French Slavery in Literature, Art and Film

Between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries, France was responsible for the kidnapping, forced transport and enslavement of over a million Africans. The deep cultural effects of this violent history, both in France and in its former colonies, have only recently become the subject of wide discussion. A key challenge for understanding French slavery is the complete lack of any known slave narratives. This absence raises difficult questions: how do literature, art, or film relate to testimony? Are some forms, media, or genres more legitimate or effective than others to describe slavery? The course explores these questions through the study of literature, film, paintings, and memorials. Primary sources are in French, while secondary sources are in both French and in English. Class discussions are conducted in French, as well as oral and written assignments, will reinforce your skills in textual and visual analysis, as well as your oral and written proficiency.

Course Information



4 Points

Term Section Instructor Schedule Location

Fall 2017

Cecile Bishop
TR: 4:55 PM - 6:10 PM 25W4 C-12