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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2005

T C 357 • French/African Literature and Politics—W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41125 MW
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
MEZ 1.122

Course Description

This course will examine contemporary French and “Francophone” African literary texts, focusing on the various views regarding otherness (altérité) and identity. How does an author choose to represent “The Other” and what are the reasons for such a choice? What are the factors that may encourage such an outlook? Victor Segalen, while redefining the term exoticism, stated his need to maintain distances. In an era of displacement with many writers moving between cultures, different approaches have appeared, giving us the opportunity to consider a wide range of perspectives. Many African and Caribbean writers, such as Glissant, offer a new outlook that re-question boundaries. Over the course of the term, we will be looking at important literary works, different theories on identity, colonial and postcolonial history, and African cosmogony systems (rituals, initiation, divination systems) in order to acquire the necessary tools to ground our analyses and understand the texts. We will also see a few films to enrich our discussions.

About the Professor Helene Tissieres is an Assistant Professor, African literatures, Department of French.

Grading Policy

This course contains a substantial writing component. Two short essays (3-5 pages on assigned topics): 100 pts Midterm examination: 50 pts Presentation (on material read for class): 50 pts One final paper (7-10 pages): 100 pts Homework, participation, attendance, improvement: 100 pts


Victor Segalen, René Leys Robbe-Grillet, Jealousy Werewere Liking, It will be of Jasper and Coral Tchicaya U Tam’Si, The Madman and the Medusa Marie Ndiaye, Among Family


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