Ashland University Professor to Give Talk on Recent Book

Ashland University Professor to Give Talk on Recent Book

2/4/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Dr. Richard Gray, assistant professor of French at Ashland University, will give a talk based on his recently published book titled "Francophone African Poetry and Drama: A Cultural History since the 1960s." The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall inside the Schar College of Education on the AU campus.

Gray’s talk, titled “Beyond Francophone African Poetry and Drama,” will discuss “Francophone African Poetry and Drama: A Cultural History since the 1960s,” which provides an ethnic, linguistic and gender history of poetic literature produced in the former French colonies of Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Inspired by holdings at the Musée du Quai Branly and cultivated in several courses on Francophone literature that I have taught since 2012, my book explores the cultural ‘underpinnings’ that caused Francophone African poetry and theatre to ‘come into being’ after the collapse of the French colonial system while it simultaneously revises late Postcolonial theories on the cultural origins of French-language poetry and drama in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Gray said.

“Claiming that ‘Literature is the lifeblood of a people’ flowing through a society’s veins that preserves the imprint of its past, its present and its future, my book suggests new ways of understanding how Francophone African poetry and theatre created since the 1960s is both an organic cultural product and a reflection of the diverse Sub-Saharan African cultures in which these literary forms originated,” he added.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###


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