Congratulations to French Professor Gloria Onyeoziri who was awarded a 3 year SSHRC Insight Grant for her project “Utopian Memory: remembering as utopianism in African and Caribbean francophone literatures”.
For prof. Onyeoziri, utopian memory can be defined as evoking the need and practical possibility of a hitherto unimagined and better future through the representation of past experience, personal testimony and oral tradition. Her project will focus on six texts: Jacques Roumain’s Gouverneurs de la rosée (1944), Ousmane Sembène’s Les bouts de bois de Dieu (1960), Bernard Dadié’s play Béatrice du Congo (1970), Abderrahmane Sissako’s film Bamako (2006), Gisèle Pineau’s Morne câpresse (2008) and Léonora Miano’s La saison de l’ombre (2013). The project will bring together common images and narrative forms that show the scope of utopian memory, including the central role of women, dialogue related to oral tradition, and representations of youth. The overall outcome will be a body of published work of interest to scholars in African and Caribbean literatures and all others interested in utopian memory as a field of enquiry.