Courses for Fall 2011
FRN 164D/History 165D/Cul Anth 156D/English 171FD
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 http://www.fhi.duke.edu/labs/haiti-lab.