We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: French Studies

Introduction to Francophone Literature and Culture

Academic Year 2018-2019

Taught and examined in English. This course introduces students to the broad range of literature and culture produced in French-speaking countries around the world. We will study a variety of texts and films from five different geographical areas: West Africa, North Africa, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Canada. These will be set in context by discussion of the history of francophonie, and theories of colonialism and post-colonialism, drawing on the work of thinkers such as Franz Fanon, Jean-Paul Sartre and Edward Said. The course will pursue a set of themes through the works studied - principally identity, otherness and language - to suggest that an apparently disparate set of texts and films can in fact be seen to share similar preoccupations and raise similar questions.

Texts/films to be studied in 2018/19:

  • Mariama Bâ, Une si longue lettre (1979) - novel (recommended edition: Le Serpent à Plumes, 2001)
  • Ousmane Sembène, Xala (1974) - film
  • Gillo Pontecorvo, La Bataille d'Alger (1966) - film
  • Assia Djebar, Femmes d'Alger dans leur appartement (1980) - short stories (recommended edition: Le Livre de Poche)
  • Patrick Chamoiseau, Solibo Magnifique (1991) - novel (recommended edition: Folio)
  • Ananda Devi, Moi, L'Interdite (2000) - novel
  • Jean-Marc Vallée, C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) - film

Copies of the films will be made available in A58, the School office.


Dr Joe Ford (, room A6, Elvet Riverside I.

Further details of pre-requisites, co-requisites, aims, contact hours and assessment