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The First Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in African Studies

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Mariajosé Amaral Chombo

My name is Mariajosé, but I prefer to be called Majo. I was born in Culiacán, Sinaloa, a city in northwest Mexico. When I was a teenager, I heard a family story related to Africa that determined the path my academic interests would take. That afternoon I became aware that Latin America’s past and present are connected to that continent that I used to feel very far away. The story remained engraved in my memory.

I moved to the capital and enrolled in Modern (Portuguese) Language and Literatures. There I was able to formally study African expressions and discover my interest in their social and linguistic conflicts. I fell in love with African literatures and postcolonial theory. In my thesis I analyzed the mujimbo, a manifestation of Angolan orature, in Pepetela’s novel: Parábola do Cágado Velho. I chose that topic, among other things, because it allowed me to approach literature from an interdisciplinary point of view and to think about some of my key interests, such as language, history and the development of post-independence national identities. Later I had the fortune to be part of a translation team that brought into Spanish a selection of short stories made by the Angolan writer Manuel Rui.

I am very happy and honored to be part of the EIMAS because it is a program with an integral approach that encourages interdisciplinary dialogue. I hope that it will be an opportunity to exchange very diverse knowledge and experiences with my colleagues. With the help of the EIMAS I would like to continue learning and understanding in more depth the intricacies of the African continent.

Apart from academic interests, I’m a writer of personal essays.


Contact: majo_amaral@hotmail.com

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