Presented by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the New Directions in Francophone Studies lecture series (https://events.uchicago.edu/live/files/87-updated-january-2024-flyer) welcomes Madeline Bedecarré, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Bowdoin College. The lecture is entitled, African Writers & The Politics of Literary Recognition (https://events.uchicago.edu/live/files/81-new-directions-flyer-003): In 2018 President Macron launched a series of initiatives meant to further spread the French language around the world. At the Académie française where he outlined this enterprise, the prize-winning francophone African writers Gaël Faye and Véronique Tadjo flanked the president, who quoted eight different Sub-Saharan African authors during his speech. Standing at the literal heart of hegemonic French, he held African writers as responsible for and representative of Francophonie.In this talk, I will interrogate this vision of Francophonie: a political project and a literary classification typically represented by Sub-Saharan African authors.This talk considers how a political institution (the Organisation internationale de la francophonie) lastingly changed the landscape for African authors through the sponsorship of literary prizes. I will show how these prizes incubated an African literature in French while also analyzing the constraining effects they had on the production of texts at the level of form.