Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Echo at Play in Antillean Women's Generational Memories

Davies Cordova Sarah.

According to Edward Saïd, memory's representations touch upon human space as questions of identity, nationalism, power and authority. They involve narratives, all disputable, often invented, which function to produce rituals and objects of value: literature, dances, music, art, (hi)stories. Inquiry stakes out territorial claims of intertexts, context and idiolects without hierarchical distinction between genres. Moving from one practice where meaning may be specified to another where it appears latent fleshes out identities and arrays of socio-cultural practices. Mapping the different items as they occur in their own discursive spaces generates patterns of transformations, translations, contradictions and symmetries, or meeting points of structural relations that emphasize an arrangement of truths or ideological metaphors rather than a conflated master narrative.
In examining the recent works of such women authors from the Francophone Caribbean as Edwige Danticat, Giselle Pineau and Simone Schwarz-Bart, I look at how they challenge literature's own forms inter- and extra-textually, to transmit contentiously the intimacy of women's memories. As they call up language and gender issues, these works confront and disinter traumas and myths and extend beyond the imitation of representation. They move away from the narcissistic mirror of representation, and utilise the figure of echo to voice trajectories which transmit other-wise narrativised memories of life’s pathways.


Davies Cordova Sarah  (United States)
Associate Professor of French
Department of Foreign Languages And Literatures
Marquette University

SDC'a areas of research include :19th century French literature and culture with a special emphasis on social and theatrical dance; 20th and 21st century Francophone literatures from the Caribbean and from Algeria.

  • Echo
  • Memory
  • Repetition
  • Danticat
  • Pineau
  • Schwatz-Bart
  • Caribbean
Person as Subject
  • Pineau, gisele Danticat, Edwige

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)