Emily Eyestone

University Administrative Fellow

Emily Eyestone is a 5th year PhD candidate in the Department of French & Italian and a University Administrative Fellow in the Pace Center. She graduated with a BA in French and Religious Studies from the College of William & Mary in 2014. Her dissertation explores the role of natural disasters in francophone Caribbean poetry and literature since decolonization. The project looks at how Antillean writers have incorporated regional disasters into their work, in part re-valorizing them as a form of resistance against imperial efforts to systematize and control the Caribbean environment. To this end, it also examines the relationship between anticolonial writers and their revolutionary French modern predecessors like Rimbaud and Mallarmé, whose poetico-political assault on language is projected into a postcolonial context where it serves to challenge the rhetoric surrounding natural hazard. Writers like Césaire, Glissant, and Frankétienne counter the perception of disasters’ natural inevitability with an emphasis on impact, focusing on how the effects of such geophysical events are felt disproportionately in areas still affected by the transhistorical legacy of colonialism and slavery. Emily’s research interests include postcolonial theory, ecocriticism, disaster studies, 19th century French poetry, and music.