Full Description: The Tuesday Faculty Lunch Series welcomes Yvonne-Marie Mokam, assistant professor, Modern Languages, presenting a lecture titled "Historical Detective Fiction and the 'Duty of Memory'." Mokam's presentation suggests that historical detective fiction is a valuable tool to reconstruct the past. In particular, she argues that Léonora Miano’s latest novel makes a unique contribution to the duty of remembering slavery. Francophone African literature has an obvious affinity with history, and many writers have reconstructed the past by deconstructing colonial archives and official historiography, uncovering concealed aspects of history, and recounting more recent tragedies. In this memorial endeavor, however, writers have not treated all forgotten historical aspects with the same level of interest; African literature has long been silent on the transatlantic slave trade, in spite of the fact that some 14 million Africans were forcibly displaced between the 16th and 19th centuries. Léonora Miano seeks to address this omission in La Saison de l’ombre (Femina Award 2013), which explores the issue from the perspective of slave capture and the quest for knowledge. Mokam's presentation suggests that by using a narrative constructed around the point of view of those who “stayed behind,” the author sheds light on a historical tragedy that has long been invisible in African literature, particularly because she integrates female consciousness in a genre that has been largely dominated by male writers.
Address: Burton D. Morgan Center, Knobel Hall, Denison University, 150 Ridge Road, Granville, OH 43023
Open to Public: Yes