AWEJ. Special Issue on Literature No.2   October, 2014                                  Pp. 36-47

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Crossing the Borders: Comparing Postcolonial Fiction Across Languages and Cultures


Bensalem Dahhan
Center for Open Studies
University of Glasgow, Scotland


Reading literary production from different literary and cultural backgrounds has been enabled by the growth of postcolonial studies. Postcolonial studies and its comparative perspective, however, have focused almost entirely on literary production from the British Empire. This paper aims to address these limitations by engaging with the work carried out by scholars on the links between postcolonial studies and the new comparative literature, and by exploring the possibilities that this engagement offers. This kind of work leads to an active exploration of a dialogue between writers, theorists and scholars working on the British and French empires, so that a truly comparative literature might emerge. The other aim of this paper is to translate this kind of comparative literature into an exploration of the links between postcolonial African fiction of French and English expression.
Keywordscomparative literature; postcolonial studies; Francophone/Anglophone postcolonial fiction, identity.


Dr Bensalem Dahhan has taught Modern Languages and culture for 16 years at the Centre for
Open Studies at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK. He received his MA from Université
Paul Valery, Montpellier, France; and his PhD from the University of Glasgow. He was awarded
the status of Chartered Teacher by the General Teaching Council of Scotland in 2007 for his
contributions to the teaching of modern languages and culture. He is currently engaged in writing
a book on a comparative study of African fiction of English and French expression.