November 18, 2022 3:00 PM to 4:30 PMUptown Campus
Ph.D. Candidate, Juliette Papadopoulos will be presenting "Beyond ecocriticism and naturalism: Cameroonian fiction through an anthropological lens (1973-2008)”
With Corey-Alice Andre-Johnson, postdoctoral researcher in the Africana Studies program at Tulane, as a respondent.
This paper will look at two novels and one short story from Francophone Cameroonian authors, all dealing with questions related to extraction of resources, exploitation of the land and (post)colonialism : Les Fiancés du Grand Fleuve by Samuel Mvolo (1973), « La Terre du Café » by Patrice Nganang (2005) and L’A-Fric by J. Fame Ndongo (2008). While these texts have already be examined through an ecocritical lense (Noussi, 2012 and Wounfa, 2013), the objective of this paper is to try and explore a new theoretical frame that moves beyond ecocritism and the epistemological issues this approach may entail for such a corpus. How could anthropology contribute to this ? Despite the persistent legacy of structuralism in Francophone schools of anthropology, especially in the field that Descola himself keeps calling « anthropology of nature », I offer to show how this discipline can still allow us to identify other ways of inhabiting the world in literary texts. This approach will also help me point out representations of the environment that will not necessarily depend on naturalistic dualisms. Such questions will finally lead me to discuss how the authors depict the legal dictates that govern the exploitation of, and the access to, resources in their fictional narratives.