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(RE)WRITING EMPIRE? THE RECEPTION OF POST-COLONIAL STUDIES IN FRANCE*

  • ALICE BENNINGTON (a1)
Abstract

This article explores the fierce resistance and controversy that have marked the reception of post-colonial studies in France. In contrast to the anglophone academy, where post-colonialism emerged and was gradually institutionalized throughout the 1980s and 1990s, in France these approaches did not make a mark until much later. The context of social and political crisis over France's post-colonial populations, in which the debate surrounding post-colonial studies emerged, is fundamental to understanding the high stakes and thus the vehemence and polemical nature of their reception. Institutional factors and the particularities of the French intellectual climate, France's strong Republican ideology, and its problematic relationship with its own colonial history, are all explored as reasons for this troubled relationship. The anglocentrism of post-colonial studies is also considered, as are the mutually beneficial outcomes of a dialogue between post-colonial studies and the French debates and context. I outline a specifically ‘French’ post-colonialism that has emerged from these debates, and suggest that whilst positive moves have been made towards a truly inclusive post-colonial studies that would take account of numerous languages, former empires, and former colonies, there remains work to be done in this direction.

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alicebennington@gmail.com
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I would like to thank the Department of History at the University of Warwick, and in particular Dr Aditya Sarkar, Dr Claudia Stein, and Dr Charles Walton, for their help with my undergraduate dissertation, upon which this article is based, and for their encouragement in pursuing publication. I would also like to thank Dr Berny Sèbe of the University of Birmingham for his kindness in talking to me about the issues raised in the article, and for his generosity in sharing invaluable resources with me. I am also grateful to the anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions.

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1 The use of this term is problematic due to the colonial overtones it carries: it is generally used to refer to non-French speakers of the French language, namely those originating from former colonies.

2 Nicolas Bancel, ‘Un malentendu postcolonial? Réceptions et débats dans le champ académique français autour des Postcolonial studies’, in Collectif Write Back, Postcolonial studies: modes d'emploi (Lyon, 2010), pp. 29–70, at p. 31.

3 Kennedy, Dane, ‘Imperial history and post-colonial theory’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 24 (1996), pp. 345–63; Berny Sèbe, ‘Itinéraries intellectuels et méthodologiques en Grande-Bretagne: de la Imperial history aux Postcolonial studies en passant par les French studies’, in Postcolonial studies: modes d'emploi, pp. 51–8.

4 Howe, Stephen, ‘Colonising and exterminating? Memories of imperial violence in Britain and France’, Histoire@Politique. Politique, culture, société, 11 (2010), p. 2 ; see also Andreas Eckert, ‘Colonialism in the European memory’, Eurotopics, 12 July 2009, www.eurotopics.net/en/home/presseschau/archiv/magazin/geschichte-verteilerseite-neu/europaeische_nationalgeschichten_2008_05/apuz_eckert_kolonialismus/1.

5 Murphy, David, ‘Choosing a framework: the limits of French studies/francophone studies/postcolonial studies’, Francophone postcolonial studies, 1 (2003), pp. 7280 , at p. 77.

6 Ibid., p. 77.

7 Orientalism was translated into French, with an introduction by Tzvetan Todorov, as early as 1980, but failed to make a mark on the French academic scene. See Bertaux, Sandrine, ‘The return of the native: postcolonial smoke screen and the French postcolonial politics of identity’, Public Culture, 23 (2011), pp. 201–15.

8 Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, Post-colonial studies: the key concepts (Oxford, 2000), p. 168.

9 Ann Laura Stoler has proposed to replace the term ‘legacy’, which has homogeneous and static connotations, with the idea of ‘imperial ruins’ or ‘ruination’, to capture the active processes by which the effects of colonialism continue to be lived and negotiated by people today. See Ann Laura Stoler, ed., Imperial debris: on ruins and ruination (Durham, NC, and London, 2013).

10 See in particular Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincialising Europe (Princeton, NJ, 2007).

11 For a good overview of such debates, see Alec G. Hargreaves and Mark McKinney ‘Introduction: the post-colonial problematic in France’, in Alec G. Hargreaves and Mark McKinney, eds., Post-colonial cultures in France (London, 1997), pp. 3–25, at pp. 14–15.

12 Appiah, Kwame Anthony, ‘Is the post- in postmodernism the post- in postcolonial?Critical Inquiry, 17 (1991), pp. 336–57.

13 Michael Syrotinski, ‘Postcolonialism and deconstruction: the francophone connection’, in Charles Forsdick and David Murphy, eds., Postcolonial thought in the French-speaking world (Liverpool, 2009), pp. 216–26, at p. 217.

14 Ato Quayson, Postcolonialism: theory, practice or process? (Cambridge, 2000), p. 7.

15 Ibid., pp. 9, 21.

16 Nicolas Bancel et al., ‘Introduction: la fracture coloniale: une crise française’, in Pascal Blanchard, Nicolas Bancel, and Sandrine Lemaire, eds., La fracture coloniale (Paris, 2005), p. 13. See also Jean-Marc Moura, Littératures francophones et théorie postcoloniale (Paris, 1999); ‘Postcolonialisme, décentrement, déplacement, dissémination’, Dédale, 5 (1997); and Jacqueline Bardolph, Etudes postcoloniales et littérature (Paris, 2002).

17 Bernard Mouralis, Les contre littératures (Paris, 1975).

18 For more information, see www.achac.com.

19 Charles Forsdick and David Murphy, ‘Situating francophone postcolonial thought’, in Forsdick and Murphy, eds., Postcolonial thought, pp. 1–27, at pp. 16–17.

20 For the characterization of these positions, see David Murphy and Charles Forsdick, ‘Réactions françaises à une perspective coloniale: “retour au pays natal” ou invention anglo-saxonne?’, in Nicolas Bancel et al., eds., Ruptures postcoloniales: les nouveaux visages de la société française (Paris, 2010), pp. 139–48, at p. 146.

21 See comments by Bonniol, Jean-Luc in Cohen, Jim et al. , ‘Savoirs et pouvoirs: les enjeux du débat postcolonial en France’, Mouvements, 3 (2007), pp. 5269 , and also Charles Forsdick, ‘Colonialism, postcolonialism and the cultures of commemoration’, in Forsdick and Murphy, eds., Postcolonial thought, pp. 271–84, at p. 274.

22 Cohen et al., ‘Savoirs et pouvoirs’, p. 59.

23 Murphy and Forsdick, ‘Réactions françaises’, p. 145.

24 Philippe Bernard, ‘Des “enfants de colonisés” revendiquent leur histoire’, Le Monde, 21 Feb. 2005. See also the group's website: http://indigenes-republique.fr/.

25 The full text of the proposed law is available at www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000000444898&categorieLien=id.

26 Suburban areas, but referring to deprived areas perhaps comparable to inner-city council estates, rather than carrying the wealthy connotations of an English context.

27 Interestingly, these riots have been seen as ‘postcolonial riots’: see Malika Mansouri, Révoltes postcoloniales au coeur de l'hexagone (Paris, 2013).

28 Murphy and Forsdick, ‘Réactions françaises’, p. 145.

29 ‘Le discours de Dakar de Nicolas Sarkozy’, Le Monde, 9 Nov. 2007.

30 Mbembe, Achille, ‘Provincializing France?’, Public Culture, 23 (2011), pp. 85119 ; Stoler, Ann Laura, ‘Colonial aphasia: race and disabled histories in France’, Public Culture, 23 (2011), pp. 121–56, and other articles in this issue.

31 The fact that the gunmen involved in January's attacks were French, of Algerian and Malian descent, prompted Manuel Valls to recognize what he called a state ‘apartheid’ in France, though the dominant response to the attacks was one of a strengthening of Republican rhetoric. The response to November's attacks has been dominated by an even stronger rhetoric of all-out war and the use of exceptional security measures, namely a nationwide state of emergency that had facilitated 2,977 police searches and the placing of 391 people under house arrest by the end of 2015. ‘État d'urgence: près de 3000 perquisitions menées depuis le 13 novembre’, Le Parisien, 29 Dec. 2015, www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/etat-d-urgence-pres-de-3-000-perquisitions-menees-depuis-le-13-novembre-29-12-2015-5408527.php.

32 Marie-Claude Smouts, ‘Les études postcoloniales en France: émergence et résistances’, in Bancel et al., eds., Ruptures postcoloniales, pp. 309–16, at p. 311.

33 Forsdick and Murphy, ‘Situating francophone postcolonial thought’, p. 18.

34 Smouts, ‘Les études postcoloniales en France’, p. 312.

35 Marie-Claude Smouts, ‘Introduction’, in Marie-Claude Smouts, ed., La situation postcoloniale (Paris, 2007), pp. 25–66, at p. 27.

36 Jean-François Bayart, ‘La novlangue d'un archipel universitaire’, in Smouts, ed., La situation postcoloniale, pp. 268–76, at p. 271.

37 Nicolas Bancel, ‘L'histoire difficile: esquisse d'une historiographie du fait colonial et postcolonial’, in Blanchard, Bancel, and Lemaire, eds., La fracture coloniale, pp. 83–92.

38 Astrid von Busekist, ‘Quelle place pour les études postcoloniales dans la science politique française?’, in Smouts, ed., La situation postcoloniale, pp. 415–34, at p. 416.

39 Nacira Guénif-Souilamas, ‘L'altérité de l'intérieur’, in Smouts, ed., La situation postcoloniale, pp. 344–52, at p. 345.

40 Nicolas Bancel and Pascal Blanchard, ‘From colonial to postcolonial: reflections on the colonial debate in France’, in Forsdick and Murphy, eds., Postcolonial thought, pp. 295–305, at p. 297.

41 Jacques Coursil and Delphine Perret, ‘The francophone postcolonial field’, in H. Adlai Murdoch and Anne Donadey, eds., Postcolonial theory and francophone literary studies (Gainsville, FL, 2005), pp. 193–204, at p. 201.

42 ‘Pour une “littérature monde” en français’, Le Monde, 15 Mar. 2007, www.lemonde.fr/livres/article/2007/03/15/des-ecrivains-plaident-pour-un-roman-en-francais-ouvert-sur-le-monde_883572_3260.html.

43 Christine Chivallon, ‘La quête pathétique des postcolonial studies’, in Smouts, ed., La situation postcoloniale, pp. 387–405, at pp. 389–90.

44 François Cusset, French theory: how Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze & co. transformed the intellectual life of the United States (Minneapolis, MN, 2008), pp. 11–12.

45 Ibid., p. 9.

46 Ibid., p. 8.

47 Ibid., p. 320.

48 Ibid., p. 321.

49 Ibid.

50 Ibid., p. 323.

51 Mbembe, ‘Provincializing France?’, p. 90.

52 Jean-Loup Amselle, L'Occident décroché: enquête sur les postcolonialismes (Paris, 2008), p. 270.

53 Philippe Braud, ‘Le traumatisme colonial’, in Smouts, ed., La situation postcoloniale, pp. 405–13, at p. 407.

54 ‘des résultats fâcheux’ – Cohen et al., ‘Savoirs et pouvoirs’, p. 57.

55 Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, ‘Le tropisme de l'université française face aux postcolonial studies’, in Bancel et al., eds., Ruptures postcoloniales, pp. 317–27, at p. 325. A grande université can perhaps be seen as the equivalent of Oxbridge or an Ivy League university.

56 Cusset, French theory, p. 325.

57 Bancel, ‘L'histoire difficile’, p. 90.

58 Ibid., p. 84.

59 Leménager, Grégoire, ‘Les études (post)coloniales à la française’, Labyrinthe, 24 (2006), pp. 8590 .

60 Ibid., p. 89.

61 Ibid., p. 89–90.

62 Ibid., p. 90.

63 Mamadou Diouf, ‘Les postcolonial studies et leur réception dans le champ académique en France’, in Bancel et al., eds., Ruptures postcoloniales, pp. 149–58, at p. 155.

64 Charles Forsdick and David Murphy, ‘Introduction: the case for francophone postcolonial studies’, Francophone postcolonial studies: a critical introduction (New York, NY, 2003), pp. 1–14, at p. 9.

65 Bancel, ‘Un malentendu postcolonial?, pp. 59–60.

66 Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard, and Françoise Vergès, La République coloniale: essai sur une utopie (Paris, 2003) p. 32.

67 Suzanne Citron, L'histoire de France autrement (Paris, 1992).

68 Interestingly, this was the subject of intense debate in the UK in 2013, following the then Education Secretary Michael Gove's attempts to introduce a national narrative into the national curriculum. See Richard J. Evans, ‘Michael Gove's history wars’, Guardian, 13 July 2013, www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/13/michael-gove-teaching-history-wars.

69 Gilles Manceron, Marianne et les colonies: une introduction à l'histoire coloniale de la France (Paris, 2003), p. 18.

70 Marc Michel, ‘Histoire et mémoire de la colonisation en France: le passé du présent’, in Maurice Vaïsse and Robert Tombs, eds., L'histoire coloniale en débat en France et en Grande Bretagne (Paris, 2010), pp. 43–59, at p. 48.

71 These contradictions were recently brought to the fore when François Hollande chose to mark his inauguration as president by paying homage to Jules Ferry, sparking controversy in the media.

72 Benjama Stora, ‘Traces de mémoires d'un empire disparu’, in Vaïsse and Tombs, eds., L'histoire colonial, pp. 105–9, at p. 105.

73 Gabrielle Parker, ‘“Francophonie” and “universalité”: evolution of two notions conjoined’, in Forsdick and Murphy, eds., Francophone postcolonial studies, pp. 91–101, at pp. 92–3.

74 Stora, ‘Traces de mémoires’, p. 105.

75 Joan Wallach Scott, The politics of the veil (Princeton, NJ, 2007), p. 46.

76 Ibid., p. 47.

77 Dubois, Laurent, ‘La République métissée: citizenship, colonialism, and the borders of French history’, Cultural Studies, 14 (2010), pp. 1534 , at p. 24. See also Laurent Dubois, A colony of citizens: revolution and slave emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787–1804 (London, 2004), and Les esclaves de la République: l'histoire oubliée de la première emancipation (Paris, 1998). For work on the colonial Republic and Haiti, see Laurent Dubois Avengers of the New World: the story of the Haitian revolution (London, 2004), and Aimé Césaire, Toussaint Louverture: la Révolution françaises et le problème colonial (Paris, 1985).

78 Dubois, ‘La République métissée’, p. 22.

79 Ibid.

80 Gary Wilder, The French imperial nation-state (London, 2005), p. 3.

81 Ibid., p. 16.

82 Patrick Weil, How to be French: nationality in the making since 1789 (Durham, NC, 2008), pp. 152–67, 3.

83 Joan Wallach Scott, Only paradoxes to offer (Cambridge, MA, 1996), pp. 5–6, 7.

84 Ibid., p. 10.

85 Manceron, Marianne et les colonies.

86 Ibid., pp. 18–19.

87 See for example Amselle, L'Occident décroché, or Bayart, Jean-François, ‘Postcolonial studies: a political invention of tradition?’, Public Culture, 23 (2011), pp. 5584 .

88 Smouts, ‘Introduction’, p. 62.

89 See for example Abdellali Hajjat, Les frontières de l'identité nationale (Paris, 2012), and Dominique Vidal and Karim Bourtel, Le mal-être Arabe: enfants de la colonisation (Marseille, 2005).

90 Françoise Lorcerie, Le primordialisme français, ses voies, ses fièvres’, in Smouts, ed., La situation postcoloniale, pp. 298–344, at p. 301.

91 Ibid., p. 313.

92 Conseil représentatif des associations noires de France.

93 Achille Mbembe, ‘La République et l'impensé de la “race”’, in Blanchard, Bancel, and Lemaire, eds., La fracture coloniale, pp. 139–53, at p. 140.

94 Mbembe, Achille, ‘Qu'est-ce que la pensée coloniale?’, Esprit, 12 (2006), pp. 117–33, at p. 118.

95 Robert J. C. Young, Postcolonialism: an historical introduction (Oxford, 2001), p. 428.

96 Crystal Bartolovich and Neil Lazarus, eds., Marxism, modernity and postcolonial studies (Cambridge, 2002).

97 Nicolas Bancel et al., Introduction: de la fracture colonial aux ruptures postcoloniales’, in Bancel et al., eds., Ruptures postcoloniales, pp. 9–34, at p. 33.

98 Ibid., p. 12.

99 Bancel et al., ‘Introduction: la fracture coloniale: une crise française’, p. 26.

100 Four successive statements published in 1950, 1951, 1964, and 1967 brought together a number of scientists to dispel social Darwinist theories about race and discredit the term. Unesco, Four statements on the race question (Paris, 1969).

101 Bancel, ‘Un malentendu postcolonial?’, p. 32.

102 Shepard, Todd, ‘Algeria, France, Mexico, UNESCO: a transnational history of anti-racism and decolonisation, 1932–1962’, Journal of Global History, 6 (2011), pp. 273–97, at pp. 274, 296.

103 Bancel, ‘Un malentendu postcolonial?’, p. 56.

104 Mbembe, ‘La République et l'impensé de la “race”’.

105 Ibid., p. 150.

106 Ibid., pp. 147, 152.

107 Bancel, ‘Un malentendu postcolonial?’, p. 58.

108 Ibid., n. 23.

109 Ibid., pp. 57–8 n. 22.

110 Stora, ‘Traces de mémoires’, p. 105.

111 Raybaud, Antoine, ‘Deuil sans travail, travail sans deuil: la France a-t-elle une mémoire coloniale?’, Dédale, 5/6 (1997), pp. 87104 , at pp. 91–4; Benjamin Stora, ‘Quand une mémoire (de guerre) peut en cacher une autre (coloniale)’, in Blanchard, Bancel, and Lemaire, eds., La fracture colonial, pp. 57–65.

112 Smouts, ‘Les études postcoloniales en France’, p. 311.

113 Bancel et al., ‘Introduction: la fracture coloniale: une crise française’, p. 16.

114 Stora, ‘Quand une mémoire’, p. 58.

115 17,456 French military casualities and over 3,000 French civilians are reported to have died; French estimates for Algerian deaths suggest 169,000 and over 40,000 missing presumed dead. Algerian figures range much higher. Howe, ‘Colonising and exterminating?’, p. 7.

116 Stora, ‘Traces de mémoires’, pp. 107, 106.

117 Howe, ‘Colonising and exterminating?’, p. 8.

118 To emphasize the brutality of the French empire is by no means to diminish the suffering of those who experienced brutality under the British or indeed any other empire.

119 Raybaud, ‘Deuil sans travail’, p. 95.

120 Bancel, Blanchard, and Vergès, La République coloniale, p. 31.

121 Ibid., p. 33.

122 Ibid. p. 35.

123 On the ‘familial’ relationship between France and its colonies, see Françoise Vergès, Monsters and revolutionaries: colonial family romance and métissage (Durham, NC, 1999), in particular ch. 1.

124 Jaques Frémeaux, ‘Les empires Français et Britannique: la pratique’, in Tombs and Vaïsse, eds., L'histoire coloniale, pp. 87–103.

125 For an interesting analysis that links styles of colonial governance to styles of education, see Cohen, William B., ‘The colonised as a child: British and French colonial rule’, African Historical Studies, 3 (1970), pp. 427–31.

126 Joshua Cole, ‘Intimate acts and unspeakable relations: remembering torture and the war for Algerian independence’, in Alec G. Hargreaves, ed., Memory, empire, and postcolonialism: legacies of French colonialism (Oxford, 2005), pp. 125–141, at p. 134.

127 Ibid., p. 136.

128 Ibid. p. 134.

129 Raybaud, ‘Deuil sans travail’, p. 101.

130 Bancel, Blanchard, and Vergès, La République coloniale, p. 75.

131 Raybaud, ‘Deuil sans travail’, p. 102.

132 Ibid., p. 103.

133 Mbembe, ‘La République et l'impensé de la “race”’, p. 142 n. 5.

134 Parker, ‘“Francophonie” and “Universalité”’, p. 91.

135 See François-Xavier Verschave, La Françafrique, le plus long scandale de la République (Paris, 1998).

136 Mbembe, ‘La République et l'impensé de la “race”’, pp. 143–4.

137 Howe, ‘Colonising and exterminating?’, p. 10.

138 Stoler, ‘Colonial aphasia’, p. 125.

139 Ibid., p. 153.

140 Mbembe, ‘Provincializing France?’, p. 102.

141 See for example Pascal Bruckner, La tyrannie de la penitence (Paris, 2006), and Daniel Lefeuvre, Pour en finir avec la repentence coloniale (Paris, 2006).

142 Materialist critiques in Jackie Assayag, ‘Les études postcoloniales sont-elles bonnes à penser?’, in Smouts, ed., La situation postcoloniale, pp. 230–60, mirror those found in Bartolovich and Lazarus, eds., Marxism, modernity and postcolonial studies. Yves Lacoste's essentialist accusations in Lacoste, Yves, ‘La question postcoloniale’, Hérodote, 120 (2006), pp. 527 , can also be found in critiques by Shohat and McClintock, see Hargreaves and McKinney, eds., Post-colonial cultures in France, pp. 14–16.

143 Forsdick and Murphy, ‘Introduction: the case for francophone postcolonial studies’, p. 7.

144 See Claire Joubert, ‘Le “postcolonial” à la différence des langues: culture, politique et enjeu de monde’, in Claire Joubert et al., Le postcolonial comparé (Paris, 2014), pp. 9–42.

145 Anne Donadey and H. Adlai Murdoch, ‘Introduction: productive intersections’, in Murdoch and Donadey, Postcolonial theory, p. 6.

146 Celia Britton and Michael Syrotinski, eds., Paragraph, 24 (2001), cited in Forsdick and Murphy, ‘Introduction: the case for francophone postcolonial studies’, p. 5.

147 Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, The empire writes back (London, 1989), pp. 36–7.

148 Ibid., p. 1.

149 Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, ‘Can the subaltern speak? Speculations on widow-sacrifice’, Wedge, 7/8 (1985), pp. 120–30, translated into French by Jérôme Vidal: Gayatri Chakravorty Spiviak, Les subalternes peuvent-elles parler? (Paris, 2006); Homi K. Bhabha, The location of culture (London, 1994), translated into French by Françoise Bouillot: Homi K. Bhabha, Les lieux de la culture (Paris, 2007).

150 Bancel and Blanchard, ‘From colonial to postcolonial’, p. 295.

151 Forsdick and Murphy, ‘Situating francophone postcolonial thought’, p. 13.

152 Smouts, ‘Introduction’, p. 46.

153 Forsdick and Murphy, ‘Réactions françaises’, p. 143.

154 ‘décalage’, ibid., p. 142.

155 This is not to say there is not post-colonial discrimination or racism in Britain, but as the discussion has shown, this may be more acute in France. The fate of the Indian and Algerian (both former jewels in their imperial crowns) communities in their respective metropoles perhaps illustrates this.

156 Spivak and Bhabha in particular come to mind here.

157 Robert J. C. Young, Postcolonialism: a very short introduction (Oxford, 2003).

158 John McLeod, ‘Contesting contexts: francophone thought and anglophone postcolonialism’, in Forsdick and Murphy eds., Francophone postcolonial studies, pp. 92–201.

159 Edward Said, ‘Traveling theory reconsidered’, in Edward Said, Reflections on exile and other literary and cultural essays (London, 2001), pp. 436–52.

160 Donadey and Murdoch, ‘Introduction: productive intersections’, p. 13.

161 Forsdick and Murphy, ‘Situating francophone postcolonial thought’, p. 8.

162 Smouts, ‘Introduction’, pp. 25–6.

163 Bancel et al., ‘Introduction: de la fracture coloniale aux ruptures postcoloniales’, p. 33.

164 Ibid., p. 21.

165 Ibid., p. 28.

166 Smouts, ‘Les études postcoloniales en France’, pp. 314–15.

167 Ibid., p. 309.

168 Murphy and Forsdick, ‘Réactions françaises’, p. 144.

169 Kennedy, ‘Imperial history and post-colonial theory’, pp. 348–50.

170 See in particular La fracture coloniale and Ruptures postcoloniales.

171 See for example McClintock, Ann, ‘The angel of progress: pitfalls of the term “post-colonialism”’, Social Text, 31/2 (1992), pp. 8498 , at pp. 86–7.

172 Berny Sèbe, ‘Towards cosmopolitan perspectives on empires and their echoes? The case for a European framework’, in Kalypso Nicolaidis, Berny Sèbe, and Gabrielle Maas, eds., Echoes of empire: identity, memory and colonial legacies (London, 2015), pp. 123–40, at p. 124.

173 Ibid., pp. 125–6.

174 Ibid., p. 136.

175 Joubert, ‘Le “postcolonial” à la différence des langues’, p. 15.

176 Ibid., p. 39.

177 Forsdick, Charles, ‘Between “French” and “francophone”: French studies and the postcolonial turn’, French Studies, 59 (2005), pp. 523–30, at p. 527.

178 See Jaime Hanneken, ‘Introduction: Latin Americanism, francophone studies and identity thinking’, in Jaime Hanneken, ed., Imagining the postcolonial: discipline, poetics, practice in Latin American and francophone discourse (New York, NY, 2015), pp. 1–18, at pp. 6–7, on this point.

179 See ibid. and Joubert et al., Le postcolonial comparé.

* I would like to thank the Department of History at the University of Warwick, and in particular Dr Aditya Sarkar, Dr Claudia Stein, and Dr Charles Walton, for their help with my undergraduate dissertation, upon which this article is based, and for their encouragement in pursuing publication. I would also like to thank Dr Berny Sèbe of the University of Birmingham for his kindness in talking to me about the issues raised in the article, and for his generosity in sharing invaluable resources with me. I am also grateful to the anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions.

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