“Noir et fier de l'être”: Celebrating Black Lives in the Francophone World
From the pivotal Haitian revolution, to the delicious world of Afro-pean cuisine, to the vibrant dances of Zouk and le Hip Hop, this upper-division French class celebrates the presence of Black lives in the Francophone world. Combatting the systemic erasure of Blackness and Black people from European narratives, we will work to unearth Black beauty and subjectivity in a vast array of literature, film, songs, and social media from France, Haiti, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, and the Black American populace. What does it mean to investigate race in a historically color-evasive space such as France? What might we consider about the Hip Hop pillar of breakdancing/bboying making its debut in the Paris Olympics, or the critical interconnections between race and sports? How does transnationalism impact Black populations, such as Franco-American expatriation in the Jazz Age and the presence of Senegalese tirailleurs in Vietnam? How does the Black Francophone subject present themself in traditional forms such as literature versus novel media such as the Internet? Moreover, how can we all – as teachers and learners – configure our own social identities in this investigation of the Black Francophone world, especially considering its and our cultural idiosyncrasies? This class will be taught completely in English with texts in English. All films will have English subtitles. Several texts will be offered in French for departmental majors and minors who wish to refine their French comprehension.