FRENCH 270 - French and Francophone Literature and Culture
Section: 004 France's Orient
Term: WN 2018
Subject: French (FRENCH)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Enforced Prerequisites:
FRENCH 235 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better).
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

In Orientalism, Edward W. Said famously argues that the so-called Orient is a European invention. Furthermore, as a system for understanding its supposed geo-cultural referent, Orientalism was a means of having power over it and therefore a correlate of Europe’s colonial projects in North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. A key concept in postcolonial studies, therefore, Orientalism will serve in this course as the focus that will introduce students to some of the key questions and methods of French and Francophone literary studies. Beginning with nineteenth-century texts that mark the heyday of French Orientalism (and of France’s colonial ventures in North Africa) and that most conform to Said’s model, we will then consider more contemporary examples, some of which involve the Orient writing back in North African literature in French. Finally we will consider examples from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, before France’s colonial interests turned towards North Africa. These readings will thus allow us to complicate Said’s account and to highlight historical differences in Orientalist discourses. Throughout the course, particular emphasis will be placed on the components of college-level writing in French, particularly in writing that engages in the interpretation of literary and other cultural texts.

Required Texts (ordered in local bookstores or available online):

If possible, the following texts should be purchased in the Classiques Larousse edition:

Voltaire, Zadig
Racine, Bérénice

The following readings will be available on the Canvas site for this course:

  1. Edward W. Said, Orientalism (selections)
  2. Gérard de Nerval, Voyage en Orient (selections)
  3. Gustave Flaubert, Correspondance (selections)
  4. Gustave Flaubert, Salammbô (selections)
  5. Oscar Wilde, Salomé
  6. Leïla Sebbar, Shérazade: 17 ans, brune, frisée, les yeux verts (selections)
  7. Leïla Sebbar, “Le peintre et son modèle”
  8. Assia Djebar, “Regard interdit, son coupé,” Femmes d’Alger dans leur appartement
  9. Montesquieu, Lettres persanes (selections)
  10. Denis Diderot, Les bijoux indiscrets (selections)

Course Requirements:

Participation, in-class writing, four short writing assignments, two 4–5-page papers.

FRENCH 270 - French and Francophone Literature and Culture
Schedule Listing
002 (REC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
003 (REC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
004 (REC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
005 (REC)
MWF 9:00AM - 10:00AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9782035855749
Berenice tragedie, Author: Jean Racine ; edition presentee, commentee et annotee par Cecile Lignereux., Publisher: Larousse Nouvelle e 2011
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 9782035866028
Zadig ou la destinee : conte oriental et philosophique, Author: Voltaire ; edition presentee, annotee et commentee par Florence Chapiro., Publisher: Larousse 2011
Other Textbook Editions OK.
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