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December 13 , 2009

Senegal Sojourn

Selections from One Teacher's Journal


Senegal Sojourn: Selections from One Teacher's Journal is a personal account of experiences while working with foreign language teachers and writers of fiction in Africa during an academic year. Affording glimpses into that stay, whether in classrooms, on the streets of the capital, Dakar, at concerts, with writers and intellectuals, or while sightseeing in Senegal and Mali, the journal offers a record of what the year held for a Fulbright Scholar learning from as well as contributing to a vibrant cultural scene. The diary is based on lived experience in a predominantly Muslim country, in an effort to begin to interact with and learn from a part of the world which demands respect and challenges impositions, yet continues to intrigue. While these experiences are set within the framework of a particular year (2003-2004), stories are woven from them which suggest ongoing practices and traditions, changes and tensions, struggles and feats, as well as a hint of what transcends this particular time. The result is an invitation to consider Africa and, in particular, the dynamics of life in Dakar, in and out of the classroom. Reading from this journal before approaching theoretical analysis provides grounding and the opportunity to walk with the author into another space and rhythm. It is a diary that brings Africa out of the textbook and propels the reader, body and soul, into Senegal.
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