Guest of honor: Michaël Ferrier

Invited speakers: Fabien Arribert-Narce (University of Edinburgh), Charles Forsdick (University of Liverpool), Robert Harvey (Stony Brook University), Akane Kawakami (Birkbeck, University of London)

March 21-22, 2022

Fabien Arribert-Narce is Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature at the University of Edinburgh. His current research focuses on the reception of Japanese culture by Francophone writers and film-makers since 1970. He is the author of Photobiographies : pour une écriture de notation de la vie (Roland Barthes, Denis Roche, Annie Ernaux) (Honoré Champion, 2014), and he has also edited several multi-author volumes. These include Michaël Ferrier, un écrivain du corail (Honoré Champion, 2021), the first book-length critical study of this author, based on the proceedings of an international conference held in Edinburgh in September 2017 ( Dr Arribert-Narce conducted an extensive interview with Michaël Ferrier spanning all his publications to date, to be published in Revue des Sciences Humaines in March 2022 (vol. 345, ‘Le quotidien au Japon et en Occident’,

Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool and the Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Theme Fellow for ‘Translating Cultures’. His research focuses principally on exoticism, travel literature, postcolonial literature in French, and French colonial history. His most recent publications include two co-edited collections for Routledge: Travel Writing: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies (2012) and Ethics on the Move: Travel Writing and Cross-Cultural Encounter (2013). He is currently completing a study of representations of Toussaint Louverture. Other forthcoming projects include a co-edited collection of essays on C.L.R. James's Black Jacobins for Duke University Press.




Robert Harvey is Distinguished Professor at Stony Brook University. His teaching and research explore the interpenetrations of literary and philosophical discourse, the relations between art and philosophy, and how both of these dynamics may inform ethics. His most recent books are Sharing Common Ground: A Space for Ethics (Bloomsbury, 2017), with French and Japanese translations forthcoming in 2021, and Witnessness: Beckett, Levi, Dante and the Foundations of Ethics (Continuum, 2010), which appeared in French as Témoignabilité (MetisPresses, 2015). From 2001 until 2007, Harvey was a Program Director at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris. Harvey is currently writing a book on “semantic perversion” and conducting research for another on hopelessness as the basis of hope. His co-edition, with Kiff Bamford, and translation of Jean-François Lyotard’s Readings in Infancy is forthcoming from Bloomsbury in 2021.



Akane Kawakami is Professor of French at Birkbeck, University of London. She grew up in Kenya, Japan and Italy, then went to Oxford where she took a BA in Philosophy and Modern Languages, an MPhil in French and English and a DPhil in French. She taught at the Universities of Cambridge and Warwick before moving to London. Akane teaches and researches in the field of twentieth–century and contemporary French and Francophone literature. She is interested in travel narratives and exoticism, photography, contemporary fiction, and transcultural writing. Her publications include A Self-Conscious Art: Patrick Modiano’s Postmodern Fictions (Liverpool University Press, 2000), Travellers’ Visions: French Encounters with Japan, 1887-2004 (Liverpool University Press, 2005), Photobiography: Photographic Self-Writing in Proust, Guibert, Ernaux and Macé (Legenda, 2013) and Patrick Modiano (Liverpool University Press, 2015). She is currently working on a monograph on the works of Michaël Ferrier.