Organization: NEMLA 2022
In times marked by the growing and irreversible impact of global climate change, this panel welcomes contributions exploring the literary and artistic ideations of Francophone ecofutures within and across French-speaking spaces. Inspired by the recent publication boom of eco-oriented literary and philosophical works such as Leonora Miano’s Rouge impératrice, Malcom Ferdinand’s Pour une écologie décoloniale, and Felwine Sarr’s Afrotopia, this panel seeks to answer questions such as: how have Francophone visual and literary ecofictions imagined decolonial futures? How do their works create Afrocentric ecologies to challenge and/or offer an alternative to the human and environmental consequences of the Anthropocene, Plantationocene, and Capitalocene? How do the social, cultural, political, and aesthetic contours of these ecological futures pursue a decolonial agenda? Intersecting questions of ecology and decoloniality, technology and sustainability, and environmental racism, panelists are encouraged to reflect on the creative possibilities of contemporary Francophone visual arts and literature in relation with Afrocentric philosophies such as Afrofuturism, Afrofeminism, and Afropessimism.
As this panel explores ecological futures across a variety of text-based and visual media, it seeks to diversify the current field of French and Francophone ecocritism in both its “traditional” content and approach. While French ecocriticism has explored the consequences of modern industrialization and urbanization on rural communities in past and contemporary France, the more emerging trend of Francophone ecocriticism has understood such environmental issues as racialized ones, and has aimed to decolonize all-encompassing notions of “global climate change” and “Anthropocene.” This panel seeks to intersect different Francophone decolonial ecocritical works from French-speaking spaces across the world. From Caribbean-focused Francophone ecocriticism to the recent surge of ecofictions from Francophone Africa, among others, the study of decolonial French-speaking ecofictions has marked a cultural turn in the way scholars engage with questions of futurity, sustainability, and decoloniality.