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Decolonising the IntellectualPolitics, Culture, and Humanism at the End of the French Empire$

Jane Hiddleston

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380321

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380321.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.250) Conclusion
Source:
Decolonising the Intellectual
Author(s):

Jane Hiddleston

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781380321.003.0008

Abstract and Keywords

Francophone intellectuals writing at the time of decolonisation testify to the anxieties, for the colonised, of the moment of political transition, as well as to the demands that the epoch makes of them as potential spokesmen, mediators, mobilisers, and critics. In response to these anxieties, Senghor, Césaire, Fanon, Amrouche, Feraoun, and Kateb all denounce the atrocious dehumanising practices of colonialism before setting about the more intellectually complex project of reimagining a shared humanity, and proposing alternative forms of human relationality, in tune with the process of political liberation. It is perhaps significant, moreover, that this fascination with our shared humanity and its association with freedom has continued long after the period of decolonisation, and despite repeated denunications of humanism, still preoccupies some of the major theoretical writers and critics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The conclusion reviews some more recent redeployments of humanism, and shows how these were anticipated in the thinkers discussed in the main body of the book.

Keywords:   Humanism, reinvention, mobility, animal, Edward Said

Francophone intellectuals writing at the time of decolonisation testify to the anxieties, for the colonised, of the moment of political transition, as well as to the demands that it makes of them as potential spokesmen, mediators, mobilisers, and critics. In response to these anxieties, Senghor, Césaire, Fanon, Amrouche, Feraoun, and Kateb all denounce the atrocious dehumanising practices of colonialism before setting about the more intellectually complex project of reimagining a shared humanity, and proposing alternative forms of human relationality, in tune with the process of political liberation. It is perhaps significant, moreover, that this fascination with our shared humanity and its association with freedom has continued long after the period of decolonisation, and despite repeated denunciations of humanism, still preoccupies some of the major theoretical writers and critics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. If outmoded, universalising, and Eurocentric humanisms were dismissed by a generation of poststructuralists, the resonance of some concept of shared humanity has remained a provocative subject of debate, even within the work of those critics who unravel the metaphysics of Western humanism, such as Foucault, Derrida, Nancy, and their disciples. Indeed, Derrida's own reading of Heidegger's critique of humanist metaphysics in ‘Les Fins de l'homme’ stresses the inseparability of Heidegger's thinking from a lingering notion of human essence.1 In recent years, moreover, highly ‘textualist’ deconstructive thinkers such as Homi Bhabha and Judith Butler have returned to the human as the starting-point for reconsiderations of minority rights, or of grievable life respectively, as if, despite the dangers of abstraction and universalism, continued reflection on what we share as human beings remains an invaluable basis for ethics. Even more, the very limits and status of the human in the world have come under scrutiny as critics are reassessing the relation between (p.251) the human and the posthuman, or the human and the animal, as well as the significance of the human as ‘geological agent’ at a time when ecological changes demand a rethinking of the very foundations of humanist history.2

The current resurgence of interest in the human, and recent attempts to rethink how humanity names a universal permanently under (re) construction, were to some extent anticipated by the extraordinary dynamism with which the term was injected around decolonisation and after. It was, as we have seen, at this time that the associations between humanism and ethnocentric, Western modes of thinking were disentangled, and the colonised, subjugated man asserted an alternative, more consistently liberatory form of human self-creation. Far from offering a newly settled humanism, however, these thinkers who reclaimed ‘humanity’ from the clutches of colonial discourse offered in each case a provisional, experimental vision of human multiplicity and creativity that challenged the universalism that the term necessarily implies. This spirit of ongoing questioning, moreover, continues to spark contemporary debates about the status of the human. It is revealing, for example, that Judith Butler's return to the human in Undoing Gender opens with a reference to Fanon's sardonic affirmation ‘the black is not a man’. Butler continues by asking ‘who writes when Fanon writes?’, and comments in response, ‘that we can ask “who” means that the human has exceeded its categorical definition, and that he is in and through the utterance opening up the category to a different future’.3 A return to Fanon demonstrates for Butler the ways in which the human is politically constructed and negotiated, bound up in ‘power differentials’ that demand to be challenged in each context in which they operate. Moreover, she goes on to insist on a concept of the human that is based on a concern, rather like that of Feraoun, for our shared vulnerability and the need for a form of political organisation that best preserves ‘precarious life’ across the world.4 For Butler, we are necessarily both vulnerable to one another, to violence from the other, and dependent on mutual support; we must, then, continue to try to understand our shared humanity so as to live out our relationships with each other in workable ways. We require a concept of the human when we try to think through questions of freedom, justice, and rights, and yet each time we invoke that category we are compelled to redefine it again, to ask what it means to particular oppressed groups, just as the intellectuals explored in the current work reassess what humanity means for the colonised. Anticipating Butler, each of these thinkers returns to the human in order (p.252) to eradicate the sameness it has been conceived to signify, and to imagine more ethical forms of sharing without assimilation.

This opening out of the notion of the human and its implication of an ethical response to difference then feeds into new models of relational subjectivity that challenge existing notions of self and other, individual and community, sameness and difference. If, as I noted in Chapter Three, Fanon asked ‘pourquoi tout simplement ne pas essayer de toucher l'autre, de sentir l'autre, de me révéler l'autre?’,5 this insistence on human connectivity might be seen to herald the dynamic versions of human singular plurality found in the work of much more recent thinkers such as Jean-Luc Nancy. For Nancy, writing in 1996, the lingering attachment to an authentic subjectivity that might be found intermittently in Fanon's writing, despite the mobility of the texts' ‘je’, is replaced by a conception of being as singular plural: a unique composition, created out of and shaped by relations with humanity and with the rest of the world. And despite the abstraction of his philosophical vocabulary, Nancy's singular plurality is, like Fanon's man, embodied, a physical engagement in the world: ‘je ne serais pas non plus “homme” si je n'avais “en moi” cette extériorité comme la quasi-minéralité de l'os –c'est-à-dire, si je n’étais pas un «corps», un espacement de tous les corps et de «moi» en «moi»‘.6 Glissant's ‘poétique de la Relation’, first given form in 1990, moreover, may remain above all an aesthetic theory, but it too rests on a conception of human subjectivity, like that of Césaire, as endlessly reconstructed through contact with others. This Relation sets being in motion, and constructs humanity as a process of becoming: ‘l'être du monde réalise l'être: dans l'étant’.7 Glissant's starting-point is the experience of rupture and cultural mixing that has characterised Antillean history since the slave trade and under colonialism, yet his model for a relational humanity also heralds a global inter-connectedness beyond the Caribbean context, a connectedness that is reinforced by increased transnational communication but that actively performs a diasporic subjectivity that has on some level always been constitutive of the human community. This dynamism is what colonial discourses obscure, however, and its reclaiming is precisely what lies at the centre of francophone intellectual reworkings of colonised subjectivity.

Contemporary and related conceptions of the human as relational, dynamic and dispersed, such as Rosi Braidotti's ‘nomadic subjectivity’, explored in her Transpositions of 2006, similarly explore how recent migration flows, advances in communication and technology perform and develop a diasporic structure that on some level must be a defining feature (p.253) of our shared humanity. This non-unitary subjectivity is, for Braidotti, ‘a nomadic, dispersed, fragmented vision, which is nonetheless functional, coherent, and accountable, because it is embedded and embodied’.8 If Braidotti works against the metaphysics of European humanism, her ‘nomadic ethics’ relies on a notion of a scattered, relational humanity responsible to itself. This dispersed but embodied subjectivity is, for Braidotti, one shaped by the changes in the global community witnessed over recent years, but again, even her nomadism retains something of the dynamic anti-colonial human subject reinvented at the moment of empire's demise. Kateb's ‘mouvement des peuples’ is not enhanced by the forms of technology considered in Braidotti's account, but the former's insistence on the creation of humanity through historical change implies a comparable insistence on movement. Nedjma and the four male protagonists' own wanderings through Algeria, and out of the dispersal of the tribe in the search for a new future, also evokes a nomadism at the heart of the human community as it continually both returns and renews itself.

This opening out of the human in late twentieth-century and early twenty-first century philosophy has also triggered a proliferation of theoretical reflection on the very limits of the human and its relationship with the non-human. Elisabeth de Fontenay's mammoth Le Silence des bêtes of 1998 works through the philosophical questioning of this relation from Plato and Aristotle through to Derrida and Deleuze, and again links the question of humanism with that of power: is our desire to establish limits between the human and the animal based on a notion of ‘le propre de l'homme’, which is also what has brought about some of the worst human atrocities?9 Derrida's own L'Animal que donc je suis published in 2006 similarly explores the privileging of the human in the work of a narrower range of philosophers, to reveal how the denegation of the animal is related to ‘le propre de l'homme, le rapport à soi d'une humanité d'abord soucieuse et jalouse de son propre’.10 Descartes, Heidegger, Levinas and Lacan all in some way set the human against an animal other who does not speak, and who offers no response, and this model again emphasises human power over the non-human other and over the natural world. Derrida's argument finishes by underlining the multiplicity of animal forms, as well as the incorporation of the human within the animal, and therefore the impossibility of defining the human against a single, distinct animal other. More broadly, such discussions of the human and the animal, while not explicitly related to the question of imperialism and its aftermath that remains at the centre of the present study, serve to uncover some of the assumptions that have underpinned (p.254) humanist reflection and that have served to perpetuate its perhaps at times contradictory assocation with exclusionary modes of thinking. Consideration of the status of the animal helps us to think again about why philosophers have insisted on human centrality, and why, when seeking to define the human, we continue to classify, to differentiate, and thus to uphold the conceptual systems that humanism might initially have set out to undermine.

Giorgio Agamben goes so far as to suggest that the horror of the extermination camps of the Second World War was on some level the result of a search for this sort of distinction: ‘an extreme and monstrous attempt to decide between the human and the inhuman, which has ended up dragging the very possibility of the distinction to its ruin’.11 As Dominick Lacapra in turn argues, however, Agamben himself perhaps continues to construe the animal as ‘an abstracted philosophical topos’, and his thought still hovers around a divide that masks multiplicity within both the human and the animal.12 Nevertheless, this reflection on how the human is related to the animal is another signal of the need for a reinvention of the term in defiance of exclusionary modes of thought. Graham Huggan and Helen Tiffin have produced a compelling introduction to the interweaving of postcolonialism with conceptions of the human and the animal in their recent Postcolonial Ecocriticism, in which they argue that racist and colonial thought relies simultaneously on an assumption of human power over non-humans:

In assuming a natural prioritisation of humans and human interests over those of other species on earth, we are both generating and repeating the racist ideologies of imperialism on a planetary scale. In working towards a genuinely post-imperial, environmentally based conception of community, then, a re-imagining and reconfiguration of the human place in nature necessitates an interrogation of the category of the human itself and of the ways in which the construction of ourselves against nature –with the hierarchisation of life forms that construction implies –has been and remains complicit in colonialist and racist exploitation from the time of imperial conquest to the present day.13

Similarly, in his exploration of the ways in which philosophers and literary writers explore the relation between the human and the animal in Animal Rites, Cary Wolfe argues at the outset that there is necessarily a correlation between animal rights abuse and human rights abuse. Concomitantly, the critique of violence between humans requires at the same time a rejection of the ‘speciesism’ that condones the maltreatment of non-human others.14

(p.255) Although the implications of these arguments no doubt far transcend the confines of the present study, on some level this reflection on the relation between totalitarianism and a belief in a rigid distinction between humans and animals can be traced back to thinkers such as Césaire. As we have seen, slave-owners in the Caribbean implied precisely that ‘les pulsations de l'humanité s'arrêtent aux portes de la négrerie’; concomitantly, if slaves were not fully human, it was assumed they could be treated as beasts.15 The implications of this comparison are not fully worked through by Césaire, but certainly, the point is that if it is acceptable to treat animals in certain inhumane ways, then colonial discourse can justify its mistreatment of humans by conceiving them as an animal other. For Césaire, moreover, the reappraisal of the borders between the human and the inhuman is not part of a project to assert the superiority of man over the non-human animal, since precisely, humans are frequently in his work compared with or associated with animals, and this association is part of his call for a mode of living within the natural world and not with a desire to master it. The Rebel of Et les chiens se taisaient, for example, is himself linked with the dogs of the title –both the dogs of the slave masters and the dog-headed deity of the Egyptian God Anubis. He at the same time associates the revolt with changes in animal behaviour. Senghor's poetry is even more packed with images of humans as animals, suggesting an acute sense of man's integration into the animal kingdom, and the ‘Prière aux masques’ celebrates the tradition of wearing animal masks as a means of connecting man with the spirits of nature. The poet lauds, for example, the ‘Ancêtre à tête de lion’, as the lion's strength represents that of his father; and the adored ‘femme noire’ of the poem of that title is a ‘gazelle’ whose elegance and athleticism he prizes.16 ‘L'homme et la bête’, which opens the collection ‘Ethiopiques’, firmly anchors man and his origins in the physical universe of the landscape, at times in conflict with the animal, but living nevertheless alongside the ‘bête’ and on the same level with it. In both cases the human world is embedded in, and better understood through, the world of the animal.

Each theoretical reflection on the ‘human’, then, triggers further attention to its limits, to the provisionality of its definition, together with a renewed affirmation of its significance for ethical and political thought. Successive reflections on humanity have, since the revolutionary period of decolonisation, sought to reassess the dangers associated with the desire to define the human while seeking new ways to give the term the malleability needed for it to serve as a ground for justice. The latest (p.256) manifestation of this anxiety surrounding the status and power of the human is neatly outlined by postcolonial historian Dipesh Chakrabarty, and though his concerns clearly also reside beyond the scope of the current study, the move he makes from postcolonial studies to what he sees as a much greater crisis in humanist history is worth remembering for its cautionary note. Chakrabarty argues in 2009 that the current moment is unique in that it marks the realisation that humans are ‘a force of nature in the geological sense’.17 We can, then, no longer assume a distinction between human history and natural history, as climate change reveals man as a ‘geological agent’, himself acting on the natural environment. This is the period of the Anthropocene, where humanity itself is shaping the future of the planet, and we must understand that the conditions of our existence are no longer merely the shape of the societies we create, but our very interaction with other life forms on earth. What is required, then, is not more reflection on human societies but on the human ‘as species, a species dependent on other life forms for its own existence, a part of the general history of life’.18 This also means, most troublingly, that we need to comprehend humanity in a way that far exceeds existing preoccupations with anthropological differences, we need to take responsibility for our geological agency, which connotes ‘a mode of existence in which we –collectively and as a geological force and in ways we cannot experience ourselves –are “indifferent” or “neutral” (I do not mean these as mental or experience states) to questions of intrahuman justice’.19 The implications of this have not yet been taken on board, but Chakrabarty's point is worth noting because it calls once again for reflection on humanity in relation, this time not just with itself, but with the world. It is all the more pressing to strip back our understanding of human power, of human classifications and definitions, and to theorise humanity not as sovereign but as dependent, relative, vulnerable.

A return, then, to the energised process of reinventing the human triggered by the moment of anti-colonial critique may serve as a timely reminder of this fragility even if the requirements of the Anthropocene still exceed our current philosophical abilities. It is telling, in this context, that in arguing that we need to go beyond postcolonial studies, Chakrabarty still writes that he is ‘mimicking Fanon’ in his demand for a stretching out of the concept of the human.20 As we have also seen, some of the thinkers explored here, unlike many of the more ‘textualist’ theorists that postcolonial studies has seen in the interim, overtly conceive man not as the controller of his environment but as bound to live with (p.257) the natural world. Postcolonial literature is often concerned, as Neil Lazarus argues (referring to later works such as Patrick Chamoiseau's Texaco), with land as a site of contestation, and responses to the struggle over possession may also herald alternative ways of living in the world that avoid that impulse to dominate, conquer, and control.21 The desire to return to the land, after the coloniser seized it from the hands of the colonised, is for some of the writers explored here not just a way to reassert a form of mastery, but a project of reintegration in the earth. Sengor and Césaire's imagery of the soil, of the plant world, as well as the animal universe, is a part of a respectful reimmersion, not a call for the repossession of resources but a renewed unity with the land in which they live, as their ancestors did. The closing call of Césaire's Cahier, ‘lie ma noire vibration au nombril même du monde’, demonstrates that the colonised's reclaiming of his humanity takes the form of an attachment to the soil akin to that of the umbilical cord, which brings sustenance and nutrition to the dependant.22 The imagery of the landscape in Amrouche's Cendres also provides a sense of spiritual union, if not always with the Algerian territory then with the cosmos, as he embraces the elements and cedes to their control. And Feraoun's evocations of village life in Kabylia exhibit a profound dependence on the land, as, at the opening of Le Fils du pauvre, the narrator shows how the seasons dictate the practices and behaviour of the characters. The land, then, has a force and power beyond that of the human that must also be respected rather than dominated.

In addition to this attention to the human, however, this book has also been concerned with the status of literature, and it is perhaps the literary form itself that provides francophone intellectuals with the experimental forum required for a reconsideration of humanist ethics. These intellectuals use literature as a space for working through the political tensions of their era and as a site for the reassessment of the significatory potential of the ‘human’, as well as of notions of freedom, equality, and community, as these are wrested from the restrictive clutches of colonial discourse. This reclaiming of the human, however, is not merely an affirmation of cultural diversity but, as I hope to have shown, an intricate reappraisal of how we can conceive what we share while preserving liberty, justice, and complicity with the land. This re-examination of the human through literature has also once again become a preoccupation among writers more recently, notably those who have associated themselves with the littérature-monde movement. Articulating their vision for a new understanding of world literature (p.258) most clearly in Michel Le Bris's and Jean Rouaud's volume Pour une littérature monde of 2007, many major francophone postcolonial writers affirm their belief in literature as a means to explore humanity beyond the borders of nationhood and ethnicity. Rouaud and Le Bris's volume contains repeated references to the human, then, associating the term now not so much with unity as with diversity. Littérature-monde celebrates the enriching intermingling of human cultures, the vast, chaotic network of interactions that affects and defines all human life.

This affirmation of literature as a space for the exploration of human diversity is compelling, and yet the references to the ‘human condition’ scattered across the volume at times seem to lack the nuance of the anti-colonial works of a Césaire, a Fanon, or a Kateb. Le Bris, for example, champions a commitment to ‘l'humaine condition’ in contradistinction to what he perceives as French literature's recent and arid focus on literature itself.23 But the very notion of a ‘condition’ is one that is precisely not present in the work of previous francophone intellectuals, since it implies some kind of comparable experience, a mode of existence common to all that takes no account of differences in historical and geographical context. Other contributors to the volume were not given the space within their essays to elaborate on how the ‘human’ might continue to have meaning, and make passing references to the sorts of mobility found in former works. But the sustained reflection of francophone intellectuals denouncing the power differentials of the term, and actively dissociating ‘humanity’ from its exclusionary implications at the time of decolonisation, is lacking here. Grégoire Polet, for example, helpfully underlines the universal shared experience of humanity in his affirmation that ‘la Terre est ronde, quoi qu'en disent les esprits chagrins et scolastiques. L'humanité est une!’.24 Yet his discussion does not offer an analysis of the continually difficult question of what that unity consists in. Gary Victor's evocation of literature as ‘un lieu où l'humain peut constamment se recréer et se redécouvrir’ resonates with Fanon's conception of reinvention but has none of the subtle working through of colonial discourse, negritude, and national culture undertaken by Fanon to reach such an affirmative conclusion.25

The writers associated with the littérature monde movement also perhaps revealingly do not occupy the role of intellectual in the way that Senghor, Césaire, Fanon, Amrouche, Feraoun, and Kateb did. As I noted in the Introduction, theorists such as Lyotard have commented on the death of the intellectual in the wake of a loss of belief in universal values during the second half of the twentieth century. The literary writers (p.259) contributing to Pour une littérature-monde may want to reclaim some concept of human sharing, but in their celebration of literary diversity in no way do they reflect in detail on how their own role might negotiate between the universal and the particular.26 At the time of decolonisation, however, francophone intellectuals explicitly tackled their role as spokesmen mining notions of universal humanism so as to account more convincingly for the ways in which different cultures, and different subjects, participate in and redefine the human. There remains, at this moment, a commitment to some attempt to ‘speak for’ the oppressed community, though it is also at this moment that such representativity appears, at times devastatingly, as unworkable. These intellectuals, unlike most of the writers of the littérature monde movement, also play an active political role, and their literary writing is conceived both in conjunction with, and at times in conflict with, political activity. This is not to suggest that more recent writers are not politically engaged, but few occupy roles as pivotal as those of Senghor or Césaire, and their literature is also not bound up with the call for immediate revolution. This is of course a sign of a different moment in history, but this different moment is clearly one where literature and politics do not have the same tightly woven, troubled but interdependent relationship with one another.

This interweaving of literature, politics, humanism, and reflection on the intellectual can, however, perhaps be found most palpably, recently, in the work of Edward Said. Like the intellectuals discussed here, Said was passionately committed to a political cause, namely the creation of a Palestinian state and equal rights for Palestinians. He also occupied the role of ‘public intellectual’, interweaving his interests in literature and the arts with politics and public affairs in a way that seems less and less prevalent among intellectuals in the twenty-first century. Yet he also, as I noted in the Introduction, describes the intellectual as an exile, and confesses in works such as Out of Place and Reflections on the Intellectual to a sense of alienation, solitude, and nonbelonging highly reminiscent of the francophone intellectuals in question here. For Said, the intellectual precisely stands outside the group, challenges orthodoxies, probes and shifts the status quo. Alienated and anxious, he is also committed restlessly to critique, not to the creation of new truths, but to continued reassessment: ‘the exilic intellectual does not respond to the logic of the conventional but to the audacity of daring, and to representing change, to moving on, not standing still’.27 This exilic condition is, again, both the result of the intellectual's ability to assess, ask questions, raise objections, but it is inevitably at the same (p.260) time the source of his limitations, his withdrawal from the community with which he seeks to engage.

It is revealing, however, that for Said literature remains a forum where that dynamic movement is played out. But if Kateb associated poetry with revolution, in the sense of a continued movement and reinvention, Said also conceives how that movement takes place not only through writing but through reading. It is through reading that we are compelled to reassess our beliefs, to engage with the unfamiliar, in short, to reinvent the ‘human’. The intellectual's art is precisely this ‘precarious exilic realm’, where one must ‘truly grasp the difficulty of what cannot be grasped and then go forth and try anyway’.28 This is highly reminiscent of the sorts of role that Rancière, Attridge, or perhaps Spivak conceive for literature and its exposition of alterity, of ‘the undecidable’ and ‘the unverifiable’. What this brings to the present discussion, moreover, is perhaps the importance in the intellectual's work of the reading process, of our perplexity in working through the irresolute questions it raises, and the tensions it perhaps never resolves. This is not, again, to argue that the force of intellectual work comes from an identifiable mobilising impact on its readers, but to stress that the restlessness of the works explored here, their combination of the visionary with lamentation of their own shortcomings, calls the reader to continue to think. And if Senghor, Césaire, Fanon, Amrouche, Feraoun and Kateb addressed their contemporary audiences and readership in order to call for political change, they continue to address us now in their demand that we persist in working upon the questions and tensions, around humanity, freedom, and justice, with which they struggled and which they failed, or perhaps refused, to resolve.

Notes:

(1) Jacques Derrida, ‘Les fins de l'homme’, Marges de la philosophie (Paris: Minuit, 1972) pp. 129–164.

(2) For a more thoroughgoing exploration of the resurgence of the ‘human’ in recent postcolonial writing, see Jane Hiddleston (ed.), The Postcolonial Human, Special Issue of the International Journal of Francophone Studies? 15.3&4, 2012.

(3) Judith Butler, Undoing Gender (London and New York: Routledge, 2004) p. 13.

(4) Judith Butler, Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence?(London: Verso, 2004); Undoing Gender (London: Routledge, 2004).

(5) Frantz Fanon, Peau noire, masques blancs, p. 188.

(6) Jean-Luc Nancy, Etre singulier pluriel (Paris: Galilée, 1996) p. 37.

(7) Edouard Glissant, Poétique de la relation (Paris: Gallimard, 1990) p. 201.

(8) Rosi Braidotti, Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics (Cambridge: Polity, 2006) p. 4.

(9) Elisabeth de Fontenay, Le Silence des bêtes: la philosophie à l'épreuve de l'animalité (Paris: Fayard, 1998).

(10) Jacques Derrida, L'Animal que donc je suis (Paris: Galilée, 2006) p. 32.

(11) Giorgio Agamben, The Open: Man and Animal trans. Kevin Attell (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004) p. 22.

(12) Dominick Lacapra, History and its Limits: Human, Animal, Violence (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009).

(13) Graham Huggan and Helen Tiffin, Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Literature, Animals, Environment (London: Routledge, 2010) p. 6.

(14) Cary Wolfe, Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003).

(15) Aimé Césaire, Cahier d'un retour au pays natal, p. 104.

(16) Léopold Sédar Senghor, Poésies, p. 25, p. 19.

(17) Dipesh Chakrabarty, ‘The Climate of History: Four Theses’, Critical Inquiry 35 (2009): 197–222.

(18) Ibid., p. 219.

(19) Dipesh Chakrabarty, ‘Postcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change’, New Literary History 43 (2012): 1–18 (p. 14). 20 Ibid., p. 14.

(20) Ibid., p. 14.

(21) Neil Lazarus, The Postcolonial Unconscious (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011) pp. 58–59.

(22) Aimé Césaire, Cahier d'un retour au pays natal, p. 134.

(23) Le Bris, Michel and Michel Le Bris, ‘Pour une littérature-monde en français’, in Michel Le Bris and Jean Rouaud (eds), Pour une littérature-monde (Paris: Gallimard, 2007): 23–53 (p. 26, p. 41). For more on the place of the human in this volume, see my ‘Littérature-monde and Old/New Humanism’, in Alec Hargreaves, Charles Forsdick, David Murphy (eds), Transnational French Studies: Postcolonialism and Littérature-monde (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2010) pp. 178–191.

(24) Grégoire Polet, ‘L'atlas du monde’, in Michel Le Bris and Jean Rouaud (eds), Pour une littérature-monde, 125–134 (p. 125).

(25) Gary Victor, ‘Littérature-monde ou liberté d'être’, in Michel Le Bris and Jean Rouaud (eds), Pour une littérature-monde, 315–320 (p. 315).

(26) Jean-François Lyotard, Tombeau de l'intellectuel (Paris: Galilée, 1984).

(27) Edward Said, Reflections on the Intellectual (London: Vintage, 1994) p. 47.

(28) Edward Said, Humanism and Democratic Criticism (London: Palgrave, 2004) p. 144.