My research focuses on the literary and visual representation of immigrants' descendants, and particularly on how such productions interact with and transform literary genres as well as propose new sources of knowledge. Although often labeled and branded as “foreign,” “migrant,” or with predetermined ideas about marginalization, I show how this body of literature is not only intertwined with existing literary traditions, it also invites us to think further about how migration reshapes the literary landscape.
My dissertation examines fiction centering on descendants of Algerian immigrants to France and descendants of immigrants from Mexico to the U.S. This comparative project offers a theoretical approach beyond the European “assimilationist” models, the North American “multicultural” and “borderlands” model, and readings of “resistance” based on the works by Franz Fanon, which have traditionally informed the study of immigrants’ descendants. Instead, I provide pragmatic analyses of thematic and discursive devices employed in the literary works based on the theoretical framework of Postmigration Studies. I study critically acclaimed narratives by authors such as Rudolfo Anaya, Azouz Begag, Mehdi Charef, Sandra Cisneros, Faïza Guène, Cherríe Moraga, Leïla Sebbar, Tomás Rivera, and Luis Valdez through the lenses of linguistic hybridism, representations of space, and historical writing. My work stresses how these narratives often revisit, revise, and redevelop established literary forms such as the Bildungsroman, the historical novel, as well as unitary visions of domestic sites.
"Bleu de Chine" Bruno Catalano, Marseille, 2018
The primary focus of my postdoctoral research for the European Union DETECt Project is on examining figures of ethnic minority detectives in French and German crime fiction. My research highlights that in contemporary European crime novels and television series, the inclusion of minority characters is often confronted to pervasive literary tropes that depict them as dangerous and in conflict with mainstream society, the state, and police. But what happens when they are on the detective’s side of the narrative? How does the genre accommodate for historically marginalized sleuth figures? How do such narratives deploy a view of a “postmigrant society”? These are some questions that I address in my research.