Maghrebian Francophone Literature In Translation (English-taught)

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Course Information
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 


Additional student cost: 



The purpose of this course is to introduce the American student to modern Maghrebian Francophone Literature. The course encompasses novels, short stories and poems by Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian writers.  Special and constant emphasis will fall upon their technical method and thematic concerns, social and moral problems, language and tragic vision; and therefore, study and discussion will revolve around problems of genre, social and cultural identity, and the effects of irony in their works.

Attendance policy: 

Class attendance is compulsory. Each student will be allowed only two unexcused absences throughout the course. For each unexcused absence beyond this there will be a reduction in the final grade. Students who are late to class on a regular basis will also receive a reduction in their final grade and/or disciplinary action.

Students should not exceed 2 absences in each (45 hours) content course.
Students should not exceed 4 absences in the (90 hours) Arabic language course.

Any additional absence would lower the grades as follows:
1 more absence = will lower the final grade by 5 %
2 more absences= will lower the final grade by 10 %
3 more absences = will lower the grade by 15 %
4 more absences = will lower the grade by 20 %

Any additional absences will continue to lower the final grade by 5% increments. 

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand of the nature of Maghrebian Francophone Literature, its historical, ethnic, and cultural identity.
  • Speak with an enhanced knowledge of world literature.
  • Enjoy reading works of a significant era of post-colonial Maghreb.
  • Sharpen students' acumen as interpreters of foreign language.
  • Undertake a comparative study between Maghrebian literature and, say, American literature.
Method of presentation: 

A variety of major and minor works will be studied by means of close textual analysis, since the themes and issues raised generally unfold themselves in subtleties of style, tone, and point of view. Students should consult pertinent studies of the history, social and cultural background to modern Maghrebian Francophone Literature. The approach to this literature in class will be by means of textual analysis and debate; presentations and written essays will  consist of critical analysis of seminal passages of these works.

Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Active class participation and oral presentation - 15%
  • Midterm Exam - 20%
  • Research paper (8-10 pages) due by week 12 - 30%
  • Final exam: 35%
Week Topic Content
1 Colonial  Discourse and Post Colonial Theory
  • Day 1 : Aimé Césaire,  Discourse on Colonialism. 1972 .(A Critical book), pp. 31-46
  • Day 2: Ngugi Wa Thing’o, The Politics of Language in African Literature ,1986 A Critical Book), Chapters: “The Colonizer who accepts”, pp.45-76 and  “ Mythical Portrait of the Colonized”, pp.79-89,
2 Decolonizing  Maghrebian Societies
  • Day 1.  Hassan Zrizi. The Easthetic Function in Chinua Achibe and Tahar Benjelloun’s Function, 2001 (Unpublished Ph.D  thesis), “Ideological and Cultural Decolonization”, pp. 18-23
  • Day 2. Ngugi Wa Thing’s, The Politics of Language in African Literature,“The Colonizer who Refuses”,pp. 19-43
3 Nationalist Narratives and the quest for a post colonial Otherness
  • Day 1.Driss Chraibi. The Past simple 1990 (A novel), pp.pp.156-158
  • Day 2.Tahar Benjelloun, With Downcast Eyes 1991(A novel),pp.53-94
4 The Looking Glass: A Portrait of disintegrated Maghrebian Societies
  • Day 1.Rachid Boujedra. The Repudiation, 1995 ( A novel),pp.35-41
  • Day 2.Ahmed Saber, Voices from Underground 1973-2001(Anthology of collected poems) “Algeria Apocalypse”(a poem),pp. 50-51
5 “Shahrazad” is not Dead: Female consciousness in Maghrebian Women fiction, from the traditional text of Women to the target text of the revised women codes in the late “Moudawana”
  • Day 1.Leila Abouzeid, Year of the Elephant, 2008 (A novella),pp. 1-25
  • Day 2. Priscilla Ringrose, Assia Djebar: In Dialogue With Feminisms: Loins De Medine 2006 ( A Critical book), pp.221-245
6 The Maghrebian Writer and the Fictional Liberation of the Repressed Histories
  • Day 1. T. Benjelloun, The Sand Child 2000 ( A novel),pp.7-32
  • Day 2. A visit to one of the “ Associations of Women / Human Rights”  in Rabat. One of the leading Feminist movement will give students a survey on the social position of women in the Maghreb today.
7 The Maghrebian Autobiographical Novel: Man’s Struggle for Survival
  • Day 1. Driss Chraibi,The Past Simple,1990 ( A novel) pp. 1-32
  • Day 2. Mohamed Choukri, For Bread Alone 1973 (A novel), pp.7-55
8 The Rhetoric of Space and Time in Maghrebian Francophone literature
  • Day 1.Tahar Benjelloun. Silent Day in Tangier 1991(A novel),pp.1-31
  • Day 2. Leila Abouzeid, “A Notion of  Progress” 2005 (A short story) published in Leila Abouzeid.The Director and Other Short Stories from Morocco University of Texas at Austin 2005, pp.81-84
9 Text and Subtext: Hybridity as a subversive Form of Writing
  • Day 1.H. Zrizi, Back to Bahja,2009 ( A novella),pp.36-66
  • Day 2. Invite the novelist Zrizi to class to give a presentation on his novels.
10 Stylistic and Narrative Techniques in Maghrebian Modern Fiction and Poetry
  • Day 1. Ahmed Saber, “Freedom” 2001( A poem)
  • Day 2. Assia Djebbar, Fantasia, 1993( A novel), pp.3-5/pp.213-217
11 Maghrebian Francophone Literature and the Question of Western Literary Genre
  • Day 1.T. Benjelloun, The Sand Child 2000 (A novel), pp.27-32
  • Day 2.T. Benjelloun, The Sacred Night 2000 (A novel) pp.35-44
12 Maghrebian Francophone Literature and the problematic of Reading
  • Day 1.Ouafaa Saadi. Perception of  the Other Through the myth of the Prodigal Son in Contemporary French-Language Moroccan Literature (Doctorat du III Cycle) ,pp.1-9
  • Day 2.Samia Mehrez, “Translation and the Post Colonial Experience: The Francophone North African Text” ( A Critical Essay, pp.120-135


Required readings: 
  • Ahmed Saber. Voices from Underground , Poems 1973- 2001,Imp. INFO-PRINT. 2004
  • Assia Djebbar. Fantasia, Tr. Dorothy S. Blair. Heinemann, Postmouth, NH, 1985
  • Driss Chraibi. The Past A.Harter, Three Continent Press, 1990
  • Leila Abouzeid. Year of the the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2008
  • Leila Abouzeid, The Director and Other Short Stories From Morocco.Tr.The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at University of Texas at Austin, 2005
  • Mohammed Choukri. For Bread.Alone. Tr. Paul Bowles, Grafton Books, 1987
  • Priscilla Ringrose, Assia Djebar: In Dialogue with Feminisms. Rodopi B.V, Amsterdam, New York, 2006
  • Rachid Boujedra. The Repudiation.. Three Continent Press,Inc. Colorado Springs, 1995
  • Tahar Benjelloun. The Sand Child.Tr.Alan Sheridan. Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 2000                                                                                       
  • Tahar Benjelloun. Silent day in Tangier, Harcourt Brace Jovanivich, 1991
  • Tahar Bejelloun. The Sacred Night.Tr. Alan Sheridan, JH University Press,2000
  • Tahar Benjelloun. With Downcast Eyes.TR. Joachin Neugroschel.Little Brown and Company. Boston Toronto London, 1993
  • Zrizi Hassan, Back To Bahja. Imprimerie Badaoui, Rabat, 2008