Postcolonial Criticism and Representations of African Dictatorship
The Aesthetics of Tyranny

Cécile Bishop

Research Monographs in French Studies 41

Legenda

1 July 2014  •  135pp

ISBN: 978-1-909662-01-8 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ContemporaryFrenchCriticismFictionFilm


The figure of the dictator looms large in representations of postcolonial Africa. Since the late 1970s, writers, film-makers and theorists have sought to represent the realities of dictatorship without endorsing the colonialist clichés portraying Africans as incapable of self-government. Against the heavily-politicized responses provoked by this dilemma, Bishop argues for a form of criticism that places the complexity of the reader’s or spectator’s experiences at the heart of its investigations. Ranging across literature, film and political theory, this study calls for a reengagement with notions – often seen as unwelcome diversions from political questions – such as referentiality, genre and aesthetics. But rather than pit 'political' approaches against formal and aesthetic procedures, the author presents new insights into the interplay of the political and the aesthetic.

Cécile Bishop is Lecturer in French at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Reviews:

  • ‘This is an impressive first book that calls for renewed engagement with established critical approaches and opens up intriguing new avenues of research.’ — Charlotte Baker, French Studies 69.3, July 2015, 430
  • ‘A cultural interpretation that often transcends its focus on the postcolonial project in order to raise important questions regarding the work of criticism more generally... Ultimately, the book is an example of excellent scholarship that leads to a very thought-provoking consideration of the work of critical interpretation more widely.’ — Aedín Ní Loingsigh, H-France 15, November 2015, no. 163
  • ‘Une problématique intéressante et une contribution pertinente construite sur des travaux théoriques majeurs et un corpus littéraire et cinématographique qui demeurent d’actualité.’ — Parfait Bonkoungou, French Review 89.3, 2016, 13-14
  • ‘Indeed, the monograph convincingly demonstrates that the political and the aesthetic interact in complex and often contradictory ways in a fictional text, with Bishop effectively highlight- ing a system by which political readings are inevitably assigned more value in scholarship... A welcome contribution to the field of postcolonial criticism.’ — Kathryn Mara, Research in African Literatures 47.4, Winter 2017, 188-89

Bibliography entry:

Bishop, Cécile, Postcolonial Criticism and Representations of African Dictatorship: The Aesthetics of Tyranny, Research Monographs in French Studies, 41 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2014)

First footnote reference: 35 Cécile Bishop, Postcolonial Criticism and Representations of African Dictatorship: The Aesthetics of Tyranny, Research Monographs in French Studies, 41 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2014), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Bishop, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Bishop, Cécile. 2014. Postcolonial Criticism and Representations of African Dictatorship: The Aesthetics of Tyranny, Research Monographs in French Studies, 41 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Bishop 2014: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Bishop 2014: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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