W&L French Professor Publishes New Book Mohamed Kamara’s book titled “Colonial Legacies in Francophone African Literature” hits bookshelves Dec. 15.
Mohamed Kamara, professor of French and chair of the Romance Languages Department at Washington and Lee University, has published a new book that will hit shelves on Dec. 15.
Titled “Colonial Legacies in Francophone African Literature: The School and the Invention of the Bourgeoisie,” the book analyzes the representation and lasting impact of the colonial school and bourgeoise in Francophone sub-Saharan literature. Kamara asserts that the so-called indigenous colonial bourgeoisie was invented by the colonizer through the school to perpetuate its ideology, domination and exploitation of Africa. He examines the policies and practices of the school and the ways they were informed by discourses of racial difference. The book adds a new perspective on the connection between the school and social transformation in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa. Kamara suggests that the best solution for the continent resides in its ability to take what is good in its’ precolonial past and combine it with what makes sense in today’s reality.
“While I have published several articles on the topic of colonial education and the Francophone sub-Saharan bourgeoisie before, it is gratifying and necessary to finally publish this book after many years of working on it,” Kamara said. “My main motivation for completing this book is the continued effort on the part of former colonizers, like France, to self-exonerate and minimize the negative effects of colonization on Africa. Until we can fully appreciate the lasting impact of historical events such as the colonial school, we will not be able to craft sustainable solutions to the crises of the present to secure a more salubrious future. As a humanistic scholar of African origin, I feel a sense of duty to write about these things.”
Kamara is also the author of “When Mosquitoes Come Marching In,” a 2021 play on the civil war in Sierra Leone that occurred from 1991-2002.
Kamara joined the W&L faculty in 2001 and was named chair of the Romance Languages Department in 2022. He is also a core faculty member for the Africana Studies program. Kamara holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and English and a diploma in secondary education from Fourah Bay College (University of Sierra Leone). He also earned a Master of Arts in French from Purdue University and a doctorate in French from Tulane University.
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