Megan MacDonald

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2018/2019
discipline Comparative Studies
Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Koc University

Research project

The Way Back: Mediterranean Wakes and Urban Archival Futures


My interdisciplinary project on Mediterranean literatures and archives is a monograph whose aim is to bring connected urban histories into literary studies, and literary studies into the archive. In addition, it also breaks out of the often temporal frame of the postcolonial in Maghreb and Francophone studies, by marking passages and drawing a line between Mediterranean urban centers and events from the 18th century to the 21st century, telling a Mediterranean story through literature and the archive that resonates today. Uniting Mediterranean literatures and urban archives into one space forges a new critical topography of literature, migration, publishing, cosmopolitanism, artistic practice, and archives across the Mediterranean. This project will be at the forefront of the current re-turn to Mediterranean studies in literature.


In this project I ask: what can 20th and 21st century literatures and artistic productions from urban centers and publishing houses in French and Maghrebi cities tell us about the current politics of resentment/ressentiment across the Mediterranean? What kinds of intersections and convivialities are made possible across these spaces? The manner in which these cultural products travel and are desired, in Europe and elsewhere, differs dramatically from the path of circulation of individual bodies from the Maghreb, the latter denied entry into Europe. Literatures from and about the Maghreb (much like raï music) have become global consumer products with an ‘ethnic’ appeal, evidenced by literary prizes, media attention, and translation. They intersect with national identities and diaspora, questioning race and belonging in the contemporary Mediterranean. I argue that there is a stark contrast between an aesthetic desire for these ‘others’ in literary forms and the parallel refusal of entry into (Fortress) Europe via immigration and border controls. What kind of tensions are in play when considering borders, especially when borders are subject to ‘uneven’ modernities? Where are these texts and artifacts located?





Megan C. MacDonald is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Koç University, Istanbul. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from SUNY, Buffalo.

She has published articles in journals such as the International Journal of Francophone Studies, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, and Francosphères. Her forthcoming monograph considers the postcolonial navette via transnational and postcolonial francophone literatures in transit across Mediterranean spaces. Her current research interests include francophone Mediterranean literatures, feminist theory and representation, archive studies, and Anglophone literatures from South Asia.



Selected publications


Urban Bridges, Global Capital(s): Trans-Mediterranean Francophonies (edited collection), with C. Launchbury (eds), Liverpool University Press, Liverpool. [forthcoming]


'Who Owns the Trauma Blanket? Tracing Kader Attia’s ‘Ghost’ and the couverture de survie in Transit', Contemporary French and Francophone Studies: SITES, vol. 22, no. 2, 2018, pp. 248-258.


'N’Zid? Zid!: Mediterranean Archives and Postcolonial Translation in the Time of Amnesia', in J. Misrahi-Barak & S. Ravi (eds), Translating the Postcolonial in Multilingual Contexts, Presses Universitaires de la Méditerranée, Montpellier, 2017, pp. 161-183.


'Requiem for a Requiem: Reading after Death and Le Blanc de l’Algérie', Francosphères, vol. 5, no. 1, 2016, pp. 5-24.


'Humanism at the Limit and post-restante in the colony: The Prison of the Postcolonial Nation in Jacques Audiard’s Un prophète', International Journal of Francophone Studies (IJFS),  vol. 15, no. 3-4, 2012, pp. 561-580.



senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
IMéRA, Aix-Marseille Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Public Health
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2015/2016
IMéRA, Aix-Marseille Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
IMéRA, Aix-Marseille Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Archaeology
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
IMéRA, Aix-Marseille Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Philosophy