Jill Gaeta, assistant professor of French/Global, Cultural and Language Studies at The College of St. Scholastica will be the next speaker in a faculty colloquium monthly lecture series. Her talk is at 3:40 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, in room 4119 of Tower Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.
The title of Gaeta's discussion is "Re-Examining What It Means to be Antillean in Maryse Condé's Literature for Children." Her talk is part of a faculty colloquium series developed by the College's School of Arts and Letters to highlight diverse faculty research projects. The presentation will last one hour and include a 40-minute lecture followed by 20 minutes of questions and answers. Colloquium audiences typically include a mixture of students, faculty and community members.
The social and political complexity of the French Antillean islands, a result of slavery, colonization, and departmentalization, has lead to an equally complex sense of self among Antillean peoples. Positioned culturally between Africa and France, belonging to both and yet to neither, Antilleans face a daunting task in defining an individual and collective identity. However, over the past 20 years a body of children's literature written by and for Antilleans has emerged, suggesting through its textual and visual content an attempt to address the issue of identity at a formative level.
Many texts appear to promote in some way Antillean solidarity through their depictions of black heroes, Caribbean geographical contexts, and historical representations. Establishing pride in one's antillanité while guiding readers away from the self-hatred that has so often resulted from French hegemony is an undeniably important process. However, as Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé points out, this solidarity remains a myth so long as Antillean children perpetuate the same attitude as the colonizers toward the other.
Gaeta's talk will focus on how, through her literature, Condé seeks to encourage an identity not restricted by insular views of the Antilles, but rather one that is enhanced by an appreciation for the diverse world they belong to. It will be examined how Condé advocates a balance between a strong sense of Antillean selfhood and the recognition of a broader, more human solidarity.
For more information contact the Spotlight box office at (218) 723-7000 or email@example.com. Spotlight.css.edu is the one-stop shop for all St. Scholastica arts and lectures information.