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Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

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Team > Thierry Boudjekeu Kamgang

Thierry Thierry Boudjekeu Kamgang

Short Bio

Thierry Boudjekeu is a Research Associate in the project “Black Atlantic Revisited” and Junior Fellow at the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS) of the University of Bayreuth. His PhD project is entitled “Writing the Slave Trade Trauma in Francophone Africa: A Study of Selected Novels”. His MA research focused on the aesthetics of oraliture in novels by Patrice Nganang and Alain Mabanckou. His current interest are trauma, memory and history of the Slave Trade in West Africa, including Benin and Senegal.


Research interests

  • Literary Studies and Francophone Africa
  • Slave Trade and Slavery
  • Postcolonial Trauma Studies
  • UNESCO Heritage and Memory

Current project

Writing the Slave Trade Trauma in Francophone Africa: A Study of Selected Novels


This study examines slave trade as a profound traumatic episode in African history and the role of writers in revisiting the shadowed memory of this historical trauma with its still prevailing fallouts in postcolonial Africa. The research focuses on selected literary texts that capture disturbing images of the slave trade by Francophone African novelists such as Léonora Miano, Kangni Alem and Wilfried N’Sondé. We contend that in a context where slave trade memory appears to be manipulated, shadowed and eventually misunderstood and forgotten, literature is an alternative pathway to reflecting the sufferings of slave trade victims and reinstating slave memories into the African public arena. Literary language is instrumental in incorporating both the comprehensible and the incomprehensible, in an attempt to come to terms with the unspeakable stories of dehumanisation during the traumatic period of the slave trade which has only been sporadically discussed in the Francophone African literary spaces. In an act of remembrance and as a therapeutic process, sub-Saharan Francophone writers employ historical narrative, oraliture, magic realism, the fantastic, anachronism, epic writing, and intertextuality among other aesthetic approaches to convey their vision on this subject matter. In the quest for a collective memory, literature plays a cathartic role in the demystification of slave trade and in fostering therapeutic healing of sub Saharan peoples from a troubled past that hinders an emancipated African self-image.


Thierry Boudjekeu Kamgang

BIGSAS Junior Fellow, Francophone Studies
Research Associate, Project “Black Atlantic Revisited”
Member of the Research Section “Arts & Aesthetics”

E-mail: thierry.boudjekeu@uni-bayreuth.de

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