GSL’s subjects in African Studies complement the strengths of the section’s offerings on other parts of the globe. As the African continent is home to the largest population of French speakers in the world today, a portion of our African Studies subjects are taught in French, focus on French-speaking Africa, or are taught in English with a “French option” (this option allows advanced French learners to complete all written assignments for the subject in French). With these options, our African studies subjects add to the French group’s subject offerings and can count towards the concentration, minor, and major in French. Moreover, with their focus on creative production, material culture, and diaspora, GSL’s subjects in African Studies resonate with other subjects in Studies in International Languages and Cultures (SILC); together, these subjects offer students the possibility for cross-cultural, thematically driven concentrations in SILC. Further, all African studies subjects can count toward the minor in African and African Diaspora Studies.
Fall 2019 Course Offerings
21G.025 Africa and the Politics of Knowledge
21G.346 Topics in Modern French Literature and Culture: Comtemporary Francophone Africa: Francophonie and Beyond
This course takes French-speaking Africa as its object of inquiry. Starting from a historical perspective to understand how there came to be a Francophone Africa, it then turns to how that historical legacy plays out in the contemporary era, with an emphasis on the politics of language. We consider the role and the place of the French language in the colonial project and decolonization movements. And delving into the distinctions between francophonie as the use of the French language, and Francophonie as a political project, we interrogate the place of French in the contemporary African landscape. In addition, we use novels and films as points of entry into the discussion of important topics in contemporary African societies. Students learn to leverage theoretical tools from anthropology and social theory to analyze and interpret these topics. In past semesters, topics have included migration, the relationship to the state, creative production, the city, and futurityf