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DemCP colloquium - STELLA LINN: "More French than the French: Strategies of Writers from Ethnic Minorities to Overcome their Marginalization"

When:We 03-03-2021 16:00 - 17:15

Stella Linn, University of Groningen
More French than the French: Strategies of Writers from Ethnic Minorities to Overcome their Marginalization


French writers from ethnic minorities, mainly originating from the underprivileged banlieues, are often marginalized in the French literary field, which is organized hierarchically. Even those born and raised in France are considered not entirely French and, as far as their literary output is concerned, they are put on a par with lesser-valued authors from French-speaking areas outside France. If their work is published at all, they mostly receive negative reviews, in which their ‘vulgar’, non-standard use of language is particularly criticized. Therefore, if these authors want to be acknowledged, they have an interest in countering this treatment. How can they achieve this? By distinguishing four different strategies in their work I will argue that these are primarily intended to show the French reader, and thus indirectly publishers and critics, that the writers concerned adhere to national standards and values, are fully integrated into French society, and therefore are entitled to claim a legitimate place in the French literary field.

About the speaker

Dr Stella Linn is Assistant Professor of Translation Studies and Literature (in particular, French and Francophone and Spanish literature) at the University of Groningen. She has co-authored two manuals on translation into Dutch and co-edited the volume Translation and Interculturality: Africa and the West, Peter Lang (2008). Her current research topics include the production, reception, and translation of ‘post-migration’ literature, especially where urban youth language is concerned. Recent articles on this subject have been published in the International Journal of Literary Linguistics 5:3 (2016), Art. 6, pp. 1-28 and in the International Journal of Francophone Studies 23:1-2 (2020), pp. 73-97. See also