Jonathan Highfield delivered a paper at the colloquium “La notion de décentrement (The concept of decenterment).” There were scholars from France and Tunisia, discussing a range of topics, many of which touched on the events of January, 14, 2011, and the continuing conversations about the future of Tunisia after democratic elections. He was the only scholar invited from the United States to the event, and his paper, “Food and Foodways in African Literature” looked at Frantz Fanon’s assertion in The Wretched of the Earth that “The relations of man with matter, with the world outside, and with history are in the colonial period simply relations with food,” and explored its continued applicability in the neocolonial period in Africa.
The colloquium was the backdrop for the first meeting of the editorial board for the journal Décentrement, which will publish its first issue later this year. Décentrement will be a trilingual journal (Arabic, French, and English), focusing on exploring ideas of multiple perspectives, published by the Bibliothéque de la Facultè des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de Sousse, Tunisia. He is a member of the editorial board.
On the same trip, he delivered two lectures to an assembly of the graduate students and faculty from the Faculty of Letters and Humanities, University of Sousse, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Lecture 1 – Imagined Topographies: From Resource to Homeland in the Postcolonial State
Lecture 2 – Obscured by history: Language, culture, and conflict in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun