Rémi Tchokothe: Digital Visiting and SHARING Lectureship (CUFR, Mayotte)


From December 7 to December 11, 2020, I held a Digital Visiting and SHARING Lectureship for the Centre Universitaire de Formation et de Recherche (CUFR) de Dembéni, Mayotte.

Invited by Prof Buata Malela of the Département des Lettres Modernes, I offered a course titled: Le Swahili : Un Médium International to fourty BA. Students who had a burning interest in a decolonial approach to the curriculum since the Island of Mayotte, though located on the African continent, is due to continued power relations an Oversea Department of France i.e member of the European Union.

In order to strengthen the cultural and linguistic (re)Union between Mayotte, the other Islands of the Comoros Archipelago and East(ern) Africa, the course covered among other aspects: the ties between Swahili and Comorian Varieties of the Archipelago (ShiNgazidja/Grande Comore, ShiMwali/Mohéli, ShiNdzuani/Anjouan; ShiMaore and ShiBushi/Mayotte which my colleague Daniela Waldburger thoroughly addressed in her 2012 PhD dissertation on diasporic sociolinguistics); Swahili Literature and Translation; the Standandarsitation, Regionalisation and Internatonalisation of Swahili; Swahili in World Politics and World Media such as BBC, Deutsche Welle, Radio China and Radio France Internationale.

Speaking of media, due to the Covid-19/20/21…, it was a very rewarding challenge to discover Youtube as a tool for teaching and especially, in line with the Beninese philosopher Paulin Hountondji’s (2009) call to bring back knowledge accumulated about Africa through centuries in archives and libraries abroad to Africans, a platform for SHARING course contents with many students who suffer from the digital divide and could thus access the course syntheses, view and review them at their own convenience as the screenshot above shows.


Rémi Tchokothe, Department of African Studies and Department of Comparative Literature