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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

*** CANCELLED *** Studies Research Seminar: Justine Feyereisen (Wolfson College, Oxford) "Migration Challenging Democracy: The Awakening of Utopia in French-speaking Literature"
H4.43 (Humanities building)

From shipwreck to shipwreck prevails today the image of a Mediterranean cemetery of the bodies and hopes of migrants and necropolis of the principles and values of Europe. Never since the Second World War has the management of the arrival of new refugees in the eu been so chaotic. Never again has the eu political landscape been so chaotic as immigration becomes the core issue on which populist parties rely to weaken governments. As migration defies democracy, many literary texts have launched a prospective reflection to challenge and reverse our understanding between “territories” and “movements of people”, still trapped by borders regulations imposed by centuries of national sovereignty. How literature can contribute to renew the political imagination, in particular in the direction of this reversal? This presentation focuses on the awakening of utopia in the 21st century that emerges from the analysis of two collections of poetry (Ananda Devi and Patrick Chamoiseau) and one poetico-political essay (Marielle Macé), all written in response to the asylum crisis of the Mediterranean. Through new forms of political writing of hospitality, these poetic texts claim a right to mobility in which feeling and acting are closely linked, as if the ethics of consideration for the common world was an invitation to pure praxis.