Student Author(s)

Katelyn Kiner

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Lauren Janes

Document Type


Event Date



Léopold Sédar Senghor grew up in a relatively calm colonial Africa, came of age in the excitement of World War Two and as a man helped create a sovereign Senegal. This research looks at forces of influence from his boyhood onward, to see how they shaped both his poetry and politics. The time Senghor spent learning and working in France is particularly highlighted, as it was a time of immense cultural growth for Senghor. The most influential parts of his time in France came from his involvement in and creation of the Négritude movement. This literary and idealogical movement inspired the writing of his poetry and led to his more moderate socialism, once he was involved in politics. This research also takes a closer look at how in his poetry, Senghor wrestled with reconciling African history to French culture and how that effected his foreign policy. In the end the study of his poems and politics exposes Senghor as a man from opposing cultures trying to find harmony between them.