AFR 339
The Banlieue in Literature, Music, and Film Spring 2022
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed RLFR 300 / COMP 336 / AFR 339

Class Details

The banlieue looms large in the French collective imagination. From its origins in medieval law, the term banlieue at the end of the 20th century has taken on multiple, at times overlapping, but almost exclusively negative meanings. It designates a peripheral geographical space often in contrast to its city center, social exclusion, “urban culture”–as in Hip Hop-produced within that space, and last but not least the symbolic bias through which its inhabitants are viewed (Vieillard-Baron). In this course, we will examine various constructions of the banlieue in French music, a manifesto, film, blogs, and literature to focus on the analytical, contestatory and affirmative dimensions of these narratives. Two decades after the film La haine, and ten years after the riots, how are filmmakers, artists, authors, and scholars of the banlieue reimagining and reframing the banlieue? What do current depictions of banlieues in the French media tell us about the State, French politics, and the state of French politics? What do “banlieue films” and “banlieue lit” tell us about the banlieue? In this course, conducted in French, we will read, watch, and listen to various constructions of the banlieue in French music, film, and literature to focus on the contestatory and affirmative dimensions of these narratives.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 14
Expected: 10
Class#: 3608
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 3 thesis five-page research papers, 2 start-of-the-class brief presentations, active participation to in-class discussions and mini-conference on the banlieue (class final project).
Prerequisites: RLFR 105 and above
Enrollment Preferences: French majors and certificate students , Africana and Comparative literature students
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
RLFR 300 Division I COMP 336 Division I AFR 339 Division II
WS Notes: To hone their research and writing skills (and prepare for their conference on the banlieue), students will write three research papers (with thesis statement and subheadings) from which they will receive professor feedback.
DPE Notes: This course, Banlieue in Lit, Music, Film fosters difficult but carefully framed conversations about race, class, gender, citizenship, housing segregation, discursive practices, immigration and belonging in contemporary France and how identities and power relationships are expressed in banlieue film, literature and French hip hop music.
Attributes: FMST Core Courses

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