Nation-Building, Propaganda, and Literature in Francophone Africa / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 78%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $5.00   
  • New (8) from $17.63   
  • Used (4) from $5.00   


What characterizes the relationship between literature and the state? Should literature serve the needs of the state by constructing national consciousness, espousing state propaganda, and molding good citizens? Or should it be dedicated to a different kind of creative social endeavor? In this important book about literature and the politics of nation-building, Dominic Thomas assesses the contributions of Francophone African writers whose works have played a key role in the recent transition to democracy in the Congo. Exploring the works of Sony Labou Tansi, Henri Lopes, and Emmanuel Dongala, among others, Thomas highlights writers intimately involved with government and politics—whether in support of the state’s vision or with the intention of articulating a more open view of citizens and society. Focusing on themes such as collaboration, reconciliation, identity, history, and memory, Nation-Building, Propaganda, and Literature in Francophone Africa elaborates a broader understanding of the circumstances of African colonization, modern African nation-state formation, and the complex cultural dynamics at work in Africa since independence.

Indiana University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Choice - R. Merker

Thomas (Univ. of California, Los Angeles) analyzes the sociopolitical and literary scene in the sub-Saharan regions of the Francophone world during the late 1960s and the nascent 21st century. He chose the Congo to make his point, because it provides a striking model for the exploration of nationalism and postcoloniality. The study delineates a framework that considers the political and ideological consequences of structural literary works that are not in accord with the policies of the local government in power. The author distinguishes between the diverse writers who adhered to the Marxist-Leninist party line and those who adamantly insisted on maintaining an autonomous stance. The latter—among them the prolific playwright Emanuel Dongala and novelist Sony Labou Tansi—were censored, prosecuted, and forced into exile. A concluding chapter delves into the attempt to reconcile the various factions, the trend toward a multiparty system, and constitutional reform associated with postindependence initiatives. Although Thomas's book is bound to open new vistas of inquiry, its complexity limits its accessibility. Summing Up: Recommended. Colleges and universities with strong departments of Francophone studies serving graduate students, researchers, and faculty.R. Merker, Grambling State University, Choice, June 2003


"... Thomas's book is bound to open new vistas of inquiry... Recommended." —Choice, June 2003

From the Publisher
"... Thomas's book is bound to open new vistas of inquiry... Recommended." —Choice, June 2003

"... Thomas's book is bound to open new vistas of inquiry... Recommended." —Choice, June 2003

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253215543
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Dominic Thomas is Assistant Professor in the Department of French and Francophone Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Indiana University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Preface and Acknowledgments
Note on Translations
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

1. Introduction: Engineering History and Engineering Literature
2. Official Writers: The Engineers of the Congolese Soul
3. Sony Labou Tansi: Commitment, Oppositionality and Resistance
4. Henri Lopes: Collaboration, Confession and Testimony
5. Emmanuel Dongala: History, Memory and Reconciliation
6. National Conferences and Media Decentralization in Francophone Africa


Indiana University Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)