Gustaf Marcus

France (Un)Seen by the Writers: Glocalization and Re-Regionalization in the Contemporary French Novel (2005–2025)

This project explores the representations of regionalism and of peripheral, often rural spaces in contemporary French literature. Novelists such as Marie Darrieussecq, Michel Houellebecq, and Jean Rolin, along with several authors of popular fiction, regularly return to the historic regions of the country. These “re-regionalization novels” are also part of a surge of regionalism in the West, which includes such disparate trends as rural gentrification, urban-rural polarization (as demonstrated by the Yellow Vests protests), and increasing regional governance.

Why is this happening now? And how can literature make sense of the paradoxical resurgence of regional identities in a globalized world? Breaking with the common descriptions of modernity as a force that moves toward planetary communities and sensibilities, the hypothesis is that smaller geographical units take on new meanings and become more important as the nation-state loses ground in the face of global challenges.

The “re-regionalization” of France is not experienced as hybridization, nor as postmodern placelessness, but rather as a dynamic form of glocalization. This puts pressure on the habitual theoretical frameworks for understanding regionalism. The aim is, first, to study new literary forms that explore the framings, visualizations, and exclusions that shape experiences of spatial belonging today; and, second, to develop a new theoretical vocabulary for analyzing questions of regionalism and regional fiction.
Grant administrator
Uppsala University
Reference number
SEK 2,550,434
RJ Projects
General Literature Studies