Migration, Translation, Music

Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures, 79


November 1st, 2021



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This publication benefited from the support of the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame.
This collective volume concentrates on the concept of transposition, exploring its potential as a lens through which to examine recent Francophone literary, cinematic, theatrical, musical, and artistic creations that reveal multilingual and multicultural realities. The chapters are composed by leading scholars in French and Francophone Studies who engage in interdisciplinary reflections on the ways transcontinental movement has influenced diverse genres. It begins with the premise that an attentiveness to migration has inspired writers, artists, filmmakers, playwrights and musicians to engage in new forms of translation in their work. Their own diverse backgrounds combine with their awareness of the itineraries of others to have an impact on the innovative languages that emerge in their creative production. These contemporary figures realize that migratory actualities must be transposed into different linguistic and cultural contexts in order to be legible and audible, in order to be perceptible—either for the reader, the listener, or the viewer. The novels, films, plays, works of art and musical pieces that exemplify such transpositions adopt inventive elements that push the limits of formal composition in French. This work is therefore often inspiring as it points in evocative ways toward fluid influences and a plurality of interactions that render impossible any static conception of being or belonging.

“This is an exciting and vibrant collection of essays on the French Trans-Mediterranean brought together around the concept of transposition. With its roots in Western musical practice, the transposition from one key to another or the rewriting of parts for instruments of a different pitch, the term is used here to consider relocation, migration, multilingual and transnational aspects of a great diversity of texts.”
Claire Launchbury

Author Information

Alison Rice is the Dr. William M. Scholl Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies and the Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literature at the University of Notre Dame.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Introduction: Tracing Transpositions, Transposing Traces
Alison Rice
Mediterranean Crossings
Migration and Representation, from the Bildungsroman to the Testimonial Genre
Madeleine Dobie
Transposé et pourtant juste: Transposition and Collaboration in New Francophone Migrant Writing
Kate Averis
Accidental Form, Mediterranean Transpositions, and New Francophonies in Malika Mokeddem’s La Désirante
Edwige Tamalet Talbayev
Multilingual Aesthetics and Poetics!!Abdelfattah Kilito: Writing Beyond Monolingualism and Multilingualism
Jane Hiddleston
Intersignes du Maroc: Towards a Plural Cultural Aesthetic
Claudia Esposito
Performance Arts
Minor Transpositions: Mohamed Rouabhi Stages the Colonial Cliché
Olivia C. Harrison
In Search of the Ghost Country: The Artistic and Literary Transpositions of Exile
Olivier Morel
Screen Cultures
Lessons in Adaptation: The Postcolonial Classroom in Entre les murs and L’Esquive
Nicholas Harrison
Cinematic Transpositions of the “Republic”?: Fatima and D’une pierre deux coups
Vinay Swamy
Musical Movements
“Sound” Tracks and Sound Tracks: Clandestine Crossings, Film Aesthetics, Ethics, and Politics
Hakim Abderrezak
Black Transnationalism and Sketches of Mediterranean Noir
Edwin Hill
Transposed Modes: Musical Mapping and Literary Lapping in Current Francophone Migratory Texts
Alison Rice