Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023

Course Description

In a manifesto published in Le Monde in 2007, forty-four French-language writers proclaimed the end of the idea of la francophonie and the “birth of a world literature in French” whose only borders were the mind itself. We will study this manifesto and responses to it and will then read recent fiction by four of its signatories. We consider such issues as claims of universalism versus historical and geographical particularities, the relationship between “world literature” in French and in English (not to mention in other languages), the problem of monolingualism, and the role of the international literary marketplace in shaping conceptions of national and world literatures. We will also consider the additional layer that we bring to these questions as we read French-language works in English-language translations. Students will do lots of informal and formal writing, including reflective, critical, and creative pieces.

Student Outcomes

This course addresses many of DePauw’s learning goals. As an Arts and Humanities (AH) course, it will help you develop your ability to understand and value artistic, cultural, and scientific achievements and the limits of those achievements. As a Global Learning (GL) course, it promotes engagement with cultural difference and cultivates a critical understanding of perspectives and voices of specific people and places outside of the U.S. As a “W” course, it will help you develop the ability to express your own ideas and the ideas of others clearly and to varied audiences, especially in writing.