Prof. Sonia Zlitni Fitouri

( Professor, Francophone and comparative literature, Université de Tunis / Tunisia)

Sonia Zlitni Fitouri is a Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the Department of French at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences (University of Tunis). She is the Director of the Intersignes research laboratory (LR14E501) and chairs the PhD commission in French language, literature and civilisation. She is a specialist in French and Francophone literature, particularly Maghrebi literature and the work of Rachid Boudjedra. She also works in the fields of comparative literature, on the French New Novel and on Spanish literature. She is the author of numerous publications, including many articles in indexed journals and several books including La Réception du texte maghrébin, (Dir.), Tunis, Cérès Editions. 2004; Le Sacré et le profane dans les littératures de langue française, (Dir.), Co-edition Sud Editions/ Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, Pessac. 2005; Les Métamorphoses du récit dans les oeuvres de Rachid Boudjedra et de Claude Simon, Tunis, Publications de la Faculté des Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Tunis/Imprimerie officielle. 2006; Edouard Glissant: for a poetics of the relation. Limits. Epreuves. Dépassement, (Dir.), Co-publication of the Beit-Al-Hikma Academy // Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, Pessac. 2008; L’espace dans l’oeuvre de Rachid Boudjedra : épuisement, débordement, Préface de Rachid Boudjedra, Sud Editions, Tunis, 2010; Pour un art de la relation : Processus narratif et restructuration du sujet dans trois romans maghrébins de langue française, Centre de publications universitaires CPU, Tunis, 2014; Littératures francophones et comparées: Postcolonial Postures, (Dir. ); Latrach Editions, Tunis, 2018; Le corps à l’épreuve du genre dans la littérature, le cinéma et le blogue maghrébins de langue française, (Co-direction with Claudia Gronmann); Latrach Editions, Tunis, 2018; Assia Djebar: de l’écrit au cri; (Dir. ), Latrach Editions, Tunis, 2018; Nouveaux regards sur le monologue intérieur, (Dir), PSN, Paris, 2021; Réinventer la nature : pour une écopoétique des littératures de langue française, (Dir.), PSN, Paris, 2021.

Project Memory & Justice

Memory and transitional justice in French-language Tunisian literature

Examining collective and individual memory in French-language Tunisian literature is an attempt to re-reveal a justice that has long been dreamt of, fantasised about and claimed. The literature, which is both political and subjective in nature, is essentially a denunciation of the “production of forgetting” rooted in long years of injustice and violence. This research project will focus on the transition from the need to break the silence and to say the unspeakable in mimetic writing to the need to testify driven by the duty of memory. Writing and testifying thus become a way to forgo forgetting, of reactivating “pathological memory” which – it seems to me – is essential to ensure a democratic transition based on the rights to justice and truth by questioning the past, by confronting past crimes and re-shaping the memory of the past. Furthermore, this research project will not only be based on this thematic and historical relationship between literature, memory and justice, but will also attempt to reflect on the aesthetic and scriptural dimension that is the foundation of all creative work. It would be interesting to show how the subversion of history permeates the writing that takes it on. This discourse is based on new strategies used in fiction-writing that disrupt the fiction aesthetics of Tunisian writers. Indeed, violence and memory govern and disrupt the form and structure of the novel. This is essentially achieved through deconstructive and fragmentary writing.

The main axes of our reflection will be:

  1. Literature and transitional justice;
  2. The role of sources and archives in the rereading of the past and, Poetics of historical narration and languages of memory.