RLFR 111(F) Introduction to Francophone Literature: Roots, Families, Nations*

Mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, cousins. Orphans, illegitimate children, runaways, exiles. As Leo Tolstoy wrote in the opening of his 1877 novel, Anna Karenina, "All happy families resemble one another; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own fashion." The Francophone world, stretching across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas, has often been described as an unhappy family, joined by a shared language, but also by a problematic history. Through fiction and film, this course will examine how writers and filmmakers from the Francophone world have approached the idea of family both literally and metaphorically, using the idea of family to explore questions of identity, origins, colonialism, resistance, nationhood and interconnectedness in a global community. Authors we will read include: Henri Lopes (Congo), Leila Sebbar (France/Algeria), Driss Chraibi (Morocco), Dany Laferriere (Haiti), Maryse Conde (Guadeloupe), Aime Cesaire (Martinique), Assia Djebar (Algeria), and Linda Le (Vietnam). Conducted in French. Requirements: active class participation, Blackboard postings, two short papers, an oral presentation, and a final paper. Prerequisites: French 109 or above or results of the College Placement Examination, or permission of instructor. Enrollment limit: 20. (expected: 15).