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FR248 Colonial Memory

Module Code: FR248
Module Name: Colonial Memory
Module Coordinator: Professor Pierre-Philippe Fraiture
Not running in 2024-25
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

Does colonialism merely belong to the past? Recent French examples show that half a century after decolonisation the colonial past is still informing – and sometimes haunting – public (and private) debates on immigration, ‘French-ness’ and the very nature of republicanism. Colonialism and its aftermath are ideal terrains to understand France now, examine its relationship with other global powers, and analyse some past and present racial and ethnic inequalities at the heart of French society.

We will explore the relationship between imperialism and culture and will focus on a wide selection of materials ranging from colonial iconography, architecture, music, novels, popular culture, essays and feature films.

The first part of the module will concentrate on the colonial era (1880-1960) and assess the impact of French colonial discourses and counter-discourses on imagination (or more specifically on what is referred to as 'l'imaginaire' in French). The second part will evaluate the use of the colonial past in contemporary culture.

Core Texts

André Malraux, La Voie royale (1930)

Julien Duvivier, Pépé le Moko (1937) [feature film]
Claude Lévi-Strauss, Race et Histoire (1950)
Gaël Faye, Petit Pays (2016)
Kamel Daoud, Meursault, contre-enquête (2013)
Bertrand Tavernier, Coup de torchon (1982) [feature film]

Assessment Method:

50% - Assessed work (one essay of between 2,000 and 2,500 words in length)
50% - Formal examination