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Sea Journeys to Fortress Europe: Lyric Deterritorializations in Texts by Caroline Bergvall and José F.A. Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-846
Number of pages35
JournalModern Language Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

King's Authors


This article reflects on the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean by offering a comparative reading of multilingual lyric works by José F. A. Oliver and Caroline Bergvall that question Fortress Europe’s self-construction as a sacred space. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari, as well as Agamben and Benjamin, the article argues that formal experimentation in the texts promotes a deterritorialization of language that gives radical witness to lives lost at sea. By changing the subject position, the texts are shown to actualize a multilingual politics of speech and performance that holds majoritarian forms of language to account for their forced exclusions.

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