2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Political Vibrations: The Changing Expression of Negritude in "Black Woman" and Other Poems by Leopold Sedar Senghor
Teresa D. Kerbawy
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

A politician and a poet, Leopold Sedar Senghor wrote poetry that often echoed his political ideologies. His strongly fostered concept of negritude, the idealization of an integral African identity and the support of Africa’s separation from European influence, occupies his poetry and manifests itself as Senghor’s socialist platform. Critics argue that Senghor’s elections to the French National Assembly and later as Senegal’s first president accompanied a shift in his ideas of negritude. Some critics condemn the “potential political usefulness” of Senghor’s negritude. In the paper “Negritude: Some Dissident Voices” author Barbara Ischinger cites Stanislas Adotevi who “considers Negritude a dangerous tranquilizer and... an opium for the exploited.” It may appear that despite Senghor’s initial fervor, using negritude he advocated European cultural and political systems. Using Karl Marx’s Theory of Alienation to examine Senghor’s politics, I will analyze The Collected Poetry to detect evolving literary expressions of Senghor’s negritude over time.

Keywords: negritude, Senegal, poetry


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 44-3
Location: VH 1428
Time: 1:45 pm

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