Mohomodou Houssouba

Houssouba is an author and literary scholar. Although he lives in Basel today he is heavily involved in Malian intellectual life. He is a member of the steering committee of the Mali Symposium on Applied Sciences and also established a website that serves as a database for research on Songhay and was engaged in the construction of the Firefox 4 browser in Songhay.

Mohomodou Houssouba was born in Mali in 1965, and grew up in the city of Gao. After studying in the capital Bamako he did his PhD in English Studies (with emphasis on African American Literature) in 1998 and taught at the Illinois State University, USA. The title of his thesis was Teaching the Diaspora. Beyond Identity Politics.

In 2009, Mohomodou Houssouba taught a course on Mali at the Centre for African Studies (The Epic of Sunjata and the Making of National Narratives).

Fields of expertise: Diaspora studies, language and literary studies, creative writing (prose and poetry)

Current research interests: Travel narratives and cross-cultural exchanges, language, local knowledge and history, especially along the Niger Bend, Open-source (Mozilla or Opera-based) translation Web tools for the Songhay language, “localization” of African languages in the Internet, multimedia African-language dictionary projects

Teaching experience: Courses in African American & African literatures, applied linguistics, literary studies

  • Passages au Kansas, éditions La Rue Blanche, Rezé, 2005.
  • Bagoundié blues: petites lumières sur la boucle du Niger, éditions L’Atalante, Nantes, 2003.
  • “Afrikanische Blicke auf Europa” (forthcoming). Europa und Afrika. Betrachtungen zu einem komplexen Verhältnis. Ed. Georg Kreis (Basel, Schwabe Verlag, 2009).
  • “La concomitance du français et des langues nationales au Mali.” Ed. Françoise Argod-Dutard. Le français: des mots de chacun, une langue pour tous. [Troisièmes Lyriades de la langue française, Liré 2006]. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2007.
  • “Paysage urbain et espaces culturels à Bamako : effets spatiaux du discours sur l’authenticité.”  Lieux communs 9 (2006): 236-244. [Les cahiers du Laboratoire Langages Actions Urbaines Altérités (LAUA), Art et anthropologie, Ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture de Nantes].
  • “Privacy and the Evaluation Process.” Toward Deprivatized Pedagogy, Edit. Becky Nugent and Diana Calhoun Bell. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2006.
  • “La vendeuse de pagnes” (poème). Textiles du Mali, éditions du Musée National du Mali, Bamako, 2003.
  • “Ever since Gilgamesh: Etel Adnan's Discourse of National Unity in Sitt  Marie Rose”. [Anthology on Etel Adnan (Lebanon)], eds. Amal Amireh & Lisa Suhair Majaj, McFarland Publishing anthology, New York, 2002.
  • Gespräche in afrikanischen Gärten [Text for the Pol5 Kunstkoffer exhibition catalog Mali-Burkina], Berlin & Lucerne, 2001.
  • Poems published in the Druids’ Cave (Normal, Illinois), Pikestaff Forum (Bloomington, Illinois), Dominion Post (Elkins, West Virginia)...

Work in Progress
  • “Lettre de la voisine lointaine” (novel, northern Mali-Niger 1990-96)
    Electronic Songhay Dictionary