Title

Eco-Critical Perspectives on Gisèle Pineau’s L’Espérance-macadam

Subject Area

French and Francophone Studies

Abstract

This paper proposes Guadeloupean writer Gisèle Pineau’s 1995 novel L’Espérance-macadam as a case-study for reading writing through the lens of feminist eco-criticism. Pineau’s book showcases writing practices that range from the mythological to the metaphorical, yet all are designed around the island’s ecological features. Moreover, the novel’s environmental subtext points to the material and social conditions that shape the experience of writing and gestures to the building blocks of a postcolonial consciousness. This paper’s concerns are thus epistemological, and it asks how feminist eco-criticism sheds light on the relations between nature, culture, and knowledge formation.

L’Espérance-maacadam highlights the links between nature, writing, and knowledge formation because it foregrounds distinct yet related evocations of writing that emerge from a focus on the environment. On the one hand, as an example of human consciousness and creativity, writing offers a primary example of the production of culture. Pineau situates this creative energy within the political, historical, and social contexts of colonialism in order to reclaim the history and forms of knowledge obscured by colonial domination. On the other hand, her illustrations of writing arise through events such as hurricanes and metaphors of a lost Eden, thereby pointing to the interdependence between the landscape and collective knowledge. Ultimately, then, the postcolonial ecological context in L’Espérance-macadam sheds light on the productive tensions between the colonial, postcolonial, and natural worlds because it denaturalizes the process of writing even as writing is informed by natural environmental phenomena.

Brief Bio Note

Lisa Connell is Assistant Professor of French at the University of West Georgia. Her research and teaching interests include postcolonial theory, Francophone women writers, and autobiography, with a focus on representations of colonial-era schooling. She has published on these and other subjects in the works of Maryse Condé, Assia Djebar, Gisèle Pineau and Annie Ernaux

Keywords

Pineau, Feminist eco-criticism, Postcolonial consciousness, Epistemiology

Location

Room 221

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-26-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

3-26-2015 2:45 PM

Embargo

5-23-2017

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Mar 26th, 1:30 PM Mar 26th, 2:45 PM

Eco-Critical Perspectives on Gisèle Pineau’s L’Espérance-macadam

Room 221

This paper proposes Guadeloupean writer Gisèle Pineau’s 1995 novel L’Espérance-macadam as a case-study for reading writing through the lens of feminist eco-criticism. Pineau’s book showcases writing practices that range from the mythological to the metaphorical, yet all are designed around the island’s ecological features. Moreover, the novel’s environmental subtext points to the material and social conditions that shape the experience of writing and gestures to the building blocks of a postcolonial consciousness. This paper’s concerns are thus epistemological, and it asks how feminist eco-criticism sheds light on the relations between nature, culture, and knowledge formation.

L’Espérance-maacadam highlights the links between nature, writing, and knowledge formation because it foregrounds distinct yet related evocations of writing that emerge from a focus on the environment. On the one hand, as an example of human consciousness and creativity, writing offers a primary example of the production of culture. Pineau situates this creative energy within the political, historical, and social contexts of colonialism in order to reclaim the history and forms of knowledge obscured by colonial domination. On the other hand, her illustrations of writing arise through events such as hurricanes and metaphors of a lost Eden, thereby pointing to the interdependence between the landscape and collective knowledge. Ultimately, then, the postcolonial ecological context in L’Espérance-macadam sheds light on the productive tensions between the colonial, postcolonial, and natural worlds because it denaturalizes the process of writing even as writing is informed by natural environmental phenomena.