Call for Abstracts for a Special Issue of Francosphères Interconnections and Mobilities: the Pacific Francosphere
Within nationalist, border-focused frameworks, the Francophone Pacific has been painted as isolated and cut-off from its neighbours due to its linguistic difference. However, French-speaking islands have long established Indigenous connections with other sites and peoples both outside of and within the Pacific. These ancestral and historical connections, often linked to widespread ocean-going mobilities, continued throughout the colonial era and were important in the shaping of populations, cultures, languages and relationships in the region. While these links have been somewhat eroded by the uncompromising imperatives of nation-building, there has been increasing interest in rediscovering and reviving these connections and creating new pathways of exchange between linguistically diverse Pacific spaces.
Following the official launch of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies in January 2016, we have invited heads of other Postcolonial Studies research institutes, centres and networks to share information about their current research activities and to enter into the debate about the future of the field. Here, Professor Alan Lester (University of Sussex) presents the ‘Snapshots of Empire’ research project.
I am an historical geographer whose work focuses on the networks of empire in the nineteenth century. I have led Sussex’s Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies for the last ten years. The Centre now reflects significant interdisciplinary and cross-school interest in the histories and cultures of colonialism, and in postcolonial studies, including the literature of terror and trauma.