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LIST OF ABSTRACTS
(in order of appearance)
 
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  Barbara M. Cooper
Department of History, Rutgers University
bacooper@rci.rutgers.edu

"Representing adolescent sexuality in the Sahel: Bandes dessinees, radio plays and the Ambivalence of Muslim Modernity"

This paper will present three different sets of materials produced to influence the sexual health behavior of young people in the Sahel, a predominantly Muslim region. Bandes dessinees are a medium health organizations like to use because they are aware of their appeal to young literate urbanites. They are appealing to youth because of their lively images, contemporary language, and their participation in a “modern” cosmopolitan aesthetic. However NGOs and other health activists attempt to use such “modern” materials in ways that respect and in some way reinscribe local Muslim mores. The paper will also consider a game and radio drama developed to teach local populations about AIDS in a rather different medium using the local vernacular languages, yet still deploying relatively novel media. Here the goal is to draw upon local dramatic conventions to address issues that have often been understood to be unspeakable. The radio shows violate certain kinds of taboos about what can be said, but they do so “invisibly” in order to reinforce a conventional morality. Here the audible stands as in counterpoint to the visual, as the formal print language stands in counterpoint to the oral vernacular. Finally the paper will discuss the heavily illustrated French language adaptation of Our Bodies Ourselves and its far more combative relationship to “local culture.” This text provides the most frank approach to sexuality of the materials the paper will discuss, and yet it is not clear whether the targeted audience would ever be Muslim youth. It nevertheless provides a rather different framing of sexuality than one finds in the older edition generated by the Boston Women’s Health Collective. The ambiguity of and ambivalence towards youth, female sexuality, custom, and the legal domain all come to bear in these different materials.

 
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  Julie Huntington
Department of French, Marymount Manhattan College, New York
jhuntington@mmm.edu

“There's More Than One Way to Make a Ceebu-Jën: Narrating West African Recipes in Texts”

In the past ten years, readers have witnessed an influx of African-themed cookbooks produced by novelists, musicians, food historians, and professional chefs in Africa and the African Diaspora. Innovative and impactful, these collections relate recipes as tales representing individual, familial, and cultural histories as experienced or imagined. As authors transcribe their recipes from variable instrumental and oral formats to fixed prescriptive or descriptive sets of written instructions, they serve as both storytellers and historians who document meaningful oral and cultural traditions in texted frameworks. As readers engage with these texts, they are invited to (re)visit culinary spaces of encounter at home and abroad, to (re)enact meaningful performance traditions as narrated or suggested by the authors, and to (re)produce the multi-sensory experiences of preparing and enjoying African meals in a multiplicity of geographic settings and social contexts. Furthermore, these authors serve as social critics who interweave anecdotes and commentaries into the frames of their collections of recipes and tales while challenging readers to question, confront, and (re)configure complicated dimensions of contemporary social and cultural identities, particularly those associated with genders, generations, and nationalities. This presentation will compare and interpret multiple versions of a popular Senegalese recipe in view of these themes.
 
 
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  Edwige Sylvestre-Ceide
Independent Scholar
edwige.ceide@gmail.com

"Du Crémas à l’idée, avant-projet pour des Mémoires familiales"

En racontant son passé, on s’épanouit, on prend de la hauteur et, parfois, on lâche le fardeau qui nous empêche d’avancer en confiance vers l’avenir.
Avant de commencer la rédaction de ses mémoires familiales (Les six filles du Père Loriès),
l’auteur, qui a grandi en France, réfléchit, collecte, retranscrit la parole de sa mère et de ses tantes, toutes originaires du sud d’Haïti, pour traduire et écrire un passé commun jusqu’ici mal éclairé.

Le projet a commencé un jour dans sa cuisine où elle s’est subitement sentie étreinte par la
volonté, l’obligation de recréer une recette de famille, la recette d’un peuple : le Crémas.
Du Crémas à l’idée est donc un texte présenté comme la source d’un projet de "transmission à rebours" où l’auteur se heurte à un passé et à des histoires familiales en pointillés, avec pour toile de fond l’Exil de ces femmes haïtiennes. L’objectif de ce travail consiste à sauver leur patrimoine immatériel, seul bagage des Exilés. Ainsi, elle sera amenée, elle-même, à « voyager » dans cet exil familial tout empreint de nostalgie, et tentera cet aller-retour de l'oralité à l'écriture ; un va-et-vient d'elle à sa famille et d’elle à sa culture haïtienne; une passerelle entre deux langues et plusieurs époques…

 
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  Maha Gad El Hak
Université du Caire, Egypt

mahgadus@hotmail.com

"Culture de l'Afrique de l'ouest en animation: l’exemple de Kirikou"

Inspirée des Contes de la brousse et de la forêt d'André Davesne et de Joseph Gouin (1921), l'animation Kirikou et la sorcière de Michel Ocelot, projeté dans les cinémas en 1998, eut un énorme succès, au point où il créa Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages en 2005, puis en 2012, Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes.

Cette étude s'intéressera à mettre en évidence la relation existant entre le culturel et le visuel dans la "trilogie" de Michel Ocelot en explorant l'animation dans son rapport à la culture de l'Afrique francophone, et ce, dans une approche sémiotique.

 
 
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  Boureima Alpha Gado
Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey
alphagado@yahoo.fr

"Sécheresses et famines au sahel : l’apport de la littérature orale"

De tout temps, la zone sahélienne a connu un grand nombre fléaux : Sécheresses, épidémies, épizooties, invasions acridiennes, etc. Se basant sur les sources écrites des historiens, géographes, anthropologues, sociologues, ont essayé de connaître et d'analyser la chronologie, les mécanismes et les conséquences démographiques des plus catastrophiques d'entre eux. L’objectif du projet de communication est d’apporter une contribution à travers l’exploitation de la littérature orale (proverbes, chant, poèmes, etc. ) qui est d’une richesse insoupçonné et inépuisable sur les fléaux du passé et les stratégies des populations pour y faire face. La communication sera accompagnée d’une exposition sur le thème : dessins, photos, cartes, bandes dessinées, etc.

 
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  Abdoulaye Elimane Kane [Skype]
Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal

“L’iconographie religieuse dans la vie quotidienne des Sénégalais”

Cet article nous permet d’analyser un phénomène religieux et social dynamique, à savoir l’image du religieux dans la vie quotidienne des Sénégalais. De son traitement par les arts plastiques, on est passé à des phases successives d’utilisation comme objets de décor, symboles d’appartenance et support publicitaire, par les tenants de l’économie informelle et par la télévision devenue le média-phare de la diffusion de cette iconographie particulière et polyvalente. L’article pointe plus particulièrement les problématiques suivantes : le désir d’universalité que traduit la stylisation progressive de ces images ; la signification de la substitution de l’image au mot qui s’attache à certaines d’entre elles ; et enfin la place éminente des Fondateurs de confréries dans cette iconographie ainsi que la valeur de cette pratique populaire et quotidienne, au regard de la prohibition par l‘islam de la représentation de Dieu, de son Prophète et de sa créature humaine. Cette dernière problématique induit une réflexion sur la notion de totem, suggérée par cette pratique syncrétique entrée dans les meurs des Sénégalais.
 
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  Oumar Diogoye Diouf
Department of English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“Becoming Griot: Righting within a Minor Literature”

This paper proposes a “subjunctive” approach to francophone African-Atlantic literatures that highlights the role of language in the process of writing postcolonial, francophone African-Atlantic people into post-postcolonial communities. The shift from postcoloniality to post-postcoloniality can be achieved through the “becoming-griot” of the writer, which could also serve as a powerful decolonial move in this region. First, it deterritorializes both the literature and the social position of the griot. These processes of deterritoriaization entail the reterritorialization of the notion of “griotism” on the aesthetic plane of literary production. At the same time, they also enable the reterritoriaization of francophone African-Atlantic writing as a politically-empowering literature fundamentally different from what Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o dubbed “Afro-European literatures” or Euro-African literatures produced by African writers. Second, the becoming-griot of the writer facilitates the production of postcolonial literary monuments, capturing past and present decolonial efforts and opening up new avenues for an efficient break with postcoloniality. Often looked down upon in contemporary Africa, the griots constituted the social cement in traditional Africa. They were entertainers, diplomats, mediators, storytellers, historians, and pedagogues. The paper thus argues that writing African-Atlantic people into post-postcoloniality depends in a fundamental manner on a constant becoming-griot of the writer.

 
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  Amany Shawky Mokhtar
Freelance translator, Alexandria, Egypt

“Translating Language, Transforming Culture: A Senegalese Literary Portrait under the Spotlight of an Egyptian Translator”

More than just a linguistic activity, translation is one of the main channels through which intercultural relationships are formed and transformed. This paper sets out to display the role and the importance of human translation in intercultural and linguistic dynamics. First, it examines briefly the translator’s role as a mediator between cultures and a contributor to human civilization as exemplified by the 9th century Arab translators' contributions to intercultural “renaissance” or by the 1822 translation of the Rosetta Stone by Jean-Francois Champollion. It then focuses on the challenges met in deciphering and transforming Une si longue lettre by Mariama Ba into an Arabic target text as a first-hand experience of transnational dynamics. Finally, through a number of interviews with African and Egyptian students in Alexandria, this article gives voice to the current Afro-Egyptian cultural interaction within the context of the present political atmosphere in Africa and the hope of its future prospects with the new dawn of the Arab Spring. The article points out the significant relationship between political will and translation dynamism, suggesting the need to activate the nations’ will, through new social media technology as a supportive agent to translators, and towards a more dynamic intercultural dialogue between Sub-Saharan countries and the Afro-Arab ones.
 
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  Jean-Baptiste Sourou
Saint Augustine University of Tanzania
jbsourou@hotmail.com

“Ritual Celebrations: Context of the Development of New African ‘Hybrid’ Cultures”

The focus of my presentation is based on how, trough arts, and especially music, dance and ritual life celebrations of weddings, funerals or other major achievements of involving community members ritual celebrations, Africans try to conserve and rebuild their cultural and religious identity, in front of the colonialism impositions consequences, westernization, and globalization.

As results of my research in Africa especially in Benin, my paper will demonstrate how the combination of the traditional pre-colonial culture and modern elements helps Africans today to develop their sense of belonging to their communities, at the heart of globalization.
The celebrations are directed by musical groups, dancers and masters of ceremony; performers who are able to create new significance from the antique symbols mixing current and old language (songs, proverbs, gadgets, new media and gestures). The artistic ability of these performers and the interaction with participants is a context for developing a new “hybrid” African culture that is having an impact on the religious, political and social institutions in many African countries.
 
 
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  Bojana Coulibaly
Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures
Rutgers University
bojanaco@hotmail.com

This panel seeks to unfold new perspectives on cultural, religious and literary practices in Francophone West Africa. The four panelists offer both indicative and subjunctive views on the various activities represented and look at the ways in which these practices affect the transnational and global cultural sphere. Professor Abdoulaye Elimane Kane’s paper « L’iconographie religieuse dans la vie quotidienne des Sénégalais » focuses on the graphic symbolism of Islam in the Senegalese contemporary society. It discusses the universal endeavor of the stylization of Islamic iconography, the notion of Islamic prohibition of human representation and the concept of social recognition through the totemic value of the Senegalese Islamic symbolism. In “Becoming Griot: Righting within a Minor Literature,” Oumar Diouf highlights, from a postcolonial standpoint, the benefits of the becoming-griot of the novelist in the production of effective decolonial literary monuments which will be instrumental in the process of writing Francophone African-Atlantic people into post-postcolonial societies. Amany Shawky Mokhtar’s paper “Translating Language, Transforming Culture: A Senegalese Literary Portrait under the Spotlight of an Egyptian Translator” looks at translation as a mode of cultural communication between nations. It shows how a common history of Islamic influence in the Arab world and West Africa creates a shared cultural space with which the Egyptian readership identifies with. It points out to the impact of political will on translation dynamism and hence on intercultural dialogue. Finally, Bojana Coulibaly in “Reclamation of the Arena: Traditional Wrestling in Senegal and Niger” attempts to demonstrate that traditional wrestling in Niger and Senegal acts as a tool of integration and reconciliation between African communities, as well as a mode of opposition to cultural hegemony. The paper brings emphasis on the folk wrestling’s interaction with the traditional as well as the modern world, as exemplified in West-African literature and cinema.

“Reclamation of the Arena: Traditional Wrestling in Senegal and Niger”

Traditional wrestling, commonly referred to as kokowa in Hausa or laamb in Wolof, has become a powerful medium of communication and integration in both Francophone and Anglophone West Africa. It has inspired songs, poems, and novels, which have captured and popularized its socio-cultural significance. In Things Fall Apart (1958) Chinua Achebe has well conveyed how wrestling had been expressive of courage and social integrity in traditional Igboland. More recently, Aminata Sow Fall has emphasized, in Appel des arènes (1982), the oral dimension of the praise poetry, the magic, and the visual creativity associated with laamb. The popularity of Fall’s novel—and of wrestling in modern West Africa—has been significantly enhanced through its 2006 adaptation by Senegalese filmmaker Cheikh Ndiaye. In this paper, I intend to demonstrate that the kinetic communication of traditional wrestling engenders a broader cultural communication between communities, peoples, and nations. I will particularly focus on the diachronic, dual function of laamb. On the one hand, I will analyze the ways in which laamb operated as socio-cultural cement in pre-colonial times, and on the other hand, I will investigate its central role as a medium of social integration and a site of resistance to acculturation during colonial as well as post-colonial times.
 
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  Donna Gustafson
Curator, Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University
dgustafs@rci.rutgers.edu

“Writing on the Visual: Lalla Essaydi’s ‘Les Femmes du Maroc’”

Lalla Essaydi, a Moroccan born artist who lives and works in New York, has established an
international reputation as an artist of note. Her recent exhibition at the National Museum
of African Art in Washington D.C. was widely praised and marked an important
acknowledgement of her success. While she insists on calling herself an artist and not a
photographer, photography is essential to her performance based practice. That
performance which takes place outside of the camera lens depends in no small degree upon
a dedicated circle of women whose faces, hands, and garments she inscribes in Arabic with
texts that reflect the thoughts and conversations that surround her as she prepares her
stage set and actors for the moment that will be the culmination and memory of the event,
i.e, the photograph. What is the artist's purpose in her use of text? How does this text
function in an international art context where "reading" the art does not include reading
the text? This talk will investigate the properties of written language as visual text from the
perspective of an outsider for whom the text is a closed system.
 
 
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  Jean Herald Legagneur
Université Paris-est
Legagneur_1977@yahoo.fr

“Les Noces de Cana de Wilson Bigaud ou la rencontre entre héritage colonial et traditions ancestrales dans l’art Haïtien”

L’une des particularités de l’art naïf haïtien, c’est que quand les artistes qui y évoluent ne s’attachent pas à représenter la quotidienneté haïtienne dans ses contours comme dans ses travers, ils s’évertuent tout simplement à mettre en image les traces et les fragments de l’histoire qui ont tissé l’imaginaire de ces derniers. Les Noces de Cana de Wilson Bigaud constituent à cet égard un cas emblématique pour avoir mis en scène le premier miracle accompli par Jésus qui consistait à transformer l’eau en vin et le premier grand rassemblement réalisé dans le vodou haïtien qui a donnée lieu au coup d’envoie vers la révolte des esclaves à Saint-Domingue : la Cérémonie du Bois-Caïman. Cette fresque qui, parmi treize autres, décoraient les murs de la cathédrale épiscopale de l’Eglise de la Sainte Trinité de Port-au-Prince, est très significative dans l’histoire culturelle haïtienne en ce qu’elle constitue une synthèse entre des éléments vaudous et chrétiens, entre motifs séculiers et religieux, objets profanes et sacrés, culture dite savante et traditions jugées populaires. Notre question est : par quel détour Bigaud parvient-il à réussir l’équilibre entre des faits aussi hétérogènes et incompatibles pour en faire le socle d’un tissage culturel à l’œuvre dans bien des aspects de la vie des Haïtiens ? Dans cette communication, il s’agit d’interroger cette peinture sur la manière dont elle dit et propose de lire ces faits. Pour cela, nous analyserons les différentes icônes qui y sont représentées afin de dégager leur degré de pertinence et spécificité symboliquement et diachroniquement.
 
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  Usha Rungoo
Yale University
usha.rungoo@yale.edu

“The Primitivization of Matisse by Dany Laferrière in Comment faire l’amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer

In Dany Laferrière’s Comment faire l’amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer, alterity exists within the diegesis of the novel through the identity of the protagonists, while intermediality (the trace of an “Other” medium within one medium), on the other hand, constitutes a form of textual alterity. The proposed paper aims to look at the notion of alterity through Laferrière’s primitivization of Matisse’s Grand Interieur Rouge, which is not only described in the text, but also constitutes the cover of its 1985 VLB edition.

Instead of a cosmetic comparison between alterity within identity and alterity within text, I will try to demonstrate how both are intricately interwoven: the text and the image are in a constant dialogue of trompe l’oeil and halls of mirrors that aim to question the disparity between notions of reality and representation when it comes to alterity, while also challenging representation (through text or image) of reality itself. I will first establish the problematic relationship that exists between identity and alterity as well as reality and representation in the novel, and subsequently proceed to show how different aspects of the Matisse’s painting – colors, spatial composition, mise en scène – are interpreted by Laferrière to echo the stakes at play.
 
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  Gabrielle Civil and Vladimir Cybil Charlier
St. Catherine University
gfcivil@stkate.edu


Tourist Art: Navigating the Visual/ Virtual in a Haitian Fine Arts Book”
A Collaborative Artist Talk

Tourist Art is the only fine arts book to theorize Haitian artistic production in the diaspora. Combining Gabrielle Civil’s original poetry and Vladimir Cybil Charlier’s original illustrations, the book is a manifestation of writing through the visual/virtual in Haiti. Addressing and theorizing Haitian artistic production, mass commercialization, (failed) tourism, border relations, globalization and the international art market, Tourist Art illustrates the irony that Haitian art too often receives greater regard, access and economic mobility than Haitian people. Moreover, the book’s shifting typefaces, font size and intentional integration of image and word manifests a “creative synthesis that links the local and the global, the “classical” and the “popular” in new ways.” Presentation and discussion of the process, themes and design of this project will offer insight and “foster transdisciplinary understanding of . . . language/literature/arts in [the] Caribbean.”
 
 
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  Simone J. Alexander
Seton Hall University

“Reading Bodies, Writing Bodies: Visual-Textual Body Politics in Francophone Women’s Writing”

Examining body signifiers, Carol E. Henderson remarks that the “cultural ways of knowing” of the body politics articulate the ability of black bodies “to ‘speak’ into existence their own humanity . . . in a way that resists racist or sexist paradigms of subjugated embodiment” (3). Taking up this argument, this paper traces the acts of resistance and modes of self-fashioning in the works of Francophone women writers, Marie-Célie Agnant and Edwidge Danticat. The paper explores how the black female subject, once rendered oblivious, re-inscribes, re-writes her body back into view. In doing so, the protagonists, Emma Bratte and Martine Caco perform what Hortense Spillers refers to as “the hieroglyphics of the flesh” (67). Further, this rewriting and rereading of bodies constitute a refashioning of the (body) language. Consequently, Emma Bratte’s exclusive use of Creole results in the reclamation of her text/her body that was denied through the rejection of her dissertation. When Emma’s translator, Flore ascertains that Ian Macleod, the doctor under whose psychiatric surveillance Emma is held, will never understand Emma, she is attesting to his inability to read the black woman’s body outside of the framework of the dominant culture’s gaze. Furthermore, the use of Creole lends itself as legitimate counterculture to the printed word.
 
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  Gladys M. Francis
French and Francophone Studies, Georgia State University
gfrancis5@gsu.edu

“ResistanDance: KA-ribbean Bodies, Traces, Fragments and Remains”

The “oraliture” found in many French Caribbean texts emulates the rhythm of the ka-drum, a symbol of the remains of the originary trace. It is through its improvised dance: the gwo-ka, that the body traces pathways that reveal memorized fragments stemming from disjointed distant locations. Whereas today, it is a central symbol of identity and cultural heritage of Guadeloupe, gwo-ka however, was a slave dance initially forbidden or repressed, belonging essentially to the world of shadows and night. The ka-drum and the gwo-ka dance fundamentally embody the thinking of forgetting and the trace of fragmented memory.

We propose to explore the intrinsic aesthetic of this dance: the “bigidi” and analyze the body in movement within its passage to the “other-body”, its slips and limits of being that defy the notion of origin. What are the imageries relative to the thinking of the KA-ribbean body? How can the spurious and endemic imbalance of the “bigidi” be analyzed? Which in-between is averred by the KA-ribbean body, –which loss of Being?
This interdisciplinary study elaborates a modern analysis of states of loss and conflicts of the body, its displacements, its double memory that recalls and calls, its methods of transmission, and its resistance.
 
 
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  Ghariri Khalida
Université de Bechar, Algérie
ghariri_khalida at yahoo.fr

“Tatouage et habillement : enjeux éthique et esthétique”

Leila, Yasmine ou Sultana représentent le même personnage-féminin des romans de l’écrivaine algérienne Malika Mokeddem .

Ces personnages se caractérisent par la revendication d’un espace, le désert, auquel elles proclament hautement et ouvertement leur appartenance, espace identitaire formant un tout, autonome où certains objets sont réunis, certaines lois en vigueur et où certaines forces sont actives. Il constitue la condition fondamentale quant à leur. Il forme un nœud, une sorte de « cordon ombilical » qui noue l’être avec son passé, son enfance, ses racines, son histoire.

Décrite dans son ethnicité, avec finesse, par la narratrice quant à son aspect extérieur et son comportement, la grand-mère, l’un des personnages principaux de son premier roman, petite-fille de nomades, les « Hommes bleus » et gardienne de la tradition, est la représentative de toute une culture.

Inspirée des Arts visuels, Malika Mokeddem semble avoir opté pour deux intentions concernant le portrait de la grand-mère :
la première est d’ordre esthétique car la romancière transpose son univers pictural à l’écrit. C’est une image-tableau de la grand-mère qui est présentée au lecteur – qui nous fait rappeler la peinture d’Etienne (Nasser dine) Dinet - , l’autre est documentaire, à visée didactique, en ce qu’elle renferme une tradition, une mentalité et une manière de vivre.
Dans ce tableau-concept - que la narratrice a réduit à un schéma-image – de la grand-mère, nous lisons la conjoncture de deux mondes, celui des sensations et celui de la connaissance.
Dans le premier, celui de l’émotion ou des sensations, la grand-mère est présentée comme source de rassasiement, de tendresse, d’affection et de compréhension.

Quant au monde de la connaissance, l’aspect traditionnel de son costume révèle une tradition et en même temps, nous renseigne sur la conception du monde, les notions éthiques, et la hiérarchisation sociale, qu’opère cette femme sur son environnement.
Le portrait de la grand-mère, dans sa dimension ethnique révèle sa réaction face aux concepts, très significatifs de son identité culturelle : ceux de « familier » et d’ « étranger ». Voici comment la narratrice voit sa grand-mère. Elle brosse son portait dans le passage ci-dessous : « C’était un petit bout de femme à la peau brune et tatouée. Des tatouages vert sombre, elle en avait partout : des croix sur les pommettes une branche sur le front entre les sourcils arqués et fins comme deux croissants de lune, trois traits sur le menton. Elle en avait même aux poignées, ciselés en bracelets et aux chevilles en kholkhales. […]. Bras ballants, magroune dansant. […]La position de son chèche était un excellent baromètre de son humeur » [H.M. 09] .

Le fait de réduire les éléments qui constituent l’habillement de la grand-mère en un chèche (turban) qu’elle modifie au gré de son humeur, à un genre de magroune (cape que l’on met sur le dos) et des tatouages sur le visage et les membres, semble être extrêmement simplifié et par conséquent, suppose des interrogations.
La mise en relief, dans ce portrait, du tatouage, au détriment des autres effets vestimentaires, nous semble avoir une signification particulière : le tatouage, en tant que pratique très ancienne d’incisions cutanées, exprime dans son aspect indélébile, l’expression forte d’une pensée, d’un état de soi.
Mots clés : Désert, ethnicité, identité culturelle, notions éthiques, esthétique, tatouage, conception du monde, hiérarchisation sociale.
 
 
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  Enock Aloo
Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures
Rutgers University
nyakwaraloo@yahoo.com

“Handing Down the Move: Sampling, Appropriation, and Ownership of African Dance Traditions”

Even though communal ethos does not negate individual agency and innovation behind Africa’s expressive forms, it continues to be an argument deployed to justify denial of copyright protection to her cultural producers. To conceptualize creativity¬¬ as a static product: works must be instantiated in a physical medium to earn protection, is to categorize certain art forms, particularly African dance styles, as part of a heritage created anonymously in the past and handed down with little or no modification. While the essay does not deny the possibility of dance artists such as Mozambican dance group Tofo Tofo being exploited in a modern context of industrial cultural production, I show that as globalization spreads electronic recording/transmission techniques to all parts of the world, Tofo Tofo uses signifying practices to claim authorship within that market-oriented global consumer culture. In the essay, I discuss practices that are not regulated by law but used by such groups as Tofo Tofu and Congolese bands to claim creative (property) rights of their dance inventions. I show in the discussion that in response to the sampling of its dance moves by Hip Hop, Tofo Tofo treats its corporeal creations in ways that sometimes converge with western conceptions of intellectual property, even as it deconstructs some of those notions.
 
 
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  Kahina Bouanane
Université d’Oran (Algérie)
Centre de Recherche en Anthropologie et en Sciences et Culturelle (CRASC)
kahina_bouanane@yahoo.fr

”Lorsque la langue devient un cri et un écrit…chez Assia Djebar”

Nous nous appuierons sur l’avant dernier roman La disparition de la langue française de Djebar pour énoncer notre propos. Il s’agit d’un Homme Berkane qui décide de rentrer au pays l’Algérie après une rupture amoureuse avec Marise. Lors de son parcours, il rencontre Nadjia, cette femme-passion qui parvient par le réconcilier avec lui-même. Dans un mouvement de va et vient, la narratrice se place dans deux codes linguistiques et culturels sans les travestir. Toute traduction s’est faite dans l’approximatif et ne saurait remplacer expressivement le mot sans qu’il perde sa chaleur, son sens premier, son évocation chargée émotionnellement. Assia Djebar place alors dans ses phrases en puisant dans « son » Arabe. D’ailleurs, l’expression des sentiments évoqués en français est compensée par celle en arabe dans un vocabulaire bien à lui qui le porte parce qu’il dit ses origines :
« J’avais perdu ma propre voix, mes deux langues soudain embrouillées, confondues, emmêlées » , « M’installer surtout dans la chaleur de son dialecte » . En fait, l’auteure opère une sorte de dichotomie entre deux sphères : l’intellectuelle et l’émotionnelle. Elle a avoué dans une interview que lorsqu’elle écrit pour dire la souffrance, le plaisir passe par le sens maternel, et elle réserve ses mots qu’elle utilise pour le dire du cœur réservé à la langue arabe et ceux de la pensée réservée à la langue française. Il semble que c’est tout à fait le cas de Berkane, le protagoniste de ce roman est cette : « Personne qui titube entre deux ou plusieurs cultures, entre deux modes de fonctionnement. Même exilés, nous renouons avec notre tradition et nos liens » . Aussi, la rencontre avec Nadjia, cette femme-passion qui représente la langue de la mémoire de la résurrection mais aussi de la communication plus personnelle, celle de la chair, d’ailleurs lors de sa rencontre avec Nadjia, son amour fou, sa belle folie : « Je suis prisonnier de sa chair et de sa voix à la fois » (…) tu es ma folie », « J’écris hanté par Nadjia, et j’espère qu’elle reconnaîtra ma voix en me lisant (…) Nadjia, Ô ma grotte d’Ephèse où je dors seul » .

Les moments d’amour et de bonheur se traduisent par l’expansion de l’espace. L’amour qu’il a pour Nadjia comporte en soi une dimension d’infini et constitue une ouverture sur l’univers intérieur. L’immensité de ses sentiments correspond ainsi à une expansion de l’existence qui est une expansion due aux traits extatiques (contents) du sentiment amoureux et fusionnel. Ce sentiment fusionnel est comblé, d’une part, parce qu’il partage en commun la langue arabe, et d’autre part, il n arrive pas à expliquer ce sentiment appellé l’Amour. Dans cette fusion, la langue devient une forme de résistance en faveur du bilinguisme et Assia Djebar tente de (re) trouver cette parole, cette langue disparue avec Berkane d’où certainement le titre de ce texte. En effet, l’amour est pour lui un espace de repli vers ce qu’on pourrait nommer le dedans, comme l’exprime Bachelard « la grandeur progresse dans le monde à mesure que l’intimité s’approfondit » . Djebar conçoit l’isolement dans l’amour : « Il replonge dans un sommeil plus noir, solitaire » , « Etre dans la voix de Nadjia (…) Elle est mes deux langues, confondues, emmêlées, comment lui expliquer ce nœud en moi et cette mémoire compacte de solitude….de plaisir » .
 
 
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  Fakhri Haghani
Rutgers University
fhaghani@rci.rutgers.edu

“Angles of Representation: Egyptian Women Pioneers Visualizing Space”

Egyptian women pioneers of the first half of the twentieth century took major social roles through writing, performing, and organizing. Women from Francophone educational background in particular appropriated the power of disseminating images (visual/virtual) of themselves/women, to advocate social reform. Using theories of cultural studies including theories of visual and material culture and literary and performance studies I will examine the creative cultural materials produced by these writers and artists which represented a wide spectrum of unprecedented spaces of visualization both in real and virtual spheres. Through a mixture of literary, photographic, theatrical, and cinematic images these women lead a transformative vision of themselves/women which crossed material limitations and went beyond Egypt’s national border.
 
 
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  Becky Schulties
Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University
becky.schulthies@rutgers.edu

“Orthographic Hetereogeneity in a World of Standards: Graphic Representations of Vernacular Arabics in Morocco”

One of the central processes of Moroccan state building after independence was unifying the nation through language planning. This debate emerged from specific ideologies about what language is and does: should Morocco capitalize on economic prospects that acquiring French affords (despite its colonial vestiges) at the expense of the Arab and Muslim
identity upon which the independence movements built their platforms? In either case, the question involved centrifugal linguistic forces, whether it was Standard French or Modern Standard Arabic. Governmentality perspectives framed the debate within a language ideology erasing the presence of non-standard language varieties—the spoken forms of everyday interaction that differed from written forms. In the last few decades the
public written visibility of spoken varieties has changed, using heterogeneous writing systems and testing the centralizing forces of state projects. These forms include Moroccan Arabic in Romanized French-based orthography and modified Modern Standard Arabic orthography. While there are some conventions for representing phonological features in specific genres (such as texting), there is no call for standardizing the written forms of these interactional styles. This paper explores the language ideologies underlying orthographic heterogeneity of Moroccan Arabic representations and what social work different ways of writing the same thing are doing in everyday life.
 
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  Meghan Tinsley
Department of Sociology, Boston University
tinsleym@bu.edu

“The Polyphonous Classroom: Discourse on Language-in-Education on Reunion Island”

This paper examines the public discourse on diglossia in the classroom on Reunion Island, a French overseas department. Using government archives and popular media as data, it considers the ways in which the francophone secondary-school classroom is framed as a site of both domination and resistance to hegemonic colonialism. Key actors in this process include policymakers at the national and regional levels, who strive for both equality and assimilation; teachers, administrators, and parents, who prepare their students for both a global economy and a stagnant labor market; and local writers, musicians, and artists, who valorize distinctively Reunionnais linguistic and cultural expressions. In their arguments for and against Creole in the classroom, these actors implicitly associate French with formal education and integration, and Creole with insularity and authenticity. This paper will argue that presenting such a dichotomy oversimplifies the polyphony of everyday life on Reunion Island, which transcends policy prescriptions. It concludes by considering several recent attempts to integrate Creole into the classroom, and by proposing a heterogeneous, multilingual approach to Reunionnais education that reflects the island’s history of encounter and métissage.
 
 
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  Laurence Jay-Rayon
Ph.D. in Translation Studies
ljayrayon@optimum.net

“Thundering Poetics/Murmuring Poetics: Doing Things With Words as a Marker of Identity”

This paper proposes an intermedial reading of Adiaffi's transvernacular sound poetics
through his novel La carte d'identité and his long poem D'Éclairs et de foudre (both
1980). Transgressing Western generic compartmentalization, Adiaffi's use of language in
both texts shows a carefully crafted artistic signature that draws upon his Akan literary
heritage, Césaire, and the surrealist movement. While the long poem shows a clear
narrative structure, the novel displays a strong melopoetic architecture. Moreover, the
narrative thread of La carte—the struggle to prove one's identity to the colonial powers—
is enacted through Adiaffi's sonic poetics, which point to the idea of performance and
audible literary modalities in general. Excerpts from the English translation (The Identity
Card)
by Brigitte Katiyo illustrate how melopoiea is not necessarily what gets lost in the
translation of fiction, enabling the text to continue to relate to Adiaffi's Akan artistic
heritage and the performable in general.
 
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  Marshall L. Smith, III
Interdisciplinary French Studies, Tulane University
marshall.smithiii@gmail.com

“Languages in Contact: The Metaphorical ‘Blackening’ of the French Language Via the Négritude Movement”

Language reappropriation can be described as “sanitizing” a word that was once viewed as pejorative. Marginalized communities that have experienced subjugation under a particular word, reintroduce it into their vernacular. In regard to discourse, the implications oftentimes smack of sociopolitical and personal empowerment. This act of “reclaiming” involves re-evaluating a term that in the dominant culture is, or at one time was, used by a majority to oppress various minorities of that same culture. An example of successful reappropriation of a disparaging word that now has a positive connotation is “gay, or “queer”. These terms have replaced “homosexual” in not only in political/social discourse, but also in popular culture both as a noun and adjective. In the Francophone context, the term Nègre, derived from the Latin “niger”, meaning “black”, can be viewed as “racially charged”. “Sale nègre would be almost redundant, “sale” being somehow usually implicitly understood in “nègre”. Aimé Césaire coined the term “Négritude” in L’Etudiant Noir by “reclaiming” the word “negre” and adding the suffix “itude” instead of “ité” which would have been more common in regard to the French Language as an expression of the value of “blackness”. By creating this word, Césaire and his contemporaries defiantly turned “nègre” against the white supremacists who used it as a slur. In sum, the word was and has continued to be an irritant, an “anti-racist, racist “term in the Sartre sense. Language contact occurs when two or more languages or varieties interact. This paper will explore the ways in which writers of the Négritude (including Aimé Césaire, Leopold Senghor, and Leon Damas) used the French language, the very tool used to mentally colonize a group of people against itself. This writing system of visual symbols recorded on paper, used to represent elements expressible in language was masterfully used to redefine “blackness” of “Africaness” as a reversal of this cultural, linguistic, hegemonic contact forever “creolizing” or “transforming” the French language in the metaphorical sense. As Jean Paul Sartre stated in “Black Orpheus”, ““What then did you expect when you unbound the gag that had muted those black mouths? That they would chant your praises?”
 
 
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  Gaouaou Manaa
Université El-Hadj Lakhdar—Batna, Algérie
mana5_m@yahoo.fr

“La parole féminine algérienne entre insécurité linguistique, tabous et interdits”

Le discours féminin, comme réalisation d’un sous-système d’une langue commune, a longtemps été présenté comme caractéristique des sociétés archaïques et primitives : on lui attribuait comme fondements le « tabou » - la femme ne doit ni proférer ni même connaître les formules des hommes au risque de les rendre inopérantes ou néfastes – ou l’exogamie.

En Algérie, on peut considérer, que « le son est vraiment coupé », depuis 1984. L’intervention juridique du Code de la famille qui, en instaurant la présence obligatoire du tuteur matrimonial à qui revient la responsabilité de conclure le mariage de la femme, institutionnalise l’incapacité juridique des femmes, et de fait, leur incapacité linguistique. Les femmes disent qu’elles sont plus à l’aise en français, mais en même temps elles ont conscience que c’est dans cette langue qu’elles courent le plus grand risque, celui de l’exclusion, et donc celui de la condamnation au silence.

L’objet de cet article est de montrer dans quelle mesure une langue sexiste, reflète et indirectement, entretient l’inégalité homme / femme.

 
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  Anne Patricia Rice
Lehman College-CUNY

“Embodying African Women’s Epistemology: International Women’s Day Pagnes in Cameroon”

This presentation considers the national celebration of International Women’s Day in Cameroon through the practice of wearing clothing made from the official Women’s Day “pagnes” featuring images from artists across the country that convey information about the year’s global theme. In their individual outfits made from the same cloth, women across generations personalize their styles in a communal expression of unity in multiplicity that subverts official notions of gender. Their celebrations draw on women’s lived experience and express empowerment through embodied identification with many groups, commingling words, text, and performance as women sing, dance, and move exuberantly through public space. The practice of designing and wearing diverse outfits of one cloth to be read by an observing public exemplifies African feminist knowledge formation and praxis, grounded in the lives of women and using indigenous communication practices that boldly speak to women (and men) across ethnic, political, social, and economic lines.

 
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  Amanda Gilvin
Mount Holyoke College
agilvin@gmail.com

“Reading the Téra-tera: Textiles, Transportation, and Nationalism in Niger’s First Republic”

Once exclusively used by people of the Djerma ethnicity, the téra-tera textile emerged as a widespread genre especially significant in urban areas in Niger in the 1960s. Women gave téra-tera textiles as wedding gifts, and men and women wore them and used them as blankets. As in many other weaving traditions in West Africa, téra-tera textiles were woven by men in thin strips that were sewn together; weavers created complex designs with the floating-weft technique. Woven by weavers of the Djerma and Bellah Tuareg ethnicities, Téra-tera textiles featured both abstract and representational motifs that weavers and their women patrons used to interpret their experiences as artisans, mothers, brides, travelers, and eaters in a fast-changing Niger. This paper includes analyses of specific motifs on the téra-tera, such as the kulnej gutumo and garbey kopto, as well as the symbolic appropriation of the genre by the state in the contested First Republic of Niger.
 
 
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  Bertrade Ngo-Ngijol Banoum
Lehman College-CUNY

“Teaching and Theorizing Peace through “Talking Textiles”: Reclaiming Grassroots Women’s Ways of Knowing”

African societies have a long history of textile traditions rich in diversity, adaptability and versatility. Materials range from locally handmade fabrics through imported European Wax prints to domestic factory produced cotton cloths and beyond. Cloth is used not only as item of clothing but also as mode of expression. Factories thus produce not only casual prints and designs but also special runs on request to commemorate historic events and sites, prominent figures and holidays. Not surprisingly, African women have been extraordinarily creative, imaginative and resourceful in making their voices heard through the textile medium.

The colorful cotton cloth is commonly known in Francophone Africa as “pagne” and usually worn with a matching headdress. Women inscribe vital messages on the fabrics to articulate issues central to their lives and their society. “Pagnes” have thus been an embodiment of social discourse and a powerful political tool. From anti-colonial movements through independence to political rallies and other campaigns, Francophone women have spoken loudly through their collective “pagnes”.

This panel is designed to explore the talking textile trends in Cameroon by focusing on two case studies: the national celebration of International Women’s Day and the creed of the Christian Women’s Association. Via verbal and visual arts, the panelists want to explore the social, cultural, religious, and political processes through which Cameroon women have constructed new identities. They want to argue that there are rich epistemologies embodied in cloth colors, designs, images, styles, words, and attendant performance. Our challenge is how to bring these ways of knowing to bear in our feminist academic and activist scholarship?

In her own original words spoken from “Heart to Hearth to Homeland to Motherland to World”, an ordinary woman articulates an extraordinary message of peace. Connecting concept, spoken words, gestures, rhythms, and images inscribed on cloth or “talking textile”, she pledges peace with the “Nton Bodaa” – the Cameroon Christian women’s Association. Through them, she paves the way for younger generations to follow. In this paper, the speaker follows the footprints of the unsung visionary woman to explore the layered meanings of her “pledge of peace” mediated through “talking textile”. The pledge embodies a useful foundation and framework for peace pursuits on a local-global continuum.

 
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  Valérie Orlando
University of Maryland


The panel will address ways in which a new culture was formed historically through the violent circumstances that brought together former residents of Africa, Europe, India, China, and elsewhere in the world. Often fiction writers from the Caribbean explore this complicated question of their identity through portrayals of individuals and their interactions. The papers examine how writers have used their historical, gender, political, physical, and environmental circumstances in their works. Over time, their worldviews and artistic expressions have helped shape a new and unique cultural region. The works discussed on this panel are the result of two graduate seminars focused on the Caribbean region under the direction of Dr. Orlando. The panelists hope to share ways in which they relate to Francophone Caribbean literature through feminist, eco-critical, and anthropological approaches.
 
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  Khady Diène
University of Maryland

“The Politics of Writing As a Space to Shape Identity(ies)”

Abstract: The texts of women authors in the Caribbean engage the marginalization and vulnerability of women caught up in the violence meted out by either by the postcolonial dictators or the social cultural and historical structures of their own societies. Writing, as an artistic expression, becomes a space in which one can express the moral, psychological, historical and intellectual development of a cultural region. This paper explores the work of Myriam Warner-Vieyra, who wrote Juletane (1981) in the form of a diary relating the protagonist’s experience as she finds herself in a polygamous relationship, sharing her husband’s house with two co-wives in Sénégal. Thus, both the author and her subject use writing in the quest of their Caribbean identity(ies). As is the case for other female Caribbean and transatlantic artists, writing becomes a way to share historical, gender, political, and physical circumstances and environments. The concept of writing as a space to shape identity(ies) is central to my inquiry, along with the associated questions about reasons for creating such a space and the implications on consciousness and/or societies.
 
 
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  Nathan Dize
University of Maryland

“Voix antillaises féminines: patriarchie et patrie pendant les deux Guerres Mondiales”

Quand on pense à la littérature produite avant, pendant, et après les guerres du vingtième siècle il est rare qu’on pense à la voix antillaise. Normalement, la littérature européenne est la plus importante, puis la voix des hommes d’ailleurs, et les deux font taire les femmes. Suzanne Lacascade et Mayotte Capécia ont écrit au début du vingtième siècle et sont moins connues que les grands architectes des mouvements littéraires antillaises Aimé Césaire, Edouard Glissant, et Patrick Chamoiseau. L’écriture des femmes est parfois plus réaliste, focalisée sur la vie quotidienne. Chez Lacascade et Capécia, la vie quotidienne offre un moyen pour critiquer la patriarchie et le discours colonial en France. Au niveau primordial, la vie quotidienne crée un espace pour les femmes, les enfants, les invalides, et tous les autres subalternes qui sont perdus dans le discours dominant.
 
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  Phuong Hoang
University of Maryland

“Power and Patriarchy : Sexual Violence and Exploitation in Amour, Colère, Folie by Marie Vieux-Chauvet and Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle by Simone Schwarz-Bart”

Literature by Francophone Caribbean women authors represents gender-specific difficulties, and the theme of oppression by patriarchal society is often prevalent in this body of literature. In Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s Amour, Colère et Folie and Simone Schwarz-Bart’s Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle, women struggle to affirm themselves in their respective male-dominated societies. The works reveal that sexual violence and exploitation force women into conforming to their role as prescribed by patriarchal society. The patriarchal figures, whether fathers, bosses, or military leaders, promote sexual violence to demonstrate their dominance and control.. Additionally, the novels indicate that the sexual exploitation reinforces existing contemporary and historical stereotypes concerning race and class that are deep-rooted in Caribbean history and society.

 

 

 

 

 

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  Annie Rehill
University of Maryland
annierehill@gmail.com

“Eco-critical Approach: Ways in Which Antillean Writers Have Perceived and Used Nature”

Dans les écrits postcoloniaux des Antilles, on a souvent remarqué une tendance à mimer (pour le perturber) le paradigme édénique européen. Mais il y a un autre aspect qui peut apporter aux efforts éco-critiques un point de vue utile : on remarque que la vie humaine est considérée d’une manière souvent moins anthropocentrique que celle qu’on voit dans la littérature européenne. Il est possible que les auteurs antillais comprennent plus profondément que la vie humaine n’est qu’une des formes de vie que soutient la terre. Vus dans leur ensemble, trois romans que j’étudie ici illustrent une prédisposition à comprendre la nature d’une façon plus proche des idées amérindiennes et africaines que celles que proviennent de l’Europe, en tant que la capacité de vivre avec—pas seulement en exploitant—la nature. Ceci représente un état d’esprit qui peut aider à changer les paradigmes de l’entreprise moderne en ce qui concerne la terre.

 
 
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