CFP - NeMLA 2021 - Aquatic Tropes in Francophone Postcolonial Cultures

Shanaaz Mohammed's picture
Call for Papers
March 11, 2021 to March 14, 2021
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
French History / Studies, Literature, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies


Aquatic Tropes in Francophone Postcolonial Cultures


52nd Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Convention

Philadelphia, PA

11-14 March 2021



Deadline for abstract: 30 September 2020.


Aquatic forms feature prominently in Francophone Postcolonial literature, film, and critical theory. These aqueous forms manifest as waterscapes, corporeal fluids, water-related natural disasters, and marine ecosystems and life forms. While bodies of water can be conceived as a metaphor for hybrid identities, as emphasized by Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993), they also take on numerous other metaphorical meanings.

This session invites inquiries into aquatic tropes in Francophone Postcolonial cultural and literary works. It examines the representation of a broad range of aquatic forms that include but are not limited to maritime and inland waterways (oceans, seas, rivers, waterfalls), corporeal fluidity, and marine life forms to investigate how they inform and shape new readings of Francophone postcoloniality and broader questions related to hydro-criticism in the Francosphere.

Moving beyond the common metaphorical association of waterways as liquid expanses that are traversed and serve as bridges across physical, metaphorical, and historical transitions, this panel seeks to engage depictions of waterscapes and marine life forms that embody rupture, fear, destruction, death, and enigma. Manifestations of liquidity and fluidity, corporeal or otherwise, that redefine boundaries of time and space and facilitate forms of renewal and rebirth will also be considered.

Abstracts of 250 words in English or French should be submitted through the NeMLA website by 30 September 2020.


For more information, please feel free to contact Shanaaz Mohammed ( and/or Alexis Finet (