"This Could All Be Yours Someday" -- Building the Nation through Literature
The Suns of Independence
This course will focus broadly on how literature shapes the “nation” and mediates our relationship to it. Using concepts from Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities as a starting point, we will focus on a variety of texts, principally from traditions of French expression, meant to consider various themes and questions: Who belongs to the nation? How should the nation be represented? What is its genesis story? What versions of history should constitute the nation’s shared memory? Texts will range from Kourouma’s masterwork of disenchantment The Suns of Independence to Bégaudau’s fictionalized account of his experience as a French teacher in a schoolroom in Paris in modern France. Beyond textual readings, students will develop practical skills involved in the research process including searching for secondary sources, note-taking, bibliographical curation, as well as further improving analytic and argumentative writing skills.
This course will be oriented toward the development of research skills and the production of two papers.
French R1B fulfills the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement in the College of Letters and Science. Class conducted in ENGLISH.