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Beloit College

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Program Name

Senegal: Global Security and Religious Pluralism


The purpose of this research is to better understand the forces and motivations that influence Senegalese women writers’ choice to write in the languages they choose. Senegalese women writers began publishing written works in 1976, but the majority of works published by women from Senegal have been in French. While France’s colonization of Senegal has a major role in this, other factors, like the language policy of Senegal, play an important role in decision. Other external forces, like the narratives around what languages one should write in and politics of getting published, also influence this decision. Through the content analysis of Une Si Longue Lettre and Le Baobab fou, two books by Senegalese women authors, as well as by interviews with Senegalese women writers and publishing house staff in Senegal, this research evaluates the influence of external factors on the language choice of Senegalese women writers. By examining this influence, this research hopes to demonstrate the ways that women maneuver the structural and societal pressures in order to say what they want to say.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Comparative Literature | French and Francophone Language and Literature | Linguistic Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Women's Studies


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