Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine

Newly published special issue of Yale French Studies (Number 128)

Edited by Kaiama L. Glover and Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken


Description of issue:

This issue considers the oeuvre of Haitian writer Marie Vieux-Chauvet (1916–1973) as a prism through which to examine individual and collective subject formation in the postcolonial French-writing Caribbean, the wider Afro-Americas, and beyond. While both Vieux-Chauvet and her corpus are situated in the violent space of mid-twentieth century Haiti, her work articulates the obstacles to claiming legitimized human existence on a global scale. The contributors to this interdisciplinary volume examine Vieux-Chauvet’s positioning within the Haitian public sphere, as well as her broader significance to understanding gendered and racialized postcolonial subjectivities in the twenty-first century.

Editor bios:

Kaiama L. Glover is associate professor at Barnard College and the author of Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon.

Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken is assistant professor at the City College of New York and the author of Spirit Possession in French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought: An Intellectual History.


Table of Contents

Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine

Editor’s Preface
Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken and Kaiama L. Glover – “Marie Chauvet Untethered”

Interrogating the Literary Institution

Thomas C. Spear – “Marie Chauvet: The Fortress Still Stands”
Régine Isabelle Joseph – “The Letters of Marie Chauvet and Simone de Beauvoir: A Critical Introduction”

Dystopian Visions: Social (In)justice and the (In)human Spirit

Martin Munro – “Marie Chauvet the Prophet: Writing the Haitian Apocalypse”
Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken – “‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’: Between Narratology and Philosophy in Marie Chauvet’s Les Rapaces”
Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert – “‘All Misfortune Comes from the Cut Trees:’ Marie Chauvet’s Environmental Imagination”
Colin Dayan – “The Dead Meat of Fiction, or, Writing in a Belittered World”

Writing Intimate Spaces: Unhomely Incursions on the Postcolonial Pscyhe

Kaiama L. Glover – “A Woman’s Place is in…The Unhomely As Social Critique in Marie Chauvet’s Fille d’Haïti”
Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley – “Theorizing Black Queer Femininity through Chauvet’s La Danse sur le volcan”
Andrew Asibong – “The Divided Crypt: Marie Vieux-Chauvet, Marie NDiaye and the Hybridization of Haunting”