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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The state of the subject: a Guinean educator's odyssey in the postcolonial forest, 1960-2001
Author:Straker, JayISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Guinea
rural areas
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40206615
Abstract:Recent research on twentieth-century Africa has been marked by a surge of interest in autobiographical narrative. While this development is generally praiseworthy, the knowledge it has produced has been uneven, in temporal as well as spatial terms. This article channels the current interest in personal experience and narrative to a place and time where resonances of the 'common' voice have been rather weak: the Republic of Guinea, across the final decades of the twentieth century. Foregrounding the autobiographical reflections of a local teacher - Alphonse Béavogui, born in a small Loma-speaking village in 1940 - in the country's southeastern forest region, it forges new perspectives on political subjectivity in Guinea's understudied provinces. Béavogui's autobiography traces the historical unfolding of Guinean nationalism in its confrontations with particular forest communities and with his own personal aspirations and anxieties. The article starts with Béavogui's early career (1960-1962) and continues with his retreat into the forest (1963-1967), the period of Sékou Touré's cultural revolution (1968-1984), and postrevolutionary disillusionment after Touré's death (1984-2001). Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]