Brian Valente-Quinn, “Senegalese Stagecraft: Decolonizing Theater-Making in Francophone Africa” (Northwestern UP, 2021)

Brian Valente-Quinn is an Associate Professor of Francophone African studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. His book, Senegalese Stagecraft: Decolonizing Theater-Making in Francophone Africa, was published at Northwestern University Press in 2021. Senegalese Stagecraft explores the theatrical stage in Senegal as a site of poetic expression, political activism, and community engagement. In their responses to the country’s colonial heritage, as well as through their innovations on the craft of theater‑making, Senegalese performers have created an array of decolonizing stage spaces that have shaped the country’s theater history. Their work has also addressed a global audience, experimenting with international performance practices while proposing new visions of the role of culture and stagecraft in society.

Through a study of the innovative work of Senegalese theater-makers from the 1930s onward, Senegalese Stagecraft explores a wide range of historical contexts and themes, including French colonial education, cultural Pan‑Africanism, West African Sufism, uses of television and mass media, and popular theater and activism. Using a multidisciplinary approach that includes field, archival, and literary methods, Valente‑Quinn offers a fresh look at performance cultures of West Africa and the Global South in a book that will interest students and scholars in African, Francophone, and performance studies.

Annie deSaussure, holds a Ph.D. in French from Yale University and is an Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies in the Department of Languages and Literary Studies at Lafayette College. Her work focuses on minority regional languages, literatures, and cultures in contemporary France, radio, sound studies, and podcasting. Her most recent article on feminist discourses of motherhood in French podcasting is forthcoming in the 2023 special issue, “Podcasting Disruptive Voices,” of CFC Intersections.

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