The principal theme of this study is a set of French policies that emerged following the year 2000, marked, for us Domiens, in large part, by the lively national debate on slave history and on the role unilaterally determined to be a positive one of French colonization, culminating
in a law, since repealed, that was baptized the Law of Shame, vaunting the so-called positive aspects of colonization. This debate saw Martinique, singular little department that it is, resolutely drawing a line of demarcation between itself and the rest of France. For it must be said: Antilleans
who live in the hexagon are often assumed to be and thus assimilated as immigrants. The assimilation issue thus alive and rankling. But all this is the product not simply of policy, but of poetics as well. These issues raise grave questions with regard to the place of Antillean literary arts
within the sacrosanct ambit of French Belles Lettres.
The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.