Nation-Building, Propaganda, and Literature in Francophone Africa

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Indiana University Press, Nov 19, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 296 pages
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What characterizes the relationship between literature and the state? Should literature serve the needs of the state by constructing national consciousness, espousing state propaganda, and molding good citizens? Or should it be dedicated to a different kind of creative social endeavor? In this important book about literature and the politics of nation-building, Dominic Thomas assesses the contributions of Francophone African writers whose works have played a key role in the recent transition to democracy in the Congo. Exploring the works of Sony Labou Tansi, Henri Lopes, and Emmanuel Dongala, among others, Thomas highlights writers intimately involved with government and politics -- whether in support of the state's vision or with the intention of articulating a more open view of citizens and society. Focusing on themes such as collaboration, reconciliation, identity, history, and memory, Nation-Building, Propaganda, and Literature in Francophone Africa elaborates a broader understanding of the circumstances of African colonization, modern African nation-state formation, and the complex cultural dynamics at work in Africa since independence.

 

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Contents

Engineering History and Engineering Literature
1
The Engineers of the Congolese Soul
18
Commitment Oppositionality and Resistance
52
Collaboration Confession and Testimony
90
History Memory and Reconciliation
122
6 NATIONAL CONFERENCES AND MEDIA DECENTRALIZATION IN FRANCOPHONE AFRICA
160
NOTES
193
BIBLIOGRAPHY
229
INDEX
255
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About the author (2002)

Dominic Thomas is Assistant Professor in the Department of French and Francophone Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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