Alexie Tcheuyap

senior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2016/2017
discipline Humanities and Social Sciences
Professor, Department of French, University of Toronto

Research project

Boko Haram, Media, and the Security Discourse


Over the past decade, terrorism and war have completely changed their modes of operation. In place of nationalist claims previously used to justify violence in Spain, France, the UK or South America, the 9-11 attacks revealed new types of violence that have transformed security concerns into a major component of international relations and domestic policies. The proliferation of terrorist groups in the world has increased the level of insecurity in various nations. That is the case in Nigeria where, after operating for some time, Boko Haram has recently extended its murderous raids into neighbouring countries.


This project aims to examine the circumstances, evolution and contradictions of the media discourse on Boko Haram. It is built on qualitative and quantitative media content analysis. It will use a sample of Western and African newspapers in order to examine media discourse on security. This methodology employs the characteristics, substance and forms of media discourse, a technique that not only helps to better examine facts, but also to explore possible solutions. Given that media discourse is based on three main pillars, i.e. journalists, the public and politicians, the project will examine the following six issues that, although discussed exclusively in reference to Boko Haram, are pertinent to all media and political discourse. They are: (i) the "Them/Us" dichotomy (ii) international terrorism (iii) the State and the surveillance of its citizens (iv) the political manipulation of "patriotism" (v) the social responsibility of the media and (vi) the modalities of a stable and durable peace.


The media often shapes public knowledge on political violence, especially in the case of Boko Haram. However, there is little to no scientific research that discusses the media discourse on this group. In a context where western and African media propagate mixed, at times contradictory, content on a group that threatens the existence of several states, it is important to examine the ways these discourses are built. This project will therefore analyze the language used to determine the essential articulation of violence. It will lead to the publication of a book that will be the first scientific contribution on the subject matter, that is, how security is framed in media discourse on Boko Haram.




Alexie Tcheuyap is Full Professor at the Department of French of the University of Toronto. He has previously taught in Cameroon and at the University of Calgary, and has been Visiting Professor in South Africa, the United States, Germany and France. He holds a Doctorat de Troisième Cycle in Literature from the University of Yaoundé and a Ph.D in French Studies from Queen's University. His main areas of research are media studies, Francophone African literatures and Francophone African cinemas.


Selected publications


'Music for Everyone. The Dynamics of Piracy in Cameroon', in M. Diawara & U. Röschenthaler (eds), Staging the Immaterial: Rights, Style and Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa, Sean Kingston Publishing, Oxfordshire, 2016, pp. 270-291.


'The Era of Entertainment: Cinema and Television in Contemporary Africa', Présence Africaine, vol. 191, 2015, pp. 133-160.


Autoritarisme, Presse et Violence au Cameroun, Karthala, Paris, 2014.


'Écrire masqué: Des Pseudonymes dans la Presse Camerounaise', Politique Africaine, vol. 136, 2014, pp. 136-156.


'La Palabre Française des Postcolonial Studies ou la Deuxième Mort d’Aimé Césaire', Présence Africaine, vol. 184, 2011, pp. 149-166.


Postnationalist African Cinemas, Manchester University Press, Manchester/New York, 2011.



junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Collegium de Lyon
discipline Sociology
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2011/2012
Collegium de Lyon
discipline Communication
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Collegium de Lyon
discipline Literature
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Collegium de Lyon
discipline Philosophy