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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


FR Contemporary: Modern and Contemporary French and Francophone Culture: Articulations of the Real

FR Contemporary: Articulations of the Real: Modern and Contemporary French and Francophone Culture

Course Convenor: Prof. Ian James (, Section of French

From the early twentieth century to the present day, French and Francophone artists, writers, film-makers, and thinkers have proposed a series of compelling, and often conflicting accounts of the encounter between cultural production, in all its forms, and the material, textures, rhythms, and practices of lived experience. This module will build up a picture of this central strand of the culture of its period, through a series of sessions dedicated to engagement with topics and works in which its key concerns are decisively articulated. The question of the engagement between the cultural object and its world forms a core around which many of the period's most significant contributions to intellectual and cultural debate may be gathered: the module thus aims both to propose a coherent exploration of a specific question, and to open onto a panoramic view of the period's most interesting and important aspects, as well as some particularly striking recent work in the fields of intellectual and aesthetic inquiry.
The module is open to all those who have degree-level French, whether or not they have previously studied the period. It may also be borrowed by students taking the MPhil in Film and Screen Studies.
There will normally be a maximum capacity of 14 for this module.

Preparatory reading might include any of the following (or similar):
Achille, Forsdick, & Moudileno (eds), Postcolonial Realms of Memory: Sites and Symbols in Modern France
Dawn Ades & Simon Baker (eds), Undercover Surrealism
Aimé Césaire, Discours sur le colonialisme
Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe
Georges Didi-Huberman, Images malgré tout
Mary Ann Doane, The Emergence of Cinematic Time
Frantz Fanon, Peau noire, masques blancs
_, Les Damnés de la terre
Mayanthi L. Fernando, The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism
Félix Germain & Silyane Larcher (eds), Black French Women and the Struggle for Equality
Stefanos Geroulanos, Transparency in Postwar France: A Critical History of the Present
Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic
Édouard Glissant, Poétique de la relation
_, Traité du tout-monde
Keaton, Sharpley-Whiting, and Stovall (eds), Black France/France Noire: The History and Politics of Blackness 
Laura U. Marks, The Skin of the Film
Timothy Mathews, Literature, Art, and the Pursuit of Decay in Twentieth-Century France
Achille Mbembe, Critique de la raison nègre
_, De la postcolonie
_, Politiques de l’inimitié
Alison J. Murray Levine, Vivre ici: Space, Place and Experience in Contemporary French Documentary
Mame-Fatou Niang, Identités françaises: Banlieues, féminités et universalisme
Jacques Rancière, Le Partage du sensible.
Kristin Ross, Fast Cars, Clean Bodies
Oana Sabo, The Migrant Canon in Twenty-first Century France
Luuk Slooter, The Making of the Banlieue: An Ethnography of Space, Identity, and Violence
Christy Wampole, Degenerative Realism: Novel and Nation in Twenty-first Century France 
Jim Wolfreys, Republic of Islamophobia: The Rise of Respectable Racism in France 


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