelist Tierno Monénembo; on the role of translation in postcolonial texts from the French Caribbean; on Francophone North African authors examining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; on censorship and decolonization in French, francophone and English-language playwrights from the UK, France, Jamaica and Algeria; and on the Haitian intellectual Anténor Firmin (1850-1911) and the Georgian linguist Nikolai Marr; on Sony Labou Tansi's theatrical production; on the notion of the unsayable in Francophone and Anglophone Caribbean fiction. I am currently supervising four theses on the reception and the translation of Conan Doyle's work in China; on the notion of displacement in French Caribbean authors (Alfred Alexandre, Patrick Chamoiseau and Gisèle Pineau); and on postcolonial and post-industrial contemporary French fiction (Nicolas Matthieu, Alice Zeniter and Mahir Guven); and on the Lebanese-Canadian novelist and playwright Wajdi Mouawad.
  • I am keen to consider further MA and Ph.D supervisions in my research areas.

Teaching and supervision

I am responsible for a range of second-year and final-year modules, including Colonial Memory, Representing Sub-Saharan Africa, Belgian Writing in French, Slavery and After and French Crime Fiction. I also teach the option Postcolonial Literatures in French and contribute to the teaching of translation in French Studies.

Administrative roles

  • I was Head of the department of French Studies from Sept 2014 to Sept 2017
  • SMLC Year Abroad Director (2018-19)
  • Chair of the Equality and Inclusion Forum, Faculty of Arts (2020-22)
  • Member of the University's Staff Academic Committee (2020-)
  • Head of Translation and Transcultural Studies (2022-)


Single-authored books

(Co-)edited volumes

  • Unfinished Histories: Empire and Postcolonial Resonance in Central Africa and Belgium, Leuven University Press and in Open Access, 2022, 427pp. ISBN 9789461664921

  • 'Translating African Thought and Literature', special issue of the Bulletin of SOAS, 81.3 (Oct 2018) pp. 405-531
  • The Mudimbe Reader, co-edited with Daniel Orrells, Virginia University Press, 2016, 240pp. ISBN 9780813939117
  • 'Francophone African Philosophy and the Aftermath of the Empire', special issue of the International Journal of Francophone Studies, Volume 18, Numbers 2-3 (2015), pp.147-394, ISSN 1368-2679, Online ISSN: 1758-9142
  • Presentation and scholarly edition of: Roland Lebel, L’Afrique occidentale dans la littérature française (depuis 1870)  [originaly published in 1925], Paris: coll. 'Autrement mêmes', 2014, xlii + 306 pp., ISBN 978-2-343-03177-4
  • Regional editor (for Belgium) of A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures: Continental Europe and Its Empires, edited by Prem Poddar, Rajeev S. Patke and Lars Jensen, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2008, 635 pp.
  • La Belgique entre deux siècles : laboratoire de la modernité, 1880-1914, co-edited with Nathalie Aubert and Patrick McGuinness, coll. ‘Romanticism and after in France', Oxford/Bern: Peter Lang, 2007, 272 pp. ISBN 3-03910-528-0
  • From Art Nouveau to Surrealism. Belgian Modernity in the Making, co-edited with Nathalie Aubert and Patrick McGuinness, Oxford, Legenda, 2007, 210 pp. ISBN 13: 9781904350644


  • ‘Thinking, Performing and Overcoming Belgium’s “Colonial Power Matrix”?: an Introduction’, in P-P. Fraiture (ed.), Unfinished Histories: Empire and Postcolonial Resonance in Central Africa and Belgium, (Leuven: Leuven UP, 2022), pp. 11-39.
  • ‘Tracking the Potholes of Colonial History: Sinzo Aanza’s Généalogie d’une banalité and Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s Tram 83’, in P-P. Fraiture (ed.), Unfinished Histories: Empire and Postcolonial Resonance in Central Africa and Belgium (Leuven: Leuven UP, 2022), pp. 359-379.
  • ‘Seeing, Hearing, Breathing, and Witnessing from the Africana Center at Cornell: an Afterword’, in Grant Farred (ed), Africana Studies: Theoretical Futures (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2022), pp. 163-174.

  • ‘African Art: from Primitivism to Arts Premiers’, in Cecilie Høgsbro Østergaard (ed.), Sonja Ferlov Mancoba: Mask and Face (Copenhagen: Statens Museum For Kunst, 2019), pp. 155-167 – catalogue of an exhibition held at the National Gallery of Denmark (9 Feb to 5 May 2019) and at the Centre Pompidou (26 June to 23 September 2019) - 
  • ‘An Untimely Concept: Decolonization and the Works of Mudimbe, Mbembe and Nganang’, in Rhiannon Stevens and Axel Fleisch (eds), Doing Conceptual History in Africa, New York/Oxford: Berghahn, (2016), pp. 213-236.

  • ‘V.-Y. Mudimbe in Partibus’, in Maurice Amuri Mpala-Lutebele (ed.), Lubumbashi, cent ans d’histoire, Paris, Éditions L’Harmattan (2013), pp. 307-319.
  • 'Paul Hazoumé et Valentin Yves Mudimbe: de la pratique anthropologique à sa méta-critique', in Alain-Michel Boyer, Littérature et ethnographie, 'Horizons comparatistes' - Université de Nantes (Nantes: Editions Nouvelles Cécile Defaut, 2011), pp. 185-204.

  • ‘V.Y. Mudimbe’s “Long Nineteenth Century” ’, in Charles Forsdick and David Murphy, Postcolonial Thought in the French-Speaking World, ‘Postcolonialism Across the Disciplines’, 4 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2009), pp. 136-146

  • ‘Entre magie et historicité: Un Soir, un train d’André Delvaux’, in Lise Toft & Lisbeth Verstraete-Hansen, Une Francophonie plurielle. Langues, idées et cultures en mouvement, ‘Études Romanes’, 59 (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2009), pp. 155-167

  • ‘Belgique-Congo: dialogues et bricolages intertextuels’, in Désiré K. Wa Kabwe-Segatti & Pierre Halen (eds), Du Nègre Bambara au négropolitain. Les literatures africaines en contexte transculturel (Metz: Presses de l’Université Paul Verlaine-Metz, 2008), pp. 65-81

  • Maltissage et symbolisme: La Congolie d'Edmond Picard, laboratoire d'une modernité ambiguë’, in Nathalie Aubert and Pierre-Philippe Fraiture (eds.), La Belgique entre deux siècles : laboratoire de la modernité, 1880-1914, Oxford/Bern, Peter Lang, 2007, pp. 33-50.
  • 'Belgian 'Negro Fiction: Modernist Itinerary of a Didactic Genre', in Nathalie Aubert and Pierre-Philippe Fraiture (eds.), From Art Nouveau to Surrealism, Oxford, Legenda, 2007, pp. 41-56.
  • ‘De l’influence du Goncourt sur le corpus colonial: le cas Batouala’, in Kate Ashley (ed.), Prix Goncourt, 1903-2003: essais critiques, coll. ‘Modern French Identitities’, 23, Oxford/Bern: Peter Lang, 2004, pp. 95-109.
  • ‘Henri Cornélus ou les rêveries didactiques d’un nouvelliste colonial’, in Vincent Engel & René Godenne (eds.), Nouvelles et nouvellistes belges. Essai d’encyclopédie critique, Louvain: Academia-Bruylant, 2003, pp. 309-25.
  • ‘Littératures francophones de Belgique: Altérité et (anti)colonialisme’, in Christine O’Dowd-Smyth (ed.), Littératures francophones: la problématique de l’altérité, Waterford, WIT School of Humanities Publications, 2001, pp. 177-189.
  • ‘L’enseignement de la littérature au Québec et en Belgique francophone: deux stratégies divergentes’, in Gabriella Adamo (ed.), L’Identità negata. Spazio reale e spazio immaginario nel Québec, Messina: Andrea Lippolis Editore, 1999, pp. 115-124.
  • ‘Parcours historique de la littérature française de Belgique à travers les images et les textes d’une exposition: Les Irréguliers du langage’, in M.G. Adamo, P.P. Fraiture, D. Iaria and R. Corona (eds), Les Irréguliers du langage ou ‘Alercchino senza Mantello’: Fantasmi della ‘Belgité’, Quaderni dei Nuovi Annali della Facoltá di Magistero dell’Universitá di Messina, 13-14, Roma: Casa Editrice Herder, 1996, pp. 648-655.


  • 'Congolese Cultural Production in Africa and the World', French Studies (2023)
  • Langues congolaises et littérature africaine: entretien avec Richard Ali A Mutu | French Studies | Oxford Academic ( 2023

  • ‘Digging Holes, Excavating the Present, Mining the Future: Extractivism, Time, and Memory in Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s and Sammy Baloji’s Works’, Modern Contemporary France (2023),
  • ‘Georges Balandier’s Africa: Postcolonial Translations and ambiguous Reprises’, Bulletin of SOAS, special issue on ‘Translating African Thought and Literature’, 81.3 (Oct 2018), pp. 475-492.
  • 'Translating African Thought and Literature: Postcolonial Glottopolitics', Bulletin of SOAS, special issue on ‘Translating African Thought and Literature’, 81.3 (Oct 2018), pp. 405-412.
  • Statues also die', Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy - Revue de la philosophie française et de langue française, Vol XXIV, No 1 (2016), pp. 45-67.

  • 'African philosophy and Francophone cultures: Chronological perspectives', International Journal of Francophone Studies, Volume 18, Numbers 2-3 (2015), pp. 147-170
  • 'Les Statues meurent aussi: The death and after-death of African art', Journal of Francophone Studies, Volume 18, Numbers 2-3 (2015), pp. 191-214
  • 'V.Y. Mudimbe : ordre du discours et émancipation du sujet africain', Desgénérations, 23 ('Prévoir avec l'Afrique, agir dans le monde qui vient', edited by Arnaud Zohou), June 2015
  • 'VY Mudimbe: from the “Nation” to the “Global” - “Who is the Master?”’, Journal of Historical Sociology, 27 (3), 2014, pp.324-342, 2014
  • 'Mudimbe's Homo Absconditus: Towards a Resurrection of the Human', International Journal of Francophone Studies, Volume 15, Numbers 3-4, (2013) , pp. 455-475
  • 'Mudimbe's Fetish of the West and Epistemological Utopianism', French Studies, 63 (3) (2009), pp. 308-322
  • ‘Modernity and the Belgian Congo’, Tydskrif vir Letterkunde, 46 (1)(2009), pp. 43-57
  • ‘Mytho-bricolage et récit ethnographique chez Henri Drum’, Congo-Meuse, 7 (2008), pp. 109-129
  • Batouala, véritable roman d’un faux ethnographe ?’, Francofonía, 14 (2005), 23-37
  • ‘Joseph Esser, un écrivain colonial de la diversalité’, Congo-Meuse, 4-5, 2002, pp. 120-43
  • ‘Tradition et subversion dans l’œuvre coloniale de George Duncan’, Revue Générale, 5, 2000, pp. 59-68
  • ‘Les Contes congolais d’Henri Cornélus’, A.S.C.A.L.F. Yearbook, 4, 2000, pp. 123-35
  • ‘La Légende de Thyl Ulenspiegel et le Guépard: bibles de deux unifications?’, in Josette Gousseau (ed.) Sicilia e Belgio: Specularitá e Interculturalitá, Annali della Facoltá di Lettere dell’Universitá di Palermo, Studi e Ricerche, 21, 1995, pp.155-61

Recent papers

  • Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique/University of Nairobi, Department of Philosophy and Theology (Dec. 2019): ‘VY Mudimbe’s Modernities ?’
  • Amherst College (April 2017), ‘African Philosophy: Violence and Discipline’
  • Cornell University (June 2015), ‘Statues Also Die: Ethnophilosophy and African Art(s)’
  • University of Edinburgh (May 2015), 'Belgium's "Colonial Library: Past and Present Perspectives'
  • University of Oxford (December 2014), 'Les Statues meurent aussi: The Death and After-Death of African Art'

Dissemination of research - conferences/seminars

May 2016, ‘Translating African Thought and Literature’, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick

October 2006, [with Nathalie Aubert] ‘From Art Nouveau to Surrealism’, 2-day international conference, Maison française of Oxford and 'La Belgique entre deux siècles: laboratoire de la modernité (1880-1914)’, Maison Française, Oxford, January 2004, both events funded by the British Academy

Professional associations

  • I was a member of the Executive Committee of the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies (SFPS) and the Association Pour l'Etude des Littératures Africaines (APELA).
  • I was joint Editor of Études Littéraires Africaine (ELA).


BA, MA, Diplôme d'aptitude pédagogique (Brussels), PhD (Nottingham)

Office Hours

Please email me to book an appointment.



Undergraduate modules

FR354 Postcolonial Literatures in French
FR248 Colonial Memory
FR249 Representing Sub-Saharan Africa
FR329 Slavery and After
FR405 French Crime Fiction
FR419 Belgian Writing in French

Undisciplined Africanism

Cover Mudimbe Reader

 Book cover

Lebel Afrique occidentale

Past Imperfect

Romanticism and after in France Volume 12

From Art Nouveau to Surrealism 

La Mesure de lautre