May 1, 2022

In light of the recent protests and statements in support of Black Lives Matter and other anti-racist organizing efforts, the College of Liberal Arts is highlighting how its courses incorporate issues related to Black Lives Matter. We will highlight one course each month. You can view all of our courses here:

See the description below detailing how CLA faculty advance the anti-racist messaging of Black Lives Matter through assignments, readings, and pedagogical practices that affirm the lives, history, and culture of Black people across the globe. Descriptions fall into one of three categories—Long-Standing Practices, Recent Changes, and Future Plans—designed to demonstrate the ongoing nature of anti-racist efforts:

Long-Standing Practices

Instructor: Dr. Aparna Nayak
Course: FREN 475/575A – Seminar in Francophone Literature: Africa

Working mostly with post-colonial novels and films from Sub-Saharan West and Central Africa, this course explores the engagement of the African novel with key issues such as colonialism, the politics of ethnicity, language, religion, age, race, gender, migration, the impact of climatic, cultural, and geopolitical diversity and the construction of nationhood. Although the focus is on postcolonial works, we will begin by mapping the work of earlier canonized figures such as Maran, Senghor, and Alioune Diop, among others, in order to examine the way they engage with these issues, before moving our focus to that of a younger generation of writers emerging in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Students will become familiar with writers from Senegal, Ivory Coast, Congo, and Guinea. By way of our study of these texts and the contexts of their creation, we will also examine the relationship between France and its former colonies in West Africa, from first encounters to current discourses and debates about what some call “Françafrique,” neocolonial exploitation, migration, to name a few.