FREN 416 - French Interdisciplinary Studies
This category of courses includes courses offered by faculty outside the French and Francophone studies department that focus on topics relevant to French Studies. Recent offerings have included have included the course below, but may also include courses taught by faculty in the French and Francophone Studies department on topics relevant to French studies but created primarily for other departments and programs.
Towards a Postcolonial Pacific: Contemporary Literature from Aotearoa/New Zealand, French Polynesia and Hawai’i
This course is a comparative introduction to postcolonial literature (and some film) from the Pacific region, in particular from the so-called “Polynesian Triangle.” The course examines recent works by major literary figures through a postcolonial prism, and focuses on literary representations of the political and social legacy of colonialism in these territories. For each country studied, we begin with a brief historical review of colonization in dialogue with a text written by a colonial visitor or settler. We then examine resistance to dominant colonialist discourse in the works of prominent contemporary “indigenous” authors, in dialogue with current political debates in each territory. Course themes include differing conceptions of race, ethnicity and indigeneity in each country, and their relation to the histories of British, French and U.S. imperialism in the Pacific; the rise of indigenous nationalist movements, and the question as to whether political independence defined in ethnic terms remains a feasible goal in an era of globalization; questions of language in a Pacific space still dominated by its colonial division into distinct “Anglonesian” and “Franconesian” spheres; and the island as a unit of political organization as opposed to alternative pan-Oceanic conceptions of inter-relation. Authors studied include Katherine Mansfield; Patricia Grace; Witi Ihimaera; Victor Segalen; Chantal Spitz; Célestine Vaite; Herman Melville;Mark Twian; Lee Cataluna; Lois-Ann Yamanaka. (Offered next in 2014)