Studies in the French Caribbean
This course is about the French speaking Caribbean islands with
a focus on Martinique. In the Caribbean where Haiti has been independent since
the early 1800s, and Martinique and Guadeloupe have opted for “ambiguous” status
as French Departments also known as DOM-TOMs (Departements d’Outre Mer -
Territoires d’Outre-Mer), the question of identity is complicated by the
syncretistic mixture of African, European, and Ameridian meanings and tongues.
In this course, we will approach those complexities by considering some of
Martinique’s world-renown authors, including Aimé Césaire, Ina Césaire, Frantz
Fanon, Patrick Chamoiseau, Edouard Glissant, and Joseph Zobel. Most of the
themes under study will relate to race, gender, social classes, religion and
politics. Students willing to participate in our Winter mini-term in Martinique
as well as those who are taking this class for another reason will come to see
Martinique with a lens that is not that of a tourist.
Class Project: Each student is expected to participate in
the construction of a webpage on Martinique towards the end of the term, a kind
of virtual travel agency for the culturally curious traveler (who is not a mere
tourist), one filled with text, images and sounds (in French, bien sûr!).