Rewriting France

141 :  French Studies in an International Context
Spring 2024
Class No: 31059
Karl A. Britto
11:00 AM - 12:29 PM

"PLEASE NOTE: Discussions and readings for this class will be in English. For almost a century, francophone authors with ties to different parts of the former French empire have written about colonial and postcolonial subjects who travel into and out of France. In this class, we will discuss several texts, dating from the mid-twentieth century 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 cultural 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 such as “home,” “nation,” “citizen,” and “foreigner”? What forms of agency (or lack thereof) underlie these stories of migration? How do the political, social, and economic contexts that structure movement into and out of France shift over time?"

Authors considered will likely include: Chiekh Hamidou Kane; Ousmane Sembène; Alain Mabanckou; Fatou Diome; Azouz Begag; Leïla Sebbar; Gisèle Pineau; Faiza Guène.