Sydney Rayl ♦ 2014 Global Scholars Symposium

Title: Modern African Literature: Examining the Language of a Post-Colonial World

Abstract: What happens when 90 percent of a continent is colonized over a period of about 100years? Smaller, independent tribes and kingdoms are forced together by arbitrary territory lines, foreign languages, cultures, and religions. What happens after these colonies break free is less clear. They are left with a confusing mix of cultures and languages, as well as having to build new governments. My research focuses on what language, namely literature, can tell us about the cultural state of a nation. African literature today is a rich genre full of exciting and boundary-pushing authors. Many of these authors choose to write in English or French, the languages of their old oppressors. I will discuss modern African literature and its goals, especially in regards to language choice.

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