Seminar in Francophone Studies: Arts of Survival: Contexts of Creativity in Dakar, New Orleans and Port-au-Prince

FRIT-F667 — Spring 2019

Course image for FRIT-F667: Seminar in Francophone Studies: Arts of Survival: Contexts of Creativity in Dakar, New Orleans and Port-au-Prince.
Eileen Julien
WH 009
Days and Times
4:00P-6:00P W
Course Description

Joint offered with CMLT-C 641 and AAAD-A 590

A comparative exploration of contemporary urban culture and arts in cities with African and French roots, across multiple continents. What are the aesthetics, distinctive capacities, and uses of specific artistic forms and media—arts, performance arts, and literary arts—that flourish in these cities? How do these forms express or engage political and social hierarchies, reproduce marginalized or precarious lives? Represent and respond to trauma caused by natural catastrophes, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, and man-made disasters of colonialism, slavery, and political violence? Can the arts play a distinctive and critical role in reworking social relations, contesting abusive power, and constituting a new sense of local, national, and even transnational belonging? How are the arts and urban public space appropriated by strapped local governments under neo-liberalism? Our “artists” may include novelist Boubacar Boris Diop; filmmakers Djibril Diop Mambety and Jo Gaï Ramaka; visual artist Kalidou Sy, rapper Mami Victory (Dakar); poet Brenda Marie Osbey, filmmaker Spike Lee, pop group Tank and the Bangas (New Orleans); novelist and filmmaker Dany Laferrière, filmmaker Raoul Peck, performers Baky Popile and Wycliff Jean (Port-au-Prince). “Scholars” (a few of whom may be guest speakers) may include folklorist Rebecca Dirksen, art historian Joanna Grabski, historian Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, social critic C L R James, political scientist Cedric Johnson, literary scholars Natalie Melas and Oana Panaité, historian Felipe Smith. The course will be joint-listed. Grad students earning French credit will write in French and will read original French-language texts in French.

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