FREN-477 Migration and Identity in Contemporary France: Fictions of Integration
This course proposes to explore a series of contemporary texts, films, and cultural productions (such as Rap and Ra? music, comic strips, coming of age novels, TV documentaries, immigration laws, newspaper articles, etc.) in the context of the recent emergence and coming of age, in metropolitan France, of a generation born of (North) African immigrants. These cultural productions challenge notions of national identity and culture from within. Is culture something we own? Something that owns us? How then does cultural change occur? What contestations, what statements, what struggles are at stake in these "texts"? We will examine the historical and social background of this emergence; the resonance and significance of the notion of ethnicity in France; the role of some key spaces, mainly schools (for example, in the infamous "affaires du voile") and urban spaces ("les banlieues" and their representations in the media) in the process of culture change. Finally, we will explore how this emergent production puts into question the border between high culture and popular culture. Cross-listed with Comparative Literature. This course fulfills the upper-division culture requirement for the French major.
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