Contemporary Francophone Literature Seminar (FREN 4395)

“L’autre (en) France” (Spring 2015)

An upper-division advanced literature seminar for French majors organized around three guiding questions: How did European ethnographic and cultural works construct images of Africa and of Europe? How do African authors and artists build on or challenge these images? How do African and Afropean authors and artists grapple with the politics of their own representation?

Highlights from the Course Syllabus


  • Recent novels by African and Afropean authors including Alain Mabanckou’s Black Bazar and Léonora Miano’s Blues Pour Élise.
  • Twentieth-century childrens’ comics including Babar and Tintin in the Congo.
  • Ethnographic exhibitions (human zoos) and Brett Bailey’s contemporary performance art piece, entitled “Exhibit B.”
  • Contemporary African popular music by Baloji, Papa Wemba, Koppo, Manu Dibango, and Douk Saga.