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Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World$
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Charles Forsdick and David Murphy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310546

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846319808

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date: 20 October 2018

V. Y. Mudimbe's ‘long nineteenth century’

V. Y. Mudimbe's ‘long nineteenth century’

(p.136) Chapter 10 V. Y. Mudimbe's ‘long nineteenth century’
Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World

Pierre-Philippe Fraiture

Liverpool University Press

Valentin Yves Mudimbe is a novelist, poet, and essayist who was born in the Congo and grew up in what is widely viewed as the ‘golden age’ of Belgian colonialism. At the heart of his oeuvre is the concept of cultural conversion, understood in terms of its multifaceted intellectual significance as well as in its concrete manifestations. Mudimbe has devoted his creative energy largely to understanding the emergence of Western modernity in sub-Saharan Africa and the factors responsible for the Congo's gradual transformation. Writing in French and English, he has tackled a variety of disciplines, from African philosophy to historiography, anthropology, critical theory, and the social sciences. Mudimbe does not consider his work as part of postcolonial theory, yet its versatility is reminiscent of postcolonial thought.

Keywords:   Valentin Yves Mudimbe, Congo, colonialism, cultural conversion, modernity, sub-Saharan Africa, anthropology, postcolonial theory, postcolonial thought, historiography

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