Professor Cécile Bishop to Join Oriel as New Fellow in Francophone Post-Colonial Literatures and Cultures

  • Cecile Bishop, who has long dark hair and wears glasses, standing on a bridge
21 April, 2021

We are delighted to announce that Professor Cécile Bishop, currently Assistant Professor of French Literature, Thought and Culture at NYU, will join Oriel in the new academic year to take up the Fellowship in Francophone Post-Colonial Literatures and Cultures.

Professor Bishop will become a member of the College’s Governing Body, and will join Oriel’s Modern Languages teaching team.

Professor Bishop’s research focuses on postcolonial francophone literatures and visual culture, with a particular emphasis on the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and the representation of race in French culture.

Her first book, Postcolonial Criticism and Representations of African Dictatorship: The Aesthetics of Tyranny (Legenda, 2014), questioned the politicized rhetoric of much postcolonial criticism. The book argues that privileging political interpretations of literature has paradoxically engendered a new formalism (the study of a text without taking into account any outside influence). Professor Bishop explores the conflicting interests that motivate our encounters with depictions of dictatorship, proposing a concept of aesthetic experience that includes not only an investment in literary or artistic form but also our referential impulses towards extra-textual realities.

Professor Bishop’s current book project, Forms of Blackness, reexamines the question of race in France in both written and visual representations. In this book, she examines the technical, stylistic and material devices, as well as the interpretive practices that encode blackness into a recognizable, visible identity. Proceeding through a combination of interpretations and experiments, Professor Bishop aims to reveal the potential of the aesthetic to produce new reflections and visions.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming Professor Bishop to Oriel later in the year.