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Global Africa and The Humanities Series

  • Baba Badji
  • Rutgers University
  • Abstract Title: "Négritude Futures: Reframing Black Solidary Transnationally: Paulette Nardal, Jane Nardal, and Suzanne Roussi Césaire"


The fact that most problems raised in the criticism of Négritude are the founding fathers’ politics, philosophy, and poetry should remind us that gendering and remapping Négritude through Suzanne Césaire and Paulette and Jane Nardal’s works allows us to conceive another idea of Négritude narrative history universally. This paper argues that even though they are included in scholarly discourse of Négritude and gender politics in the francophone world, we still need to probe further in their archives to reveal what has not been shown. With particular focus on the Nardal sisters and Césaire, the paper prioritizes and merges the different roles they played in promoting the concept of Négritude as it has been recognized as a descriptor of “Black Internationalism.” In doing so, this paper reveals that these female authors affirmed their blackness to promote the concept of Négritude through a delayed and altered black internationalist thinking. While these women (purveyors of a feminine Négritude) embody a less theoretical and a more accessible notion of Négritude, they did ultimately promote the need for racial solidarity (anchored and situated in their Caribbeanness). The chapter thus explores the constitutive tensions of Négritude solidarity (as well as their potential resolution), while also examining how these authors’ slow ideological evolution became a primary cause of their inadequate representation in the critical discourse of Négritude.

Baba Badji is a Senegalese American poet, translator, and researcher. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, and Comparative Literature at Rutgers Univeristy. He earned an MFA in poetry and Translation (French and Wolof) at Columbia University and PhD in Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. He works on the links between the various forms of postcolonial studies, theory, and practice, with a particular focus on debates about postcolonial translation theory and Négritude in Anglophone and Francophone cultures. Besides English and French, he is fluent in Wolof, Mending, Pulaar, and Diola.

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