"Alors, et L'Amerique?" Post-Independence African Travel to the United States



Ni Loingsigh A (2009) "Alors, et L'Amerique?" Post-Independence African Travel to the United States. Forum for Modern Language Studies, 45 (2), pp. 129-139.

The travelogues Carnets d'Amerique, septembre-novembre, 1974 by the Congolese author Valentin Y. Mudimbe, and Lettres d'Ameriques by his compatriot Zamenga Batukezanga provide an important theoretical impetus for reconceptualising African intercontinental travel to the United States. Both texts recount sponsored journeys that took place in 1974 and 1981 respectively within the context of academic and cultural exchange programmes. As such, they provide an important African perspective on globalisation's American engine. Michel-Rolph Trouillet's ideas on the ruptures and connections between the current global order and previous imperial world orders serve to underscore the importance of developing a more historicised approach to globalisation. This is especially evident in the emphasis both authors place on American technology, an issue that emerges as paradigmatic of globalisation's reframing of the age-old question of African tradition versus Western modernity and that draws attention to the "differential temporalities" of globalisation as they overlap in the uneven cultural and economic spaces created by the very processes of globalisation. For both authors, however, Africa is not simply the powerless recipient of global cultural and economic trends but rather a dynamic partner in a complex process of mutual influence.

travel writing; francophone African literature; globalisation; American culture; technology

Forum for Modern Language Studies: Volume 45, Issue 2

Publication date30/04/2009
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of publicationOXFORD, ENGLAND

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Dr Aedin Ni Loingsigh

Dr Aedin Ni Loingsigh

Lectureship in French and Francophone, French