Claire Gallien

Edward W. Said Fellow

The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities

Dr Claire Gallien lectures at the English Department of the University Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 (UPVM3) and is member of the CNRS (IRCL, UMR 5186). She works on 17th-18th cent. orientalism, as well as contemporary Arab literatures in English and in translation. Her first book, L’Orient anglais (Oxford, 2011), deals with the interactions between popular and scholarly cultures of the East in 18th cent. England.

Her current book project focuses on 17th-18th cent. orientalist translations and reconfigurations of Eastern literary traditions in Europe and the ideological discourses underpinning such projects. She uses these reelaborations as points of entry into contemporary fiction in English and in translation and scrutinises the ways in which writers grapple with Orientalism and tackle assumptions regarding the nation, language, and literature itself.

She is in fact interested in bringing to light the works of writers and artists who are engaged in creating alternative modes of being in and imagining the world. This operation may take various forms, such as elaborating or recovering linguistic and literary geographies that do not coincide with dominant modes of representation (the borders of the nation-state, for instance), highlighting the violence of dominant norms and epistemologies, or suggesting ways of pluralising and minorizing languages, literatures, and identities.

Her research interests cover issues related to Orientalism and the politics of literary canon formation, contemporary Arab literature in English/Arabic, postcolonial, decolonial, comparative and world literatures and theories, as well as translation studies. In France, she co-organises two seminars on decolonial thinking and is also committed to the development of decolonial Islamic studies.