(Post)colonial Trauma, Memory and History in Léonora Miano's Contours of the coming day [Contours du jour qui vient]

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Canonical trauma theory has been employed to examine the literary inscription of trauma since its emergence in the 1990s. However, recent work in postcolonial trauma studies indicates that it is not adequate for responding to readings of trauma in non-Western postcolonial writing for it is based on a Euro-American-centric corpus and methodology. In this article, I propose to examine the extent to which both classical and more contemporary developments in trauma theory can account for the literary inscription of trauma in the work of a present-day Francophone Sub-Saharan author, Léonora Miano. I consider Miano’s representation of historical Trans-Atlantic slave trade trauma and that related to continuing (post)colonial oppression in her 2006 novel Contours du jour qui vient. I demonstrate that, although classical trauma theory does find echoes in this text, it cannot alone adequately account for Miano’s literary portrayal of Sub-Saharan traumas which is greatly enriched by a postcolonial perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalLimina: a journal of historical and cultural studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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