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See detailReview: Anthony Joseph's Kitch and Caryl Phillips's A View of the Empire at Sunset
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

in Wasafiri (2019), 99(Autumn),

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See detailSur les traces d'Hena Maes-Jelinek. Les études postcoloniales : inauguration d'une tradition liégeoise
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege; Belleflamme, Valérie-Anne ULiege

in Genin, Vincent (Ed.) Une Fabrique des Sciences humaines. L'Université de Liège dans la mêlée (1817-2017) (2019)

Cet article s'intéresse à la naissance et le développement du Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Etudes Postcoloniales de l'Université de Liège, fondé en 1968 par Hena Maes-Jelinek (1929-2008). En ... [more ▼]

Cet article s'intéresse à la naissance et le développement du Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Etudes Postcoloniales de l'Université de Liège, fondé en 1968 par Hena Maes-Jelinek (1929-2008). En cette époque utilitariste, où les Sciences humaines sont remises en question et semblent représenter une menace pour un ordre établi qui voudrait que la vision de ses citoyens soit monolithique et réductionniste, il est crucial de rappeler que la « juxtaposition des contraires », dont la littérature postcoloniale, fait naître l’imagination créatrice. Madame Maes-Jelinek, intellectuelle passionnée et académicienne dévouée, l'avait déjà bien compris au début des années 60. [less ▲]

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See detailMusic as a Refuge in Caryl Phillips’s In the Falling Snow (2009), The Lost Child (2015) and as a Policy of Audibility in Foreigners : Three English Lives (2007)
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2018, June 15)

Born in St. Kitts, raised in Leeds and now living in the United States, Caryl Phillips is a novelist, playwright and novelist. Whether on a thematic or formal level, music persists throughout his fiction ... [more ▼]

Born in St. Kitts, raised in Leeds and now living in the United States, Caryl Phillips is a novelist, playwright and novelist. Whether on a thematic or formal level, music persists throughout his fiction. This can be clearly noted in the manner in which Phillips integrates certain musical structures in his writing (riff, call and response etc.) as well as his use of song titles to caption some of his own narratives, for instance his play Strange Fruit named after the eponymous song performed by Billie Holiday. Such an impact of music can be explained by the fact that Phillips states that “[v]isibility in the fields of sport and popular culture, notably music, was how African-Americans first emerged on the national stage in the USA, and [he] thinks it’s clear that musicians such as Soul II Soul […] and many others did a great deal to dramatize the reality of a black British presence” (Revisiting, 126). In connection to Phillips’s claim of the ways in which music helped to illuminate the reality of a black British presence, in this paper, I seek to examine how Phillips uses music to make visible and audible those who have been left out of history books. What best way to achieve such a purpose than by inserting music, the medium which testifies to the creativity of the African Diaspora in the face of dispossession and displacement. “The music and the singing preserved us, and I think that without it we’d have been wiped out” (229), this declaration was made in Foreigners: Three English Lives (2007). Whether or not this is Philips's voice, this particular statement epitomises music as necessary for the survival of Phillipsian characters as well as their identity construction. As the musicologist, Simon Frith, points out, “[m]usic […] gives us a way of being in the world, a way of making sense of it” (114), and this quote perfectly illustrates how Phillipsian characters experience music. My paper will attempt to demonstrate how Frith’s assertion applies to several of these protagonists Keith in In The Falling Snow (2009) and Ben in The Lost Child (2015) as well as to the author who also uses a musical language in his own interviews. [less ▲]

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See detailArticulating Silence in Caryl Phillips's A Distant Shore, The Nature of Blood and Higher Ground
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2018, April 14)

In my presentation, I seek to examine two types of silence in Caryl Phillips’s novels, one on the level of the content in A Distant Shore (2003) and in The Nature of Blood (1997) and a formal one in ... [more ▼]

In my presentation, I seek to examine two types of silence in Caryl Phillips’s novels, one on the level of the content in A Distant Shore (2003) and in The Nature of Blood (1997) and a formal one in Higher Ground (1989). I will show the different uses of silence, which often stands for relational conflicts and more rarely for a muted understanding between people, it is also a means of resistance or a means of expression privileged above verbal language to convey excruciating pain. Phillips thus privileges silence when the unspeakable cannot be spoken, even if readers have access, through the characters’ musings or descriptions of the scene, to whatever is behind silence. Silence is also used on the formal level, for instance through ellipses, in order to force readers to fill in the blank spaces or at least to interpret the text in spite of missing information. I believe that by associating music and silence, Phillips requires from his readers a state of listening, which enables them to hear what his characters have to say and to debunk constructed ideas about silence. [less ▲]

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See detailSpectral Echoes in Caryl Phillips’s The Nature of Blood
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

in Lectures du Monde Anglophone (2018), (4),

In A New World Order (2001) Caryl Phillips claims that “every writer discovers that his or her main struggle is with this one world: form” (293). His struggle with form bears on questions such as how to ... [more ▼]

In A New World Order (2001) Caryl Phillips claims that “every writer discovers that his or her main struggle is with this one world: form” (293). His struggle with form bears on questions such as how to write about unbearably painful lives, how to mirror the trauma undergone by his characters, or how to speak about the unspeakable. Phillips seems to have found a stylistic device enabling him to offer the readers a sense of his characters’ traumatic experience and mirror their emotional state: the musicalization of his prose. Phillips’s use of what I call musical writing is striking in his 1997 novel The Nature of Blood, especially in the sections devoted to Eva. This essay offers an interpretation of Phillips’s musical prose through close readings of Eva’s story and explores how the author’s musical stylization can also reflect the two different ways of approaching traumatic experience suggested by Dominick LaCapra’s: “acting out” and “working through” (Writing 21–2, History 54,104). This piece also shows how through stylistic devices akin to music Phillips resorts to a language which both seeks and defies the reader’s understanding, thereby avoiding any easy identification with Eva. [less ▲]

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See detailHaunting Memories Voiced through Mnemonic Prose in Caryl Phillips’s The Nature of Blood’
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2017, May 23)

My paper seeks to examine how Caryl Phillips’s use of formal devices akin to music enables the story of Eva from The Nature of Blood (1997) to resonate through time and space and how musical prose can ... [more ▼]

My paper seeks to examine how Caryl Phillips’s use of formal devices akin to music enables the story of Eva from The Nature of Blood (1997) to resonate through time and space and how musical prose can mirror her emotional state. Through musical stylistic devices such as sonic patterns (poetic techniques based on reiterations such as alliteration, chiasmus), structural analogies with musical forms (riff, polyphony) and a use of repeated lexical items (which can imitate a musical improvisation), Phillips resorts to a language which both seeks and defies the reader’s understanding. He enables the call of his traumatized character to be seen and heard, notably by resonating in the reader’s psyche, which is struck by the vivid sonority of Eva’s story. The first part of my paper will be devoted to exploring the formal aspect of Caryl Phillips’s prose by addressing the techniques with which he musicalizes his literary text, my own examination of Phillips’s creative prose is informed by Jeppe Stricker’s observation that the “notion of music in novels should somehow be significant, carry meaning, and influence the way we read the novel” (Stricker 243). My main endeavour will therefore demonstrate that the musicalized passages occur when Eva goes through or reflects upon very traumatic experiences. For instance, when Eva arrives at the concentration camp. Phillips’s musical devices in fact enhance the emotional effect of his narratives by creating an acoustic foregrounding which inexorably haunts the readers’ memory, just as it does the characters. [less ▲]

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See detailMusical(ized) Biographies: Jackie Kay’s Trumpet and Caryl Phillips’s Dancing in the Dark
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2017, March 03)

My paper deals with two musical(ized) biographies: Jackie Kay’s Trumpet (1998) and Caryl Phillips’s Dancing in the Dark (2005). These literary works share features, at once thematic, since the protagonist ... [more ▼]

My paper deals with two musical(ized) biographies: Jackie Kay’s Trumpet (1998) and Caryl Phillips’s Dancing in the Dark (2005). These literary works share features, at once thematic, since the protagonist is a musical performer, and formal, as both writers’ prose is drenched with musicality. The two narratives can thus be considered what Emily Petermann (2014) calls “musical novels”, as both display sonic and structural patterns as well as elements of improvisation (the imitation of orality; the use of different narrators and the inclusion of various types of texts such as lyrics, interviews, excerpts from newspapers, and the solo performances through improvised jazzy breaks and the repetition of the same lexical item). In my paper, I will take my cue from Eric Prieto, who writes that interart analogies should not be taken as ends in themselves, and I will try to show the purpose of such intermediality and how it can contribute to the biographical genre. Among other things, I will examine whether these musicalized biographies have, through their unusual forms, particular social and political relevance and how approaching them from this methodological angle can serve as interpretative aid. [less ▲]

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See detailSur les traces de Madame Maes Maes-Jelinek. Les études postcoloniales : inauguration d’une tradition liégeoise.
Belleflamme, Valérie-Anne ULiege; Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2017, February 11)

Pour célébrer le bicentenaire de l’Université de Liège, nous souhaitons mettre en lumière le rayonnement international de l’un des premiers centres de recherche en Europe à s’être consacré aux « ... [more ▼]

Pour célébrer le bicentenaire de l’Université de Liège, nous souhaitons mettre en lumière le rayonnement international de l’un des premiers centres de recherche en Europe à s’être consacré aux « Commonwealth studies », le CEREP (Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Etudes Postcoloniales). Fondé en 1968 par la Professeure Hena Maes-Jalinek sous l’acronyme CEREC (Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Etudes du Commonwealth), le CEREP fut relancé en 2006 et met désormais en exergue la dimension postcoloniale, changeant ainsi son acronyme en CEREP. Nous comptons présenter, par ailleurs, quatre auteurs phares du paysage postcolonial qui se sont vus décerner l’insigne de Docteur honoris causa par l’ULg, à savoir, Salman Rushdie, Wilson Harris, Caryl Phillips et Paul Gilroy, pour lesquels le CEREP a joué un rôle important lors de leur accueil et présentation à l’Ulg. [less ▲]

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See detailCaryl Phillips: La nature humaine
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Article for general public (2017)

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See detail“The River That Does Not Know Its Own Source Will Dry Up”: Caryl Phillips’s Musicalized Fiction
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

in Commonwealth: Essays and Studies (2017), 40(Autumn),

The article seeks to give an overview of Phillips’s musical prose and to gauge its emotional impact on the readers. It concentrates on three novels by Phillips: The Lost Child (2015) where music is ... [more ▼]

The article seeks to give an overview of Phillips’s musical prose and to gauge its emotional impact on the readers. It concentrates on three novels by Phillips: The Lost Child (2015) where music is thematically present, The Nature of Blood (1997) which stylistically approximates music, and Dancing in the Dark (2005) which relies on both forms of relations between music and literature. [less ▲]

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See detailRemembering Beyond Words: Jazz and Musicality in Caryl Phillips’s Crossing the River
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

in Lamar Journal of the Humanities (2017), XLII(Spring), 5-22

The main focus in this article is to show why Caryl Phillips’s Crossing the River can be considered a jazz novel and specifically how its rhythmic quality is achieved. The article also seeks to develop an ... [more ▼]

The main focus in this article is to show why Caryl Phillips’s Crossing the River can be considered a jazz novel and specifically how its rhythmic quality is achieved. The article also seeks to develop an informed understanding of Phillips’s use of music in a way that reflects its significance in the postcolonial context. [less ▲]

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See detailCaryl Phillips's Jazzy Prose: The Nature of Blood
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2016, November 25)

Caryl Phillips's oeuvre has a social and political agenda: to give a voice to those who were forgotten by history and to make their story resonate through time and space. The musicalization of his writing ... [more ▼]

Caryl Phillips's oeuvre has a social and political agenda: to give a voice to those who were forgotten by history and to make their story resonate through time and space. The musicalization of his writing seems to be a way to achieve this ambitious goal. My paper will be devoted to Phillips’s novel The Nature of Blood, in which music is present both thematically (with an explicit reference to Louis Armstrong and scenes of dancing) and formally. I will mostly explore the formal aspect by addressing the techniques with which Phillips musicalizes his literary text. In order to do so, I will rely upon Emily Petermann’s The Musical Novel: Imitation of Musical Structure, Performance, and Reception in Contemporary Fiction [2014]. In this monograph, she defines three different ways of imitating jazz music: sonic effects in prose (alliteration, rhyme, meter), structural patterns (the riff, the Call-and-Response pattern, chorus) and the performance situation (imitating orality, improvisation, use of repeated lexical items). All these features are present in Phillips’s novel. [less ▲]

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See detailMusic(ality) in Phillips’s Fiction
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2016, October 06)

Caryl Phillips is a contemporary Anglo-Caribbean author. Phillips’s radio play on Marvin Gaye entitled “A Long Way From Home”, the television documentary “Darker than Blue” that he made about Curtis ... [more ▼]

Caryl Phillips is a contemporary Anglo-Caribbean author. Phillips’s radio play on Marvin Gaye entitled “A Long Way From Home”, the television documentary “Darker than Blue” that he made about Curtis Mayfield, and his novel Dancing in the Dark, which is entirely devoted to Bert Williams, a famous vaudeville entertainer, are just a few examples testifying to his interest in popular music. Surprisingly, although the musicality of Phillips’s writing has been mentioned in passing (Ledent & Tunca xiv) and the author himself has declared that his only model, if any, was music (Clingman 108), a detailed study of what exactly characterizes this musicality or what purposes it serves has yet to be undertaken. What I would like to do in this presentation is not only to conduct an in-depth examination of this pervasive musicality but, more importantly, to attempt to define what musicality is in the first place. [less ▲]

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See detailCaryl Phillips’s Musicalized Fiction and its Impact on the Reader
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2016, September 11)

In The Musicalization of Fiction: A Study in the Theory and History of Intermediality Werner Wolf, one of the few specialists of the interdisciplinary field of “Word and Music Studies”, differentiates two ... [more ▼]

In The Musicalization of Fiction: A Study in the Theory and History of Intermediality Werner Wolf, one of the few specialists of the interdisciplinary field of “Word and Music Studies”, differentiates two forms of musico-literary intermediality: thematization (on the level of the story wherever music is discussed, described, listened to) and imitation (linguistic means or literary techniques to imitate or evoke music). It on the basis of this distinction that I would like to concentrate on three of Phillips’s novels: The Lost Child (2015) for the thematic aspect, The Nature of Blood (1997) for approximating music, Dancing in the Dark (2005) for both forms of relations between music and literature. [less ▲]

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See detailGarth St Omer, Prisnms
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege; Willie, Malica S.

Article for general public (2016)

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See detailRhythm and Repetition in Caryl Phillips’s Dancing in the Dark
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2016, March 20)

My proposal is to deal with Dancing in the Dark (London: Vintage, 2005), a novel by Caryl Phillips, a contemporary British author of Caribbean descent. This narrative is devoted to the Caribbean American ... [more ▼]

My proposal is to deal with Dancing in the Dark (London: Vintage, 2005), a novel by Caryl Phillips, a contemporary British author of Caribbean descent. This narrative is devoted to the Caribbean American entertainer Bert Williams (1874–1922) who was the first black performer in the Ziegfield Follies and it traces his frustrating life as a black performer who had to blackface. Like most of Phillips’s literary production, Dancing in the Dark is shaped by music, both thematically –there are scenes involving musical performances, lyrics interspersed throughout the novel– and formally through the recurrent and creative use of repetitions and meaningful variations in rhythm, and sonic effects. Indeed, various elements of sound are present through poetic language and forms to emphasize elements of rhythm: repetitive devices such as rhymes, meters and alliterations. My contention is that these rhythmic devices partake in the emotional impact of Phillips’s writing; sonic elements emphasize the musical properties of language, strike the reader and prevent them from forgetting the traumatic experience of Bert. Through repetition, they transfer the character’s traumatic experience into the writing and create a sense of sympathy with the reader which privileges immediate empathy. If Bert Williams has been largely forgotten until recently, I believe that Phillips’s rhythmic prose will enable Bert’s story to resonate in the reader’s mind long after closing the book. [less ▲]

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See detailSarah Quigley: La symphonie de Leningrad
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Article for general public (2016)

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See detailSuhayl Saadi: Psychoraag
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Article for general public (2016)

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See detailMusic and Musicality in Caryl Phillips’s Crossing the River
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2015, November 01)

This paper deals with Caryl Phillips, a contemporary British author of Caribbean descent, whose work, both fiction and non-fiction, testifies to his interest in music, both thematically and formally ... [more ▼]

This paper deals with Caryl Phillips, a contemporary British author of Caribbean descent, whose work, both fiction and non-fiction, testifies to his interest in music, both thematically and formally: countless references to music can be found in the titles of his books, in scenes involving musical performances, in the use in the narrative of musical terminology, but also in intriguing structural analogies with musical forms. My proposal is to analyse the influence of music in Phillips’s novel Crossing the River (1993; London: Vintage), which has been described as his most jazzy text. Very much like jazz -- which is for the Barbadian poet Edward Kamau Brathwaite “a cry from the heart of the hurt man”-- Phillips’ writing gives a voice to the victims of history, to shattered individuals in pain whose tragic fate is viewed at once as personal and collective. The novel not only illustrates the thematic overlaps between his narrative and the issues addressed in the lyrics of the African American musical tradition, such as discrimination and family disruption, but also exemplifies the author’s formal musical influence through the recurrent and creative use of meaningful variations in rhythm and of repetitions, which are again focal constituents of jazz. Throughout the novel, especially in the sections framing the narrative, the continual modulation of purposeful words such as “listen”, the variation of rhythm through punctuation and stressed/unstressed syllables, the reiterated elements, create a sonic pattern that goes over and over in the readers’ mind. My contention is that Phillips’ musical language crucially contributes to the emotional impact of his lyrical prose, which generates in the readers mixed feelings of sympathy and disorientation and prevents them from forgetting the characters’ stories which resonate long after closing the book. [less ▲]

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See detailDiasporic Experience and Music in Caryl Phillips’s Crossing the River
Mascoli, Giulia ULiege

Conference (2015, September 07)

This paper deals with Caryl Phillips who has incessantly represented diasporic experience in his work where he evokes complex identities at the crossroads between Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. My ... [more ▼]

This paper deals with Caryl Phillips who has incessantly represented diasporic experience in his work where he evokes complex identities at the crossroads between Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. My proposal is to concentrate on Phillips’s novel Crossing the River (1993) which extensively explores the theme of the African diaspora and which, interestingly, has also been described as his most jazzy text. This narrative not only addresses diasporic themes, such as uprootings and lost origins, but very much like jazz -- which is for Brathwaite “a cry from the heart of the hurt man” (277) – it gives a voice to the victims of history, to shattered individuals in pain whose tragic fate is viewed at once as personal and collective. Benítez-Rojo draws attention to the importance of rhythm in this text, but he only provides a limited analysis with no specific examples of how this significant feature of the work is achieved or the purposes it serves. In this paper I will try to demonstrate that Phillips’s thematic and formal use of music, including the references to classic themes of the African American musical tradition or the recurrent and creative use of repetitions, has a performative role and reenacts the duty of remembering inherent in the diasporic experience. [less ▲]

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