Journal of Romance Studies

Rethinking paradox: Performing the politics of gender, race, and belonging in Léonora Miano’s Ecrits pour la parole

Journal of Romance Studies (2014), 14, (1), 73–89.

Abstract

This article argues that Léonora Miano’s play Ecrits pour la parole (2012) moves beyond the concept of paradox that has characterized critical work on Black France. Instead, Miano focuses on duality, responding to and rejecting anti-Black racism in specifically gendered ways evident in her combination of feminist and human rights discourses. The play enters into these discourses through the use of the monologue in particular. Form becomes one of the primary ways through which Miano renders the multiplicity of Black women’s subjectivities as well as the vicissitudes of the paradox that lies at the core of Black French identity. By engaging the universal humanist ideal/ideology and exposing it as a fiction at work in the lives of Black women, Miano not only critiques the idea of belonging in the French context, but also posits alternative frames through which to understand the ubiquitous paradox of Black France.

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Author details

Jean-Charles, Régine Michelle