Neither from here nor from there: the alienation of the evolué(e) in Anglophone and Francophone African literature

Mechkarini, Sara (2022). Neither from here nor from there: the alienation of the evolué(e) in Anglophone and Francophone African literature. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis studies the literary depiction of colonial education and its cultural legacies for the indigenous population in both French and British former colonies. It focuses particularly on the complex role of assimilation and colonial education in shaping the identity of the colonial elite. Based upon cases studies of literary works from the African continent, it demonstrates that the clash of indigenous and Western cultures is most effectively expressed in the figure of the évolué(e) whose cultural alienation was proportional to the depth of the assimilation process he or she was subjected to. Focusing on the alienating but also the potentially emancipating effects of assimilation and colonial education, this thesis argues for a nuanced and qualified understanding of the position of the évolué(e) in late colonial and early postcolonial societies. Drawing on and engaging with theoretical works in the fields of postcolonial studies, African feminism and psychology, this thesis concludes that colonial education and assimilation policies remain a complex issue for they often result in a paradoxical image of the figure of the évolué(e) who is emancipated and recognised from the one side, but confused and alienated from the other.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DC France
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)


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