Courses for Fall 2011

Global France

FRN 164D/History 165D/Cul Anth 156D/English 171FD

T/Th 10:05-11:20

Professors Laurent Dubois and Achille Mbembe

Recent events from the launching of a wave of democratic revolution in Tunisia, protests in France, and the controversy of the multi-racial French soccer team in the 2010 World Cup, have highlighted the many and complex legacies of the French empire in today’s world. In this course we will explore the 400-year history of French empire in the Americas, Africa, and Asia in order to understand the links between past and present. Our topics will include slavery and emancipation, colonial governance and anti-colonial history, citizenship and immigration, and the banlieue riots of 2005. Our readings will include novels and histories, essays and poems by figures ranging from Frantz Fanon and Aimé Cesaire to Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. We will also watch recent films, explore the cultural politics surrounding soccer in France, and analyze contemporary hip-hop music by MC Solaar, Assassin, and other musicians. The course is offered in both English and French, with a joint weekly lecture in English on Tuesdays and sections in either English or French on Thursdays. Students will participate in the “Global France” blog and write several short papers.

History of Haiti

HST 299S.02/ FRN 252S.02

Tuesdays 3:05-5:30 p.m.

This class, open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates from all disciplines, examines the history and culture of Haiti from the birth of the nation in 1804 to the challenges of post-earthquake reconstruction. We’ll examine the history of slavery and revolution, political conflict, foreign intervention – notably the U.S. occupation of 1915-1934 – and dictatorship and struggles for democracy in the late 20th century. But we will also confront and challenge reigning views of Haiti, exploring it’s moments of economic prosperity, it’s significant cultural and political impact, and the richness and complexity of its religious culture.

Readings will include history, anthropology, and literature, including work by writers Edwidge Danticat and Lyonel Trouillot. Students will have the opportunity to become co-editors of a book called The Haiti Reader (being prepared for publication by Duke University Press) which will present a range of short readings from and about the country. Discussions and the core readings will be in English, but students will be invited to work across languages as well: students enrolling through FRN 252S will work with French-language materials and work on translations from French to English, and those with knowledge of Spanish or Haitian Creole will have the opportunity to work in those languages as well. We will meet in the Haiti Laboratory at the Franklin Humanities Center and take advantage of lab resources and activities, including connections to the Program in Global Health and the Law School.

For information on the Haiti Laboratory visit


  1. Mr. Dubois,

    I am a haitian citizen living in Raleigh, and would be very happy and honored to be of service on any undertaking of your choosing. I work for URS Corporation in the Research Triangle in marketing, and have been in the states for more than 25 years. We are historically from Port-au-Prince and Petion-Ville, and most of my family on my father’s side still reside in Haiti. I now have an empty nest and am able to travel (more or less) at will.

    Je vous presente mes remerciements pour tous vos efforts envers mon pays, et vous offre mes salutations respectueuses.

    Monique Baussan

    • Hello, Miss. Monique, or is it Mrs.. My name is T. J. Mack and I live in Nashville, Tn. I read your note to the Dr. and would like to learn more about your country. Haiti has had such a rough time recently and historically with political problems. I hope the new president will bring the country together and solve some of the issues facing Haiti. I would love to talk to you about what you see in the future for your nation. I’m a writer of short stories and would like to write about the spirit of your country. You can contact me at I hope to hear from you soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: