The Reconstruction of Black History in Ayi Kwei Armah’s Two Thousand Seasons (1973) and Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987).

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university Mouloud Mammeri of Tizi-Ouzou


The following dissertation argues that the prominent concern of the contemporary African writer Ayi Kwei Armah and the American Toni Morrison is the recuperation of lost, misrepresented or occluded history of their communities. At the basis of the research is the belief that a commonality of experience and interests can lead writers belonging to different cultural backgrounds and disparate geographic areas to write in a similar way and share a similar concern. Our special aim is to explain how Morrison and Armah in their respective novels Beloved (1987) and Two Thousands Seasons (1973) reconstruct the history of their communities by transgressing what is mapped out in the traditional historiography. To achieve this aim, we resort to the New historicist theory, borrowing from the theoretical ideas of the French thinker Michel Foucault in his acknowledged work The Archeology of knowledge (1969) and his theoretical assumption of Counter-History (1970). Armah’s and Morrison’s retelling of the history of their communities from that angle leads, as it is portrayed in their novels, to a history which demarcates from the official one and seeks to revise it at both form and content. Our dissertation centers mainly on the affinities that exist between the two author’s endeavors, but we have also sorted out some points of divergence concerning the authors’ use of the African oral tradition.




New Historicism, Michel Foucault, Literary Archeology, Dominant Discourse, Traditional Historiography, Counter-History, Ayi Kwei Armah, Toni Morrison, African Literature, American Literature, African Oral Tradition.


Comparative Literature