Courses available in French


Tout est dit, et l’on vient trop tard.

— La Bruyère

French 251: Francophone Literature — Rewriting the Hexagon — Metropolitan Reflections in Francophone Literature


forthcoming — please check back


Course Description:

For almost a century, francophone writers have been concerned with the various cultural, political, and economic dynamics that shape the experiences of colonial and postcolonial subjects who travel to France.  In this seminar, we will read and discuss several texts, dating from the 1930s onward, that foreground movement to (and from) the metropole.  Over the course of the semester, we will consider a number of interrelated questions: how do these texts reflect the profound psychic ruptures and geographic displacements that shape colonial and postcolonial subjectivity?  What sorts of challenges do they pose to narratives of French national and cultural identity?  How do they transform concepts of “home” and “nation,” “citizen” and “foreigner,” “French” and “francophone”?  What forms of agency (or lack thereof) underlie these metropolitan itineraries, and how do the very terms within which travel to France is imagined shift over time?  Specific readings TBA, but in addition to relevant critical/theoretical works, we will likely read texts by Ousmane Socé, Ousmane Sembène, Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Maryse Condé, Gisèle Pineau, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Azouz Begag, Farida Belghoul, Alain Mabanckou, Fatou Diome, and Marie NDiaye.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes