Marking the start of the Black History Month, this event is part of the celebration of the Frederick Douglass bicentennial (2017-2018). We will read excerpts from the writings of this famous fugitive slave and later major abolitionist figure in the United States, together with short segments from the work of other renowned abolitionists such as Sojourner Truth and William Wells Brown. The texts will be read by professional actors in French and English, and commented upon by Marie-Jeanne Rossignol and Michaël Roy. Booklets including the excerpts will be distributed to the audience.
A former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Sèvres-Ulm), Marie-Jeanne Rossignol has always taught at University Paris Diderot, first as an associate professor, and since 1998, as a Professor. She specializes in the history of the early American Republic in an Atlantic perspective and was a co-founder of the European Early American Studies Association (EEASA) in the 2000s. She was EEASA president between 2010 and 2012, and is now an honorary president. She is also vice-president of the French society for the study of the anglophone world in the 17th and 18th centuries (SEAA1718). For the past 10 years her work has focused on the history of early North American slavery. Marie-Jeanne Rossignol also edits a series on North American slave narratives (and other, non-North American slave documents) together with her collegue Prof. Claire Parfait. She is a member of CIRESC (International Center for Research on Slavery, based in Paris and headed by Myriam Cottias).
Michaël Roy is an Associate Professor of English at Université Paris Nanterre. His research concerns the publication, circulation and reception of antebellum slave narratives. He is the author of Textes fugitifs. Le récit d’esclave au prisme de l’histoire du livre (ENS Éditions, 2017) et De l’antiesclavagisme à l’abolition de l’esclavage. États-Unis, 1776-1865 (Atlande, 2018).
Teddy Chawa is a former student of the classe libre at Cours Florent and a student at the Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique (CNSAD).
Fatima Cadet-Diaby is a playwright, director, and producer by way of New York City. She is a recent graduate from Mount Holyoke College where she studied Theatre with a focus on Musical Theatre. These past few years she has worked with Manhattan Theatre Club, Ars Nova Entertainment, The Musical Theatre Factory, Repertorio Español, and the New York Musical Theatre Festival. She is currently studying Film Studies at Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée. Fatima produced a 10 Minute Play Festival at the FEU this winter.