Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Embargo Period

2-1-2017

Degree Program

Comparative Literature

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

September

Advisor Name

Maria

Advisor Last Name

Tymoczko

Co-advisor Name

Kathryn

Co-advisor Last Name

Lachman

Third Advisor Name

Bjorn

Third Advisor Last Name

Nordtveit

Abstract

ABSTRACT

COLONIALISM, EDUCATION, AND GABON: AN EXAMINATION OF THE SELF-TRANSLATION OF GABONESE CITIZENS IN THEIR POSTCOLONIAL SPACE THROUGH EDUCATION AND LANGUAGE.

SEPTEMBER 2016

MOUSSAVOU FROY BATSIELILIT, B.A., UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

M.A., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

Directed by: Professor Maria Tymoczko

Gabon’s educational model, mode, and language of instruction are similar to that of France. Likewise, the official language in Gabon remains French. The similarities between both countries, as a result, have continued to perpetuate and reinforce the indirect, or direct, influence of French culture in Gabon. The resemblance also contributed to the inability of Gabon to create an independent identity from France. As a result, Gabonese citizens are self-translating and rewriting themselves as an extension of France while simultaneously censoring half of their identities from the narrative of nation.

To understand the current situation, I investigate education and the language situation in Gabon and relate them to the field of Translation Studies in terms of the latter’s concepts. The thesis begins with a historical background of Gabon. The discussion then shifts to analyze the connection between language and power, and its use during French colonialism in Africa. The importance of language and power is in turn linked to education, resulting in an analysis of Gabon and France’s educational systems and materials. The issues of education, language, and identity are discussed so as to determine the influences on Gabonese citizens’ identities.

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