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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: 17 June 2018

Léopold Sédar Senghor: Race, Language, Empire

Léopold Sédar Senghor: Race, Language, Empire

Chapter:
(p.157) Chapter 12 Léopold Sédar Senghor: Race, Language, Empire
Source:
Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World
Author(s):
David Murphy
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846319808.013

Léopold Sédar Senghor is a poet and theorist who also served as president of Senegal. He is the author most closely associated with Negritude, a Francophone literary movement that emerged at a time when a form of colonial humanism had begun to transform the nature of French colonial rule in Africa. Since the beginning of the new millennium, critics have shown renewed interest in the life and work of Senghor. For his defenders, his ‘double allegiance’ to France and Africa is a key aspect of his desire to promote the different cultures that arose due to French colonisation. This chapter explores three of Senghor's primary ideas – négritude, francité, and civilisation de l'universel – in order to understand the ambiguities that underlie his attempt to conceptualise blackness and Frenchness, as well as the possible emergence of a new and truly diverse global culture in the wake of decolonisation. It also considers his essays and poetry.

Keywords:   Léopold Sédar Senghor, négritude, francité, civilisation de l'universel, Senegal, colonial humanism, France, Africa, blackness, Frenchness

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