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Featured Writers

Azouz Begag, novelist, sociologist and former government minister, was born of Algerian immigrants in France. His best-selling narratives include the autobiographical Le Gone du Chaâba (1986) and Un Mouton dans la baignore (2007), describing his experiences as Minister for Equal Opportunities. He has been a Visiting Professor at Florida State University.

Michel Le Bris, novelist and essayist, has published numerous novels including L'homme aux semelles de vent (1977) and La porte d'Or (1986), and essays such as Romantics and Romanticism (1981) and Les filibustiers de la Sonore (2000). He is Director of the Etonnants Voyageurs literature festival and co-editor of Pour une littérature-monde (2007). His La beauté du monde (2008) was shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt.

Alain Mabanckou, of Congolose origin, won the Grand Prix littéraire de l'Afrique noire for his first novel, Bleu-Blanc-Rouge (1998). He garnered further accolades for his subsequent novels, including Verre cassé (2005) and Mémoires de porc-épic (2006), for which he was awarded the Prix Renaudot. He is Professor of Francophone Literatures at UCLA.

Anna Moï, born in Vietnam and educated in France, began publishing short stories in French in 2001. Riz noir (2004) won the Cuneo best French-language début novel award. This and subsequent novels such as Rapaces (2005) and Violon (2006) are set mainly in Vietnam, where she continues to reside far a large part of each year. She was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2006.

Jean Rouaud won the Prix Goncourt for Les Champs d'honneur (1990). Since then he has published a wide variety of fiction, including Des hommes illustres (1993) and L'imitation du bonheur (2006) for which he received the Grand Prix Littéraire de Saint-Emillon Pomerol-Fronsac. He is co-editor of Pour une littérature-monde (2007). His most recent publication is an autobiographical narrative entitled La fiancée juive (2008).

Abdourahman Waberi was born in Djibouti and studied English literature in France. His novels and short stories, including Le Pays d'ombre (1994), Moisson de crânes (2000), Transit (2003) and Aux Etats-Unis d'Afrique (2006), address key moral and political issues facing post-colonial Africa. He was awarded the Stefan-Georg-Preis in 2006 and was a Visiting Fellow at Wellesley College in 2007-08.

Plenary Speakers

Mary Ann Caws is Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature and on the Faculty of the Women's Studies and Film Certificate Programs at the Graduate School, City University of New York. She has published illustrated biographies of Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso, Henry James and Virginia Woolf. Her recent publications include Glorious Eccentrics: Modernist Women, Painting, Writing, Resisting (2007), Surprised in Translation (2007), To the Boathouse: a Memoir (2008) and Salvador Dali (2008). She has translated French poets René Char, Tristan Tzara, Pierre Reverdy, André Breton, and others and is Chief editor of the HarperCollins World Reader (1994).

Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool, UK. He is author of Victor Segalen and the Aesthetics of Diversity (Oxford: OUP, 2000), Travel in Twentieth-Century French and Francophone Cultures (Oxford: OUP, 2005) and Ella Maillart, ‘Oasis interdites' (Geneva: Zoé, 2008); and co-author of New Approaches to Twentieth-Century Travel Literature in French: Genre, Theory, History (New York: Peter Lang, 2006).

Lydie Moudileno is Professor of French and Francophone Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Her general area of research is postcolonial literature, with a focus on Sub-saharan Africa and the Caribbbean, contemporary fiction from the 1980s to the present and popular genres. She is the author of L'Ecrivain antillais au miroir de sa littérature (Paris : Karthala, 1997), Littératures africaines : 1980-1990 (Dakar : Codesria Publications, 2003) and Parades Postcoloniales (Paris: Karthala, 2006).

Jean-Marc Moura is Professor of Francophone literatures in Paris X-Nanterre University, France. His recent publications include Exotisme et lettres francophones (Paris : P.U.F., « Ecriture », 2003) ; Littératures francophones et théorie postcoloniale (Paris : P.U.F., « Quadrige », 2nd edition, 2006); Littératures européennes et mythologies lointaines (Lille : UL3, 2006, which he coedited with V. Gély, J. Prungnaud and E. Stead) ; Interfaces caribéennes/Caribbean Interfaces (Amsterdam : Rodopi, 2007, which he coedited with L.D'Hulst).

David Murphy is Professor of French and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Stirling, UK. He has published widely on African — particularly Senegalese — culture, and on the relationship between Francophone and Postcolonial Studies. He is the author of Sembene: Imagining Alternatives in Film and Fiction (Oxford: James Currey, 2000), and (with Patrick Williams) Postcolonial African Cinema: Ten Directors (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007). He is also co-editor of Francophone Postcolonial Studies (London: Arnold, 2003) and Postcolonial Thought in the Francophone World (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, forthcoming in 2009).

Dominic Thomas chairs the Departments of French and Francophone Studies and Italian at the University of California Los Angeles. He is the author of Nation-Building, Propaganda and Literature in Francophone Africa (2002) and Black France: Colonialism, Immigration, and Transnationalism (2007).

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