Archive | February, 2017

French colonies, intellectuals and far-right ideas

Gavid Bowd talks about his article ‘Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo, Charles Maurras and colonial Madagascar’ 24:1 (2016) What does this article tell your readers about modern and contemporary France? The article attempts to show the influence of far right ideas on an intellectual in a French colony. Normally, Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo and other francophone writers are presented as being in resistance to colonial rule and, implicitly at least, on the left, ‘progressive’ side of the political spectrum. But Rabearivelo’s political affinities were with Charles Maurras and L’Action française, although this did not prevent him from criticising French policy in Madagascar and expressing solidarity with oppressed people of colour in the British and French Empires as well as the United States. The aristocratic, anti-democratic and even racist tendencies of Rabearivelo are not unique: Maurras greatly influenced Ferhat Abbas in Algeria and Gerard de Catalogne in Haiti. So I attempt to give the reader a sense of the complexity of Rabearivelo – the first major writer of la Francophonie – and, by extension, of other colonised intellectuals. I hope also that it adds to the historical understanding of colonial and post-colonial Madagascar. What topics and issues do you address? How does your argument build upon or differ from previous arguments in the field? Firstly, I attempt to give […]

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