French colonial, Africa, racial segregation, race, Africans, French language, culture, religion, policies, Ferdinand Oyono, embodies, undecidability, colonial servant, servant, boy, locus, denaturalization of the identities, identity, institutionalized, denied, Manichaean colonial world, colonial, colonialism, Manichaean


The French colonial enterprise in Africa enforced racial segregation, yet encouraged Africans to assimilate the French language, culture, and religion. The essay questions these contradictory policies through readings of Ferdinand Oyono's novels. It argues that a figure that embodies undecidability—the colonial servant known as the "boy"—is the locus of the denaturalization of the identities that were simultaneously institutionalized and denied by the Manichaean colonial world.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.