French and Francophone Studies as an Ecology of Knowledge
In this lecture, I will rely on my current research around African humanities to offer a reflection on French and francophone studies. The idea is to consider literature and broadly Francophone studies as an ecology of knowledge through which the critical issues of our time can be thought. Through its infinite machineries of reflexivity, literature points out possible and unsuspected knowledges. By focusing on various aspects of civilization - knowledge production, arts, cultures, histories of ideas and mentalities - as well as by by broadening its libraries (orality, artifacts) and its methodological scope (transcultural studies), French and Francophone Studies can engage the major questions of our time: mobility, climate, memories, archives, postcolonial history. But it can also be a prospective field that studies imaginaries, future, mutuality, relationality.
My ambition is to consider French and Francophone Studies as a locus where disciplines, approaches and methodologies are considered in their own integrity, but placed within an ecology where they can interact and produce new knowledges. This necessitates broadening the methodological scope and shifting the geography of our reason and makes the question of which archives and libraries (written text, orality, cinema, artifacts) these cultural studies are based on particularly crucial.