Date of Degree
Francesca Canadé Sautman
Ali Jimale Ahmed
French and Francophone Language and Literature
My study examines a group of nine novels and films set in Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Cameroon and Gabon written and produced between 1973 and 2006 in which "the West" and its international finance network are depicted as the fundamental contemporary world power that wields a destructive dominance over African countries. These forms of control are in many ways similar, yet distinct, from the projects of European imperialism. I analyze consumerism as a major feature of globalization, and discuss the linkage of globalization and the consumer society by looking at various theoretical models, in particular that which Jean Baudrillard conceptualized as a stand-in for democracy. I also consider the connection between globalization and imposed cultural uniformity, which African novels and films denounce as promoting a system of cultural superiority and submission. Further, the most extreme effects of globalization reinforce notions of a sexualized, racialized or ethnicized other. In response authors and filmmakers bring out themes such as migration/immigration, the objectification of the body--particularly of women--and the eruption of communal violence. Visual imagery in the novel and silence and voice in film are exemplary of how the two media create a common response that resists contemporary globalization. The dissertation thus examines what has emerged as one set of issues with which writers and filmmakers engage in their reflections on and responses to globalization.
Hanaburgh, Sara C., "Global Wreckage and Consumer Illusions: Responses to the Human Effects of Economic Globalization in Sub-Saharan African Francophone Novels and Films, 1973-2006" (2012). CUNY Academic Works.