Writing the Self: Contemporary Francophone Autobiographies (MLF3071)

15 credits

This module introduces students to French and Francophone autobiographical literature, with particular focus on the relationships between individual and establishment, women and men, and colonizer and colonized. The three primary texts are written in the first-person narrative voice, and engage with key aspects of French society and history to show how the individual is always defined by (and in relation to) the society in which s/he operates. Whether this is a mid-twentieth-century French society in which women have yet to be accepted as the equal of men, a post-colonial Algerian society in which legacies of conflict divide the population and result in fractured identities, or an ‘Algeria in France’ in which this memory of conflict is negotiated at the heart of the former colonial power, all of the texts in question evoke the individual as ‘outsider’, and each can be read as a product of its socio-historical context.

Knowledge of French language is essential for this module. There are no other pre-requisites.