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Colonialism and the Question of Technology in Francophone Literature
Roxanna Nydia Curto

BUY Cloth · 280 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813939223 · $70.00 · Aug 2016
BUY Paper · 280 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813939230 · $35.00 · Aug 2016
BUY Ebook · 280 pp. · ISBN 9780813939247 · $35.00 · Aug 2016

Challenging the notion that francophone literature generally valorizes a traditional, natural mode of being over a scientific, modern one, Inter-tech(s) proposes a new understanding of the relationship between France and its former colonies in Africa and the Caribbean by exploring how various postindependence authors depict technology as a mediator between them. By providing the first comprehensive study of the representation of technology in relation to colonialism and postcolonialism in francophone literature, Roxanna Curto shows the extent to which the authors promote modernization and social progress.

Curto traces this trend in the wake of decolonization, when a series of important francophone African and Caribbean writers began to portray modern technology as a liberating, democratizing force, capable of erasing the hierarchies of the old colonial order and promoting economic development. Beginning with the founders of Négritude Aimé Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor and continuing with Frantz Fanon, postindependence novelists such as Ousmane Sembène, and contemporary writers such as Édouard Glissant, the author shows how these francophone writers champion the transfer of technology from the metropolis to the former colonies as a means of integrating their cultures into a global community, thus paving the way for modernization and technological development.


Inter-tech(s) convincingly tweaks conventional wisdom on the place and meaning of technology in post/colonial societies and forces us to reconsider a number of deeply held assumptions, not the least of which is the long-standing myth of the colonized in the French colonies of sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean as reflexively antitechnological and innately proximate to nature. It reaches in substantial and compelling ways into debates about technological modernity and empire that extend well beyond the disciplinary confines of the francophone post/colonial literature that serves as its primary archive.

Richard Watts, University of Washington, author of Packaging Post/Coloniality: The Manufacture of Literary Identity in the Francophone World

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