“Edouard Glissant and the Right to Opacity: some Trembling Thoughts on the State of Critical Theory in Francophone Africa”, by Professor Manthia Diawara (New York University)
In the context of the age of transparency, Professor Diawara addresses what Édouard Glissant meant by “opacity” and the need to consent to everyone’s right to it. It is for Glissant the precondition for every encounter and relationship to the other. Diawara uses this Glissantian concept of opacity to critique the so-called “Colonial Library”, as theorized by V.Y. Mudimbe and his followers in Francophone Africa, such as Felwin Saar and Achille Mbembe of the Atelier de la pensée.
The African Studies Annual Lecture will take place on Friday 7th June 2019 at 5pm in the Investcorp Building, 62 Woodstock Road, Oxford. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.
About the speaker
Professor Manthia Diawara was born in Mali, West Africa. He is a distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Film at New York University, USA. Diawara was educated in Guinea-Conakry, Bamako (Mali) and Paris (France), before migrating to the United States to pursue his studies. He is a prolific writer and filmmaker. His essays on art, cinema and politics have appeared in The New Times Magazine, LA Times, Libération, Mediapart and Artforum. He is the author of two acclaimed memoirs: In Search of Africa (Harvard University Press, 2000) and We Won’t Budge: An African in the World (Basic Books, 2008). He has published several books on African and African American cinema. Diawara’s notable films include: An Opera of the World (2017), Negritude: A Dialogue between Soyinka and Senghor (2016), Édouard Glissant, One World in Relation (2010), Maison Tropicale (2008) and Rouch in Reverse (1995).