Kristen Stern (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
This panel invites explorations of literary activity by/about francophone African authors outside the bindings of the printed page. As Rosenthal and Ruffel have observed (2010) with regard to contemporary literature in French broadly considered, literary activity in the contemporary era increasingly “se pratique et s’expose” outside the book. What manifestations of this are particular to francophone African writers? How do these events or objects interact with, or conversely stand apart from, their published works? Do (relatively) new platforms on the internet and social media mean that readers (or writers) are getting a different or better experience? That literature is being accessed or consumed in a more democratic way?
This panel takes up the theme for the 2021 convention by examining how the print medium in our field is changing and adapting in the face of innovations in technology and evolving needs and desires of the reading public. While moves online and to social media have already been happening for a while, it has now become de rigeur for institutions’ and individuals’ survival with the post-pandemic virtualization of culture.
While this panel takes as its point of departure more recent trends in contemporary literature, papers that ground these relatively new phenomena in earlier models and practices in francophone African literature are welcome. Abstracts are accepted for 10- to 15-minute papers in French or English.