What does Afro-Europe signify? This volume explores the concept and possibility of a black European community by analysing the ways in which contemporary Francophone African writers articulate and interrogate their complex relationships with European society, culture and history. Through the different contributions in this volume, readers will discover the symbiotic ways in which Africa has transformed/been transformed (in/by) Europe and in turn how Africanness has (re)defined Europeanness. To this end, the volume places scholarly articles addressing the relationship between the francophone and Afro-European context alongside new, specially commissioned short stories and essays by some of the most critically-acclaimed and influential producers of Afropean writing today: Fatou Diome, Alain Mabanckou, Léonora Miano, Wilfried N’Sondé, Sami Tchak and Abdourahman Waberi. Works by these authors are discussed in and across the scholarly interventions, generating dialogue around what it means to be ‘Francophone’ and ‘Afropean’ in the twenty-first century. At a time when it is no longer easy to define what Europe really is, this book considers to what extent the category ‘Afropean’ may prove helpful in improving our understanding of the complex ways in which minority communities conceive of identity in Europe today and address the range of issues impacting them. The notion of ‘Afropeanism’ is of course relatively new, and this book does not claim to offer an exhaustive analysis of the term’s usage and/or potential pertinence. Rather, the cultural, political, and social circumstances of Europe today are reflected in discussions surrounding the term and perhaps not surprisingly, in the diverse and diverging perspectives adopted by the scholars and creative writers in this volume.
Contributors: Ayo A. Coly is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and African Studies at Dartmouth College. Fatou Diome is a Senegalese writer living in Strasbourg, France. Her books include Préférence nationale et autres nouvelles (2001), Le Ventre de l’Atlantique (2003), Kétala (2006), Inassouvies, nos vies (2008), and Celles qui attendent (2010). Dawn Fulton is Associate Professor of French Studies at Smith College. Nicki Hitchcott is Associate Professor and Reader in African Francophone Studies at the University of Nottingham. Kathryn Kleppinger is Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Kathryn Lachman teaches French and Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA. Alain Mabanckou is a Franco-Congolese author and Professor of French and Francophone Studies at UCLA, USA. Léonora Miano was born in Cameroon and has lived in France since 1991. She is author of numerous prize-winning works.John Nimis is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA Wilfried N’Sondé was born in the Congo and grew up in France. He is widely considered one of the shining lights of the new generation of African writers, and his three novels, Le Coeur des enfants léopards (2007), Le silence des esprits (2010), and Fleur de béton (2012) received considerable critical attention and have been translated into several languages. Srilata Ravi is Professor of French and Francophone Literature at the University of Alberta (Campus Saint-Jean). Sami Tchak is a Togolese writer living in France, who has published several novels - Place des Fêtes (2001), Hermina (2003), La fête des masques (2004), Le paradis des chiots (2006), and Filles de Mexico (2008). Dominic Thomas is Madeleine L. Letessier of French and Francophone Studies at the UCLA, USA. Allison Van Deventer is Lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University, USA. Abdourahman Waberi is a Franco-Djiboutian author. He has taught at several American universities, including the Claremont Colleges and George Washington University. His novels include Le Pays sans ombre (1994), Cahier nomade (1996), Balbala (1997), Moisson de crânes: textes pour le Rwanda (2000), Transit (2002), Aux Etats-Unis d’Afrique (2005), and Passage des larmes (2009). John Patrick Walsh is Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, USA.
With the publishing of this authoritative ground-breaking volume on Afropean literatures of French expression, it is hoped that the mainstreaming of the term into lexicography will soon become a reality.
Augustine H. Asaah, Cahiers d'Études Africaines
Cahiers d'Études Africaines