Decoding identities in ‘Francophone’ African postcolonial spaces: local novels, global narratives

Tanniou, Sophie Nicole Isabelle (2015). Decoding identities in ‘Francophone’ African postcolonial spaces: local novels, global narratives. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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My research bridges the gap between Anglophone postcolonial studies and Francophone literary studies by looking at Francophone literature from West and Equatorial Africa, which remains under-studied in France.
This work answers key questions: how can this literature be interpreted beyond its current confines? How does it rethink local and global identities? What theoretical configurations can be applied to these writers to bring them into greater academic and public prominence? I propose a comprehensive analysis of this literature’s significance in the world through a comparative reading of five contemporary regional novels in their political, social and historical context. This multidirectional reading allows me to evoke what Dominic Thomas calls an ‘intercultural dynamics’ in which colonialism ‘finds itself relocated as a mechanism that proceeds from globalization’, and integrates various spatial zones in which thinking is produced. It brings forward key writers situated ‘outside of the parameters of Frenchness’ inscribed in cosmopolitan decolonizing and cultural reconstruction trends, such as Léonora Miano, a young Cameroonian author and winner of six French literary prizes; Fatou Diome, a Senegalese best-selling writer; Sénouvo Agbota Zinsou from Togo, 63 and in political exile; one contemporary writer, Kangni Alem (Togo), and one more established intellectual, Boubacar Boris Diop (Senegal).

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
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 > DT Africa
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


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