Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


French Studies

Document Type



Édouard Glissant (1928-2011) is a world famous poet and novelist from French Island Martinique who, following the footsteps of Aimé Césaire, tried to heal the traumatic disruption and resolve the identity crisis of Creole people after the abominations of slavery and colonization by poetic sublimation and engaged thoughts. How is Glissant a philosopher? How does he articu-late poetry and philosophy together? What does he understand by “Relation”, why is it central in his thought and how does the articulation of all his concepts around it make a philosophical en-semble? How original and cohesive is this ensemble? Also, as we know that many of his concepts come from Deleuze and Guattari, and we will notice that most of his other concepts have been abundantly used by contemporary thinkers (like Heidegger, Levinas, Nancy, Morin…), what is the specificity of their articulation? We will see how Glissant has a very specific way of putting things together because of this Caribbean and Creole culture and that he has the ambition of recreating a new philosophy and a new History that will be more considerate with the legacy of minorities, especially the Cre-ole people. Explicitly relating his philosophy to his life in a very poetic way, he believes the ex-ample of the Antilles constitutes a perfect model for the world we live in and as such its quest of identity can be extended as a model for mankind. He therefore ambitions to move the pre-Socratic debate from the archipelago of Greece to the archipelago of Antilles based on different answers, especially recusing Plato and his rejection of poetry as a way to knowledge. From this new foundation, he ambitions on creating a new History and hopes to renew the arts and politics. However, in what does his prevention against totalitarian regimes and system of thoughts suc-cessful? How can his thought of the “Whole World” (“Tout-Monde”) be exempted from it? What are his relationships with thinkers considered totalitarian like Plato and Hegel?



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Committee Chair

François Raffoul