Jun 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

FRE 391 - France Noire


France Noire is a course that provides an overview of France’s socio-historical relationship to Blackness within its borders and with migrants of African descent. Starting with colonial history and the exploitation of Africa and the post-colonial era, we study France’s complicated and problematic relationship to the concept of race, and to Blackness more specifically. The students in the course will gain knowledge and a critical understanding of how France has dealt with its Black population and what the current racial landscape looks like. While conservative factions argue for the preservation of France’s old social fabric, the course pays particular attention to the contributions of Black artists, politicians, and activists to the country’s well-being and development, and to the work of Black and anti-racist scholars and activists who bring to light the inequalities rooted in the Hexagon’s structural racism.

Because the course is taught in situ, students will have the unique opportunity to visit sites that play a critical role in France’s racial history, and will also have access to resources that are dedicated to issues discussed in the course.

Assignments are designed to impart historical knowledge of France’s racial and colonial history and to develop critical analysis of primary sources produced by artists, writers, and intellectuals of African descent. They include short analytical papers, a presentation, a midterm exam, and a final research project.