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English and Film Studies


This article explores the literary representation of the genocide in Rwanda, and by extension, that of the Franco-African imaginary. Since the horrific events in 1994, “Rwanda” has become a discursive epiphenomenon, be it in global human rights, African or francophone contexts. Literary works about itsembabwoko, mostly published in France, now represent both a varied and a substantial corpus in Francophone literature. Problematically, however, France played a critical, if not insidious, role in the 1994 Tutsi genocide. This paper therefore examines to what extent Francophone literature about Rwanda is shaped by French politics. Specifically, it contrasts Franco-African texts produced as part of the E ´ crire par devoir de me´moire initiative with novels by first-time Rwandan authors Joseph Ndwaniye, Aime´ Yann Mbabazi and Gilbert Gatore´. It investigates how these diverse texts represent Rwanda post-genocide, and in so doing, how they work to reflect or resist circulating cultural discourses about African francophonie.


This is the Author Accepted version of an article published in Forum for Modern Language Studies.