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The discipline of “Postcolonial studies” has emerged predominantly within English literature departments over the past two decades. This article aims at scrutinizing the relevance of postcolonial theory and criticism to francophone literature. The beginning of the paper is devoted to the exploration of the historical perspectives necessary for an understanding of current postcolonial issues, outlining a complex situation and some clear distinctions between English and French modes of colonization. Then it explores the role of languages in postcolonial debates, mainly the rivalry between English-speaking countries and Francophonie, between French and American theory, which brings about a fundamental diversity in the critical approaches of these literatures. Beyond theoretical quarrels and in spite of the asymmetrical positions of English-speaking and Francophone postcolonial literatures, we would argue that both are engaged in the same intellectual pursuits. The so-called “minor” literatures are just about to reach literary canonization. About half a century after the Independences, the obsolescence of the colonial reference should be taken into consideration even though nostalgia is a powerful driving force in literary creation. Nevertheless, postcolonial studies and francophone studies should keep their differences and homogenizing critical approaches could turn out to be noxious.

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  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous) SJR Quartile Score (2018): Q4
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous) SJR Quartile Score (2018): Q3
  • Law SJR Quartile Score (2018): Q4
  • Scimago Journal Rank (2018): 0.128
  • SJR Hirsch-Index (2018): 7

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Language English
Size B5
Year of
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Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
CH-6330 Cham, Switzerland Gewerbestrasse 11.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0324-4652 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2810 (Online)