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The talk presents ongoing research in the Department of English at King's on literary and cultural practices in archipelagic spaces of the Western Indian Ocean and through archipelagic structures. We will begin by focusing on the archipelago as a model for an anti-essentialist conception of culture and identity and discuss the possibilities of an archipelagic reading method for literary production and, more broadly, what is implied in an archipelagic approach to history, cultural memory and creative economy in the Indian Ocean.

Moving to a discussion of our individual research projects, the speaker will talk about her investigation of inter-island cultural initiatives connecting the Seychelles, Comoros, and Mascarenes in the Southwestern Indian Ocean and manifested within Creole festivals, book festivals, and literary prizes, seen as key for understanding the resilience and needs of minoritised postcolonial cultures. Luca will report some research findings in periodicals and other literary publications from the 1940s-1960s, looking at Francophone as an instrument of archipelagic engagement between India and Mauritius in the early decolonial period.


Rosa Beunel-Fogarty

Rosa Beunel-Fogarty is lecturer in postcolonial and comparative literature at King’s College London and doctor in English and Francophone postcolonial literature and theory. She specialises in Indian Ocean island literature and researches on the culture of creolised societies.


Luca Raimondi

Luca Raimondi is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow at King’s College London and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His research interests and areas of publication include South Asian fiction, literary and cultural geographies of the Indian Ocean, and Afro-Asian print cultures of the early decolonisation period. He is now working on the research project IATIO - India and the Indian Ocean in the Early Decolonial Period: Archipelagic Imaginaries, 1950s-1970s.


Ananya Jahanara Kabir

Ananya Jahanara Kabir is Professor of English Literature at King’s College London. She researches the intersection of the written text with other forms of cultural expression within acts of collective memorialization and forgetting. She is currently writing ‘Alegropolitics: Connecting on the Afromodern Dance Floor.’ Her new research projects explore further the concepts of transoceanic creolization through cultural production across the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds. She loves the challenge of working across languages and genres. The role of pleasure in inflecting the politics of cultural production remains a long-standing interest through various specialisations she has undertaken, from the medieval to the postcolonial periods.

At this event

Ananya Jahanara Kabir

Professor of English Literature

Luca Raimondi

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Research Fellow