Colonial Ambivalence, Cultural Authenticity, and the Limitations of Mimicry in French-ruled West Africa, 1914-1956

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Peter Lang, 2004 - History - 300 pages
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Colonial Ambivalence, Cultural Authenticity, and the Limitations of Mimicry in French-Ruled West Africa, 1914-1956 offers an innovative and provocative reassessment of the history and legacies of French colonial rule in West Africa between the First World War and the late 1950s. Making critical use of postcolonial and cultural theory, James E. Genova argues that the colonizers and the colonized were locked in a struggle for authority increasingly structured by competing notions of what it meant to be French or African. This book breaks new ground by demonstrating the centrality of the cultural question in the imperial encounters between France and West Africa. It maps the emergence of the French-educated elite as a social class in French West Africa as a window into the complex relationship between agency and structural context in the making of history. A disjunction developed between decolonization and liberation in the colonial liaison of France and West Africa that left colonizers and colonized trapped in a neocolonial cultural framework actualizing Frantz Fanon's deepest fears about the postcolony.
 

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Contents

Colonial Transgressions and the Great War
15
Intermediate Spaces and Citizenship
179
The Politics of Cultural Authenticity and Imperial Legacies
273
Bibliography
287
Index
295
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About the author (2004)

The Author: James E. Genova is Assistant Professor of History at Indiana State University and Senior Lecturer in African Studies at Ohio State University. He received his Ph.D. in history from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has published numerous articles in professional journals and has also edited volumes.

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