We are at work reviewing module content in relation to the critical interrogation of colonialism, Eurocentrism, and imperialism. Several regularly-offered modules, however, do already orient themselves specifically around such questions, and thus may be of interest to students wishing to deepen their understanding of these themes, especially in its variations across different regions of the world.
The following is a list of those modules by student year, with notes by current instructors to further aid you in selection. Selections have been limited to those modules running in 2020-21, and will be updated accordingly as module offerings change.
FREN1041 Society and Its Outsiders in Modern France
This module focuses on power and its (mis)use in different social classes, private spheres and variable milieux. More broadly, the module situates its examination of gender, sexuality, and other social constructs in relation to the legacy of a normative colonial hierarchy, scrutinizing in particular colonial practices of socio-psychological classification.
SPAN1141 Identity in the Spanish-Speaking World
Constructions and reconstructions of national and transnational identities in the Hispanic World are the focus of this module, with particular attention to the role of language and linguistic contact in the make-up of transcultural identities and to representations of race, gender, sexuality and nationality in samples of Spanish and Latin American cultural production.
FREN2061 The Francophone Imaginary: Legacies of Colonialism in Literature and Culture
Moving across different parts of the French-speaking world, this course traces the political imprint of colonialism and interrogates the cultural media through which philosophers, writers and filmmakers have sought to articulate historical violence to establish a postcolonial politics, to imagine new forms of voice, identity and place, and to reflect upon the ways that colonial realities and unequal powers relations continue to haunt and to shape our contemporary world.
FREN3461 The F-Word: Feminism and Intersectionality in Contemporary Francophone Writing
On social media and in the streets, the rise of “feminism” as a keyword for decoding politics around the globe may seem a singular symptom of the present. Yet not so long ago in the late twentieth-century, feminism, and in particular the notion of an écriture féminine, was also a keyword for understanding the sphere of Francophone letters. This module examines interactions between theory and literature across the French-speaking world from the lens of feminism and intersectionality. Themes explored in any given year may include the representation of the body, affect, desire and sexuality, sexual violence, kinship, reproductive rights, disability, inequality in the workplace, ethnicity and race relations, migration, social alienation and disaffection. The module will consider how feminist concerns are shared, debated and contested within different social and cultural contexts in France and beyond the métropole, and we will also reflect broadly upon the construction of gender, examining the representation of masculinity, as well as queer, trans and non-binary subjectivities. Examining a broad range of novels, short stories, poetry, photo texts, and essays, the module will confront questions such as the following: what is the relationship between feminism and literature today? What role might the literary play in reflecting, shaping or advancing feminist debates? What does the term feminism mean to contemporary writers across the francophone world, and whom does it include? How might we understand the persistent ambivalence and antagonism surrounding the word ‘feminism’ through the lens of contemporary writing?
FREN3471 Migrations in Cultures of the French-Speaking World
Following the long history of migration as a red thread, this course examines topics such as the following: how France in its emergence as a colonial power undertook a vast and controversial exercise in the migration to Paris of language, learning, and other forms of ‘soft power’; how postcolonial writing in French has drawn on migration in its utopian articulation of a world without borders; and how modern literary forms – the essay and the novel – have become central to literature in French as it explores the complexities of the migrant life.
SPAN3311 Representing Women: Sex and Power in Colonial Latin America
This module confronts students with the experiences of women of indigenous, African and European descent in the Americas, from the colonial era through the nineteenth century. The final three weeks in particular focus directly on the Black experience.