This symposium is open to all, though it is conducted at a high level of literary specialization. Organized around a dialogue between African novels in Arabic, English, French and Portuguese, the symposium seeks to 1) put into dialogue novels written and published in these important literary languages of the continent, 2) to define both the political and the aesthetic relations between europhone African literature and the literature and language of the colonizing nation. Similarly, what is the critical purchase of the national allegory or "the politics of the possible" in such contexts? 3) Most importantly, it seeks to move beyond reading African novels only through a thematics of anticolonial resistance by focusing on form (genre, narrative mode). In so doing, it illustrates how one might move from a reading on behalf of cultural nationalism which assumes that the text is realist and transparent to a critical exploration of textual complexity.
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