Nation-Building, Propaganda, and Literature in Francophone Africa

9780253215543: Paperback
Release Date: 19th November 2002

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 296

Indiana University Press

Nation-Building, Propaganda, and Literature in Francophone Africa

Paperback / £18.99

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.

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Preface and Acknowledgments
Note on Translations
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

1. Introduction: Engineering History and Engineering Literature
2. Official Writers: The Engineers of the Congolese Soul
3. Sony Labou Tansi: Commitment, Oppositionality and Resistance
4. Henri Lopes: Collaboration, Confession and Testimony
5. Emmanuel Dongala: History, Memory and Reconciliation
6. National Conferences and Media Decentralization in Francophone Africa


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

. . . Thomas's book is bound to open new vistas of inquiry . . . Recommended. June 2003