Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Modern Foreign Languages

Major Professor

John B. Romeiser

Committee Members

Rudyard J. Alcocer, Rosalind I. J. Hackett, Awa C. Sarr


My dissertation entitled ‘’De l’indigène au banlieuesard’’ concerns itself with the representation and status of the African “postcolonial other” since the encounter between Africa and France till today. Building on the reading of six novels that are representative of both Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, and that cover three distinct moments of the France-Africa encounter, I follow the ways in which the colonial subject is treated, perceived, handled and ultimately represented by French colonial and postcolonial power. I therefore shed light on the ways in which the dehumanization of postcolonial subjects has a longstanding history, beginning with colonial laws such as the “Code de l’Indigénat” and continuing with the treatment of immigrants to France, as well as the paradoxical status of their heirs nowadays in the French banlieues, areas that have been very often associated with Africa in the recent French official discourse around the 2005 urban riots. Looking at the invention of the savage and the barbarian in colonial times, I argue that the immigrant of the mid-20th century inherits the same features albeit in a different space and context. The last part of my dissertation puts forward the idea that the banlieues in France are not that different than a colonial theater. Ultimately, my dissertation attempts to underline the relation between politics and aesthetics in novels from Africa and its diaspora to build a bridge between geo-aesthetics and geopolitics.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."