Fall Courses in FIT Related to Race, Slavery, and the Legacy of Colonialism in the Francophone World

June 25, 2020

From the cover of the book: "Black France ⁄ France Noire The History and Politics of Blackness"
In light of the nationwide protests against racism and police violence that have swept the country in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, and the long-overdue attention that systemic racism is finally receiving, FIT would like to highlight the list of fall courses we offer that address the issues of racism, discrimination, slavery, and colonialism in the francophone world. 

FRE 334 / HUM 334 / ECS 344
Race in France

This interdisciplinary course explores the topic of race in France, from the earliest populations to inhabit the land now called France to the multiracial communities that reside there today. Approached through a variety of fields (law, ethnography, biology, literature, philosophy, and political theory), themes to be studied include, colonialism and immigration, scientific and juridical racism, anti-racist activism, and various racial imaginaries that mark the country's cultural production. Lecture in English with both English and French precepts.

INSTRUCTOR: Christy Nicole Wampole 

FRE 335 / COM 365 / ECS 347
Laughing with the Other: Humor and Alterity in French and Francophone Modern Literature and Culture

From colonization to civil war, Francophone Africa and the Caribbean are little understood beyond such grave issues of urgency and violence. However, no society, its people or their realities are homogenously desolate. Through the study of novels, graphic novels, films and stand-up, this course explores the place of humor in French literature and culture of Francophone Africa and the Caribbean. By the end of the seminar, students will have engaged with different forms of humor and will have acquired the skills to think critically about the capacity of humor in decolonizing French constructions of racial, gender and ethnic alterity.

INSTRUCTOR: André Benhaïm

FRE 403
Slavery and Capitalism in the Francophone World (LA)

Topics in Francophone Literature, Culture, and History: Slavery and Capitalism in the Francophone World

This course will study the interrelation of slavery and capitalism in the francophone Caribbean, from the Haitian Revolution to the present. The course will examine a series of classic works that contest French Caribbean colonialism and slavery, from the perspective of the historical transition from late imperialist feudalism to industrial and post-industrial capitalism. Writers addressed will include CLR James, Karl Marx, Aimé Césaire, Suzanne Césaire, Eric Williams, Edouard Glissant, and Maryse Condé.

INSTRUCTOR: F. Nick Nesbitt

FRE 524 / HUM 524
20th Century French Narrative Prose: Voice Matters

This course explores the narrative articulation of conflict and loss in a selection of works from different historical contexts, including slavery, the Holocaust, and the postcolonial world. Emphasis is placed on voice both from a narratological perspective and as a mode of thematization pertaining to such issues as class, gender, and race. Subjects to be discussed also include history, memory, and memorialization; the features of posttraumatic life; and the question of créolité.

INSTRUCTOR: Thomas Alan Trezise