The Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Hope College will feature the address “The Congolese Writer and Poet Kama Sywor Kamanda and the Quest for the Absolute” by Dr. Isabelle Cata of the Grand Valley State University French faculty on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 4:30 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium (room 135) of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.


The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Cata has taught at Grand Valley State University since 1993 as a specialist of 19th and 20th century French and Francophone literature and culture.  She has been working since 2002 on the poetry and tales of Kama Sywor Kamanda (born in 1952 in the Democratic Republic of Congo or Congo-Kinshasa), and her book “La Quête du rêve absolu: Recréer le monde, pénétrer l'infini, mesurer le néant: Une réflexion critique sur l'oeuvre de Kama Sywor Kamanda” is forthcoming from Dagan Editions on November 15 of this year.

Cata was born in Paris, France, and lived in Guadeloupe in the French West Indies, Kenya and Ivory Coast between the ages of two and 15.  After returning to France and completing her high school education in Versailles and Paris, she decided to pursue a B.A. or Licence in English and Spanish from the Sorbonne. After her mother married an American, she moved to Los Angeles, California, and completed a doctorate in French at the University of Southern California in 1993.  She also holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Western Michigan University.  Her first book, a revision of her dissertation and titled “Le Siddhartha de Victor Segalen: Une dé-sorientation,” about a work by the French writer Victor Segalen (1878-1919), was published in 2008 by L'Harmatan in Paris.

The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.