Wednesday Seminar: Socio-linguistic Mutations and Cultural Transformations in Postcolonial Africa: The Case of Senegal

Samba Diop (Researcher at MultiLing) will give a talk entitled "Socio-linguistic Mutations and Cultural Transformations in Postcolonial Africa: The Case of Senegal".

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In this presentation, I expand on the main lines of argumentation I had discussed in a paper recently published by the French scholarly journal Cités. I observe that Senegal in particular (and Africa in general) is currently experiencing deep paradigmatic shifts; this situation is undergirded by a combination of several factors: societal structural changes (gender shifts for example), the overarching presence of new tools of technology (mobile telephone and Internet for example), modernity and globalization, economic modifications, rapid urbanization, the receding French and European colonial memory/heritage, the idea of the Nation, linguistic changes, etc. More specifically, I will provide concrete examples, the most salient one being linked to the fact that the French language in Senegal is experiencing notable changes for it is being increasingly mixed with local languages such as the Wolof language, thus producing a new linguistic breed referred to as Franwolof; the same linguistic mix obtains in other African countries. We are also in presence of a myriad of languages and ethnicities. Of importance is the fact that African societies being fundamentally built on oral cultures, the advent of writing and Western education has produced a new nuanced and complex cultural context to which one must add the ongoing electronic age; hence, these contemporary societies are considered as being in transition. In this presentation, I will attempt to untie the knots tied around this complex problematic as described above.



S. Diop, ‘‘Concept postcolonial et idée de nation en Afrique francophone’’, Cités, 72 (2017) : 139-57 (Paris, Presses Universitaires de France/PUF)


Samba Diop holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. He has taught French/ Francophone Studies, African literatures, African Film & Cinema, and Postcolonial Studies at various universities: UCLA, SUNY at Buffalo, Harvard. He was a Research Fellow at SOAS/University of London (2005-8). He is a founding Faculty member of the University of The Gambia (2000-1). He has taught at the University of Oslo (ILOS). He is a Founding Faculty member of Kwara State University (Ilorin, Nigeria) in 2009 where he held a Professorship in French.

He has more than 40 publications including books and scholarly articles published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals such as: Research in African Literatures/RAL, Journal of African CinemasAfrica Development (CODESRIA), Cosmopolis, etc. His latest book Oralité africaine; entre esthétique et poétique (2012) is being translated into Korean (Seoul). He is preparing the publication of his new bilingual book titled La diaspora africaine en Europe; immigration et intégration en Norvège/The African Diaspora in Europe: Immigration and Integration in Norway (forthcoming, Paris, L’HARMATTAN). He is currently a Researcher at Multiling, University of Oslo.


Published Dec. 5, 2019 4:31 PM - Last modified Jan. 6, 2020 3:47 PM