This course is an invitation to discover texts written by various prominent authors from West and North Africa. The product of a complex colonial and post-colonial history, this is a literature where cultures, histories, identities, genres, and languages intersect. It gives voice to new questions of identity and self-definition through the exploration of traditional as well as innovative forms of writing. Together, we will study these texts by engaging in close literary analysis as well as broader discussions on themes and concepts such as imperialism and colonialism, post-colonialism, cultural translocation, gender, race, sexuality, religion, and multilingualism. In doing so, we will encounter new ways of reflecting on questions and issues that concern us all, our self-definition, and the way we relate to others. For interested students with some experience in French, there will be the opportunity of a separate optional “Foreign Language Across the Curriculum” component.Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.
Hélène Julien is associate professor of French, Women’s Studies, and LGBTQ Studies. Her research focuses on contemporary francophone women authors, especially those from North Africa and the North-African diaspora, and first-person narratives.