New course Fall 2020 -- RACE in the US, France and the Francophone World: Intersections and Divergences

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 11:15 AM to Thursday, December 3, 2020 11:15 AM

FRTR 3559: RACE in the US, France and the Francophone World: Intersections and Divergences


What is it?

  • A new 1-credit FRTR course, Fall 2020 only (Course taught in English; no French required)
    • FREN 3559 is available as an option for French majors/minors in need of one additional FREN credit toward their degree.
  • Students and scholars from the US, France and the francophone world explore how race matters now in our lives, our studies, our scholarship
  • An opportunity to look at race through a comparative geographic and historical lens


When is it?

  • Fridays 12:00-1:15 EST via Zoom

The acute need to eliminate racial injustices of all kinds and the urgency of building a more equitable and just society are on everyone’s mind.  In response to our nation’s current civic moment, the Department of French is offering students this exciting new interdisciplinary course this fall only.

Together, students and scholars from the US, France and the Francophone world will explore how race matters in our lives, our studies, our scholarship. By examining race through a comparative geographic, contemporary, and historical lens, we will better understand how our different national experiences are interconnected but also how they diverge.

Guest speakers will address the interconnected legacies of slavery, racism and empire; questions of cultural memorialization; debates on statues and street naming in France, the US and in other places in the francophone world such as Senegal and Burkina Faso.

It is our hope that our discussions will help us better understand our role in imagining and enacting a more responsible and inclusive cultural landscape for our university, our city, our world.


Confirmed guest participants include:

  • Sue Peabody, University of Washington. There Are No Slaves in France (1996); Madeleine's Children: Family, Freedom, Secrets, and Lies in France's Indian Ocean Colonies (2017)
  • Sara Johnson, UC-San Diego. The Fear of French Negroes: Transcolonial Collaboration in the Revolutionary Americas (2012)
  • Pap Ndiaye (Sciences Po-Paris). La Condition Noire : Essai sur une minorité française (2008) 
  • Robin Mitchell (UC-Channel Islands). Vénus Noire: Black Women and Colonial Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century France (2020)
  • Annette Joseph-Gabriel (Univ. Michigan-LSA).  Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire (2020)
  • Mame-Fatou Niang (Carnegie Mellon), director of film Mariannes Noires (2017) author of Identités francaises : Banlieues, fémininités et universalisme (2019)
  • Fabienne Guillen Diop (Université de Pau/EHES)
  • Yarri Kamara. Writer, translator, cultural policy advisor UNESCO, based in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso (also a former UVA French major!)

UVA guest participants include:

  • Anna Brickhouse (English/American Studies) author of The Unsettlement of America
  • Marlene Daut  (English/ Carter Woodson Institute), author of Baron de Vastey and the Origins of Black Atlantic Humanism and Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865
  • Mamadou Dia (French/Media Studies) filmmaker
  • Jennifer Sessions (History), author of By Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria
  • Jennifer Tsien (French), author of The Bad Taste of Others
  • Bremen Donovan, UVA Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology working on discriminatory policing practices in France