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Michaël Ferrier Conference

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Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square, Keynes Library

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The BRAKC research centre hosts an afternoon of talks and discussion, with Michaël Ferrier, the acclaimed French writer, who will be visiting us from Tokyo where he lives.

Based loosely on the author’s life, Mémoires d’outre-mer recounts the life of Ferrier’s Mauritius-born grandfather, Maxime, who in 1922 abruptly boarded a boat bound for Madagascar and never returned. Maxime’s adventurous and romantic life in Madagascar, which included a stint as a diver, an artist, and an acrobat in a travelling circus, is bound up with the island’s history, including its period as a Vichy-governed territory at the centre of what was called ‘Project Madagascar’, the Nazi plan to relocate Europe’s Jewish population to the island. This story in turn is interwoven with the larger story of colonialism and its lasting and complicated impact on French national and cultural identity today.

Join us at Birkbeck on 18th September 2019 for a discussion of this novel and its translation, as well as of Ferrier’s other works. The event is free but please book as places are limited.

Michaël Ferrier is professor of French at Chuo University in Tokyo, Japan; he is also an essayist and the award-winning author of several novels. Mémoires d’outre-mer, his most recent work, has been translated into English as Over Seas of Memory by Martin Munro , Winthrop-King professor of French and Francophone Studies at Florida State University.

This event is organised by Dr Akane Kawakami, who is Head of the Department of Cultures and Languages at Birkbeck, and by the BRAKC research centre (Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community).

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