FREN 407 - Francophone Studies
This course category encompasses the study of cultures and literatures from the French-speaking regions and countries outside of France. It includes such recent courses as:
Voix du Nord - Quebec et les autres: Québec is uniquely situated in the world: at a crossroads between European and North American cultures, a French-speaking province surrounded by English-speaking nations, and historically both connected and disconnected from its indigenous populations. It has also recently been a destination for émigrés from all over the world. This course examines the distinctive multicultural dimensions of the francophone province of Québec and its interactions with “les autres” (other cultures and peoples), through a study of recent literature published over the past 30 years. We begin with a brief overview of the history of Québec’s multicultural identity, from the colonial era through the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s and up to 21st-century Quebec, including the 2012 assassination attempt on the new prime minister and the 2008 debates over the “reasonable accommodation” law that shocked the nation. The second section proceeds with an analysis of three of Québec’s strongest cultural partners: the heritage of the French, the influence of the U.S., and the complicated interactions with First Nations. The third section of the course focuses on the relationships between Québécois “de souche” (citizens of French or British heritage) and recent immigrants. The texts and films studied in this section include characters originally from China, Haïti, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, and other countries around the world. We examine why they moved to Québec, why they chose French as their principal language of expression, and how they interpret their new homeland. Throughout the course, we explore issues of language, identity, exile, and memory to understand the complex negotiations between inhabitants of “la belle province.” Taught in French. Prerequisite: FREN 306 or permission of instructor.
Les Voix du Sud: This course is an introduction to francophone literature––specifically that of the sub-Saharan region––through literary, cultural, and political issues. By drawing from African text (poetry, theater, novels, and essays) and film, the course seeks to retrace several significant periods that have influenced African francophone literature to this day. The course will focus on four key axes: The first axis is that of “traditional African oral literature” from the pre-colonial period and the translation of these oral works into French. We begin by visiting pre-colonial “oral” literature and its transcription into French translations by discussing the concept of literature in its relationship to the written and the oral, as well as the relationship of the author and the translator. The second axis explores from the beginnings of a “written” literature until the 1950s based on the revaluation of traditional African cultures and a critique of colonization. This angle will essentially be organized around works of negritude and its critique. The third axis is the “disenchantment” of African independence and the denunciation of African dictators. This aspect covers works from the 1960s to the 1980s. Finally, the fourth axis, from the 1990s to the present, is studied from two orientations: francophone literature from the African diaspora––”migritude”––and post-genocide literature. In addition to African films and several excerpts from texts, we study Le Pauvre Christ de Bomba by Mongo Beti, Le soleil des Indépendances by Kourouma, Le ventre d’Atlantique by Fatou Diome, and Murambi by Boris Diop. We invite writers and specialists in francophone African literature. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FREN 306 or permission of instructor.
Francophone Studies: Haiti: Haiti is the first Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere, it is the first island that Christopher Columbus colonized, it is also the first country to defeat the troops of Napoleon, an event that precipitated the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In short, it is an important place to study as it is connected to North and South America, the Caribbean, France and other European countries, and the African continent. In this course, we will study the history of Haiti since pre-colonial times, through historical documents, history analysis and political documents and analysis from the colonial period to current events in Haiti. We will also examine the place of Haiti in relation to globalization, and its economy and how it went from practically supporting more than half of the French economy in the 17th-century to being the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Haiti is one of the most productive places in terms of culture: paintings, literature, music, etc. The course emphasizes the introduction to Haitian culture with the study of its religions, languages and cultural productions. We will listen to various music that developed throughout history in Haiti. Taught in French. Prerequisite(s): FREN 306 or permission of the instructor. (4 Credits)