La Francophonie : langue, colonie et civilisation (FRE275 and FRE276)
Tutor: Dr. Audrey Small
Semester: 1 and 2
Credits: 20 (10 x2)
Brief Description (including aims of course):
Taking as its focus the current institution of francophonie, this course seeks to subvert the standard textbook presentation of francophonie as a colourful, even `exotic´ addition to French Studies courses through an exploration of the politics and polemics which have followed the idea of francophonie since its inception. Perceptions of the role of the French language is the key problematic: while francophonie is an exciting project in an internationalised, globalised world, given the colonial/imperial history of the implantation of French around the world, the fact of using French remains tied to unresolved questions of power, identity and politics.
Seminars plus directed reading. Students will be expected to prepare topics for discussion in each class, including working in pairs to give short presentations of the short stories in one of the set texts; as well as reading widely around the subject in their own time.
All students are expected to purchase their own copy of each of the set texts for the course:
- Agnant, Bessora, et al (ouvrage collectif), Dernières nouvelles du colonialisme (La Roche d’Atheron : Vents d’Ailleurs, 2005)
- Cheikh Hamidou Kane, L’Aventure ambiguë (any edition)
- Driss Chraïbi, La Civilisation, ma mère!(Paris : Denoël, 1972)
Two films complete the ‘set texts’ for the course; these are available as DVDs from the library, and showings will be organised in the course of the year. The films are Le Soleil assassiné, directed by Abdelkrim Bahloul, on Jean Sénac, and Bamako, directed by Abderrahmane Sissako.
By the end of the module, a candidate should be able to demonstrate:
- a good understanding of the colonial history of Africa and of the Caribbean and of decolonisation
- knowledge of the development of literature in French and of the main debates which surrounded this
- the ability to analyse the main reactions to the idea of francophonie
- the ability to relate debate over language issues to wider themes treated in the literary texts studied
- • an appreciation of how cultural background may inform reading; and of the implications of this for this particular field of study
- the ability to carry out independent research appropriate to the level of study
Continuous assessment, based on course-work assignments (one extended essay or equivalent in each semester).