This September, Dr Louise Hardwick travelled to the internationally renowned French conference centre in Cerisy-la-Salle, Normandy, to present a French paper on her latest research. This paper explored the life and work of the great French Caribbean poet and politician Aimé Césaire (1913-2008), and Cerisy hosted a conference held in honour of the centenary of his birth.
At the conference, Louise discussed an online teaching and learning resource she has created, drawing on her research into the Caribbean, on Césaire's great poem Cahier d'un retour au pays natal. The resource is currently available to all Birmingham First Year French Students via our online campus systems, and is designed to help them study the poem as part of the Y1 syllabus.
The conference, organised by leading French experts Professor Anne Douaire-Banny (University of Rennes) and Professor Romuald Fonkoua (University of the Sorbonne) in collaboration with Professor Mamadou Ba (Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal) was a rare opportunity to discuss perspectives on Caribbean literature with experts from Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, French Guiana, Senegal, Nigeria, Japan, China, France and the United States.
Louise's work will appear later this year in print, in the leading French-language journal discussing the black diaspora, 'Présence Africaine', which is commissioning a special journal issue in memory of Césaire at the end of 2013.
For more information, see the research blog for Louise's current European Commission project into Caribbean Literatures: www.caribiolit.wordpress.com