Maika (Chi Nguyen Mai)

Thesis working title: Writing Home? Haiti and Vietnam in Postcolonial Autofiction in French

Supervisor: Professor Mary Gallagher

Introduction/ Thesis: Prior to starting my PhD, I studied French Philology along with Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at Charles University (Prague, CZ). During this time, I also spent a year at Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) whilst carrying out my Bachelor’s. Later, during my MA, I then carried out another year at Trinity College Dublin, and both exchanges were facilitated through the Erasmus+ and ELAN network programs.

My thesis centres on migrant autofiction written in French and the way in which migrant writers engage with the idea of ‘home’ from a displaced position. I explore the narratives of loss, return and recovery written in French by two émigré authors, Dany Laferrière and Anna Moï, who work respectively between Montreal, Paris and the Caribbean and between Paris and Vietnam. The colonial models, ‘French Americas’ and French ‘Indochina’, generate deep tensions that are similar, yet different: global/local, mobility/dwelling, space/time, experience/memory, colony/ metropole… My research interests therefore lie in postcolonial literature, but also in migration studies, memory studies, and area studies (with a particular interest in migratory flows concerning the Caribbean/South-East Asia).