Mia Couto and Mozambique: the renegotiation of the national narrative and identity in an African nation Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Gonçalves, Luis
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
  • Mia Couto is a Mozambican author that problematizes questions of identity, inclusion and exclusion, and the consequences of the quest for modernity in Mozambique. Couto's work is an urgently needed constructive effort to project an alternative model of Mozambican identity. This work is a critical interpretation of Couto's work and my approach is framed within a Cultural Studies perspective. In Mozambique, forms of neo-colonial oppression still linger and guide the political decision-making process, excluding subjects that do not conform to Western visions of progress and modernity. Couto's literature, language and narrative style enable him to voice the emotions, frustrations, and the triumphs of Mozambican peoples. All of his texts serve to represent the local lifestyle and resistance to neo-colonial acts of authority and oppression. Couto preserves cultural sites within which collective memory, identity and action are integrated, and which generate representation of marginalized discourses and identities. The fact that Couto is a white Mozambican raises questions of authority and authenticity that the author successfully resolves. The author writes processes of transculturation and reterritorialization that create a new linkage between culture and space for the racial minorities in the country. Couto removes the Mozambican revolution from the center of the identity paradigm, recovers Mozambican traditions belief systems, exerts Mozambican agency over the Portuguese language through cultural inscription, and finally frees the identity paradigm from racial implications, allowing for the inclusion of racial and ethnic diversity in the national narrative and identity.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Luso-Brazilian Literatures in the Department of Romance Languages (Portuguese).
  • Rector, Mônica
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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