Courses available in French



— Baudelaire

French 103A: Language and Culture — The Refugee “Crisis”: Itineraries and Narratives


The majority of texts will be provided in a reader. Students should purchase

Bienvenue: 34 Auteurs pour les réfugiés (Points, 2015) ISBN 2757858610

Shumona Sinha, Assommons les pauvres! (Points, 2012) ISBN-10: 275782998X

  • ISBN-13:978-2757829981

Course Description:

This course will examine the itineraries and narratives of refugees who are seeking asylum in France today. Contemporary fiction and film will help us reconstruct the stages of their flight and journey. As refugees confront the legal bureaucracy of asylum, many questions arise: What constitutes the right to asylum? When is a refugee deemed “worthy” or “unworthy”? What kinds of trauma and suffering fall under the Geneva Convention’s definition of persecution, and what forms do not? What type of evidence is required? What stories are considered persuasive or unreliable? What is the role of translation in this process? We will pay particular attention to the forms of personhood that emerge or are put into crisis by clandestine passage, extra-territorial spaces of detention and the asylum interview.


Students must have either previously completed French 102 or its equivalent, or be concurrently enrolled in French 102. For additional placement information please see Placement Guidelines.

Additional information:

Satisfies College of Letters and Science breadth in Arts and Literature.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes