Charles Forsdick

Charles Forsdick was appointed James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool in 2001. Between 2012 and 2020, he was AHRC Theme Leadership Fellow for ‘Translating Cultures’ and directed in this role a portfolio of over 100 projects on translation, interpreting and multilingualism. He has published on travel writing, colonial history, postcolonial literature, comics, penal culture and the afterlives of slavery.

His publications include Victor Segalen and the Aesthetics of Diversity (Oxford University Press, 2000), Travel in Twentieth-Century French and Francophone Cultures (Oxford University Press, 2005), and (with Christian HogsbjergToussaint Louverture: A Black Jacobin in the Age of Revolutions (Pluto, 2017). He has also edited or co-edited a number of volumes, including Travel and Ethics: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2013). 

Since writing a PhD on travel writing and exoticism, my research has been concerned with the ethics and aesthetics of encountering the other. I am interested in the creative practices that emerge from the meeting of linguistic and cultural differences, and have worked in particular on bilingual and multilingual poetics. I have also written about the dynamics of power evident in the contact zones between cultures and focus on the ethical questions to which encounters in these spaces give rise. ]

Seminar Three Provocation:

My contribution will be a provocation on travel writing and ethics, looking at the form as a site in which difference is encountered, domesticated and on occasion maintained.

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