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Developing AfricaConcepts and practices in twentieth-century colonialism$
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Joseph M. Hodge, Gerald Hödl, and Martina Kopf

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719091803

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719091803.001.0001

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Developing Africa in the colonial imagination: European and African narrative writing of the interwar period1

Developing Africa in the colonial imagination: European and African narrative writing of the interwar period1

Chapter:
(p.341) Chapter Fourteen Developing Africa in the colonial imagination: European and African narrative writing of the interwar period1
Source:
Developing Africa
Author(s):

Martina Kopf

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719091803.003.0015

Suppose we put on a particular set of glasses and look at colonial fiction with a conceptual history of development in mind, what will we see? Can we read its traces in and through the imagination and narratives that both shaped and reflected the colonial encounter? This chapter takes a close look on a corpus of French, English and African fictional and semifictional literature of the interwar period. Written by colonial servants, missionaries, teachers and anthropologists these texts are marked by the double function of their authors – both storytellers and agents in the processes they tell. Shifting the focus from what the stories tell to how they work as narratives, the chapter shows how an attentive reading of narrative representations and imaginations of processes of development gives insights into how the ideology worked, but also into its contradictions and ruptures.

Keywords:   Colonial encounter, French colonial literature, British colonial literature, African colonial literature, History of development, Narratives of development

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