Postcolonialism and Migration in French Comics
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"Artists such as Zeina Abirached, Baru and Boudjellal have been impressive in their efforts to decolonize French comics and set the record straight on migration, by telling stories about migrants and postcolonial minority groups from the inside, as it were.", Mark McKinney
analysis of French comics through a postcolonial lens
Postcolonialism and migration are major themes in contemporary French comics and have roots in the Algerian War (1954–62), antiracist struggle, and mass migration to France. This volume studies comics from the end of the formal dismantling of French colonial empire in 1962 up to the present. French cartoonists of ethnic-minority and immigrant heritage are a major focus, including Zeina Abirached (Lebanon), Yvan Alagbé (Benin), Baru (Italy), Enki Bilal (former Yugoslavia), Farid Boudjellal (Algeria and Armenia), José Jover (Spain), Larbi Mechkour (Algeria), and Roland Monpierre (Guadeloupe). The author analyzes comics representing a gamut of perspectives on immigration and postcolonial ethnic minorities, ranging from staunch defense to violent rejection. Individual chapters are dedicated to specific artists, artistic collectives, comics, or themes, including avant-gardism, undocumented migrants in comics, and racism in far-right comics.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).
Listen to an interview with Mark McKinney at New Books Network: https://newbooksnetwork.com/postcolonialism-and-migration-in-french-comics
Format: Monograph - ebook
Size: 230 × 170 mm
Publication: January 14, 2021
Christian Reyns-Chikuma, IMAGE [&] NARRATIVE Vol. 22, No.3 (2021)
Along with McKinney’s previous publications, the present monograph is the fruit of nearly three decades of research. As such, 'Postcolonialism and Migration in French Comics' makes several noteworthy contributions to the field. Among its many positive aspects, this study refers to wellknown and previously un(der)studied works; identifies areas of further inquiry such as the developing role of female artists; provides a well-documented historical context that draws important parallels between French (post)colonial history and the evolution of French comics; and establishes a constructive dialogue between the author’s own research and that of recognized experts and emerging scholars. Not only does McKinney trace the history of postcolonial themes in French comics, but he also provides a summative overview of past and current scholarship, which will undoubtedly serve undergraduates, graduates, and academics in future years.
Jennifer Howell, H-France Review, vol. 21, no. 168, September 2021
Bandes dessinées and graphic novels are essential texts in university French courses, and McKinney’s insightful study is a welcome addition to the critical literature on these works. His book traces the shifting portrayals of migration and transculturation in postcolonial France. [...] This expansive and erudite study of BD shows how the genre creates new spaces for representation and dialogue on postcolonial migration in France.
Patricia Geesey, The French Review, vol. 96 no. 1, 2022, p. 202-202, doi:10.1353/tfr.2022.0182
Dans une analyse nuancée, McKinney démontre comment les artistes « ont redessiné l’histoire et la culture impériale pour représenter la France postcoloniale », et ce « de nombreuses manières, et parfois contradictoires » . Il génère des pistes d’analyse pertinentes, en adaptant des concepts formels à une analyse socio-littéraire autour du postcolonial et de la migration. Sa conclusion invite, par ailleurs, à réfléchir au paradigme du postcolonial, et à la possibilité de l’étendre à de nouvelles formes néocoloniales (continuation de l’exploitation impérialiste, tourisme occidental en Afrique, soutien de régimes autoritaires, migrations climatiques…). [...] Cet ouvrage prouve, néanmoins, l’immensité d’un champ de recherche qui permet de mieux comprendre les représentations d’une société postcoloniale interculturelle, et l’urgence de l’étudier.
Alicia Lambert, French Studies in Southern Africa No. 52 (2022): 194-250