Maghrebian Francophone Literature (French-taught)

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

Appropriate language level, generally 4 or more semesters of college-level French.

Additional student cost: 



The purpose of this course is to introduce the American student to modem Maghrebian Francophone Literature. The course studies novels, short stories and poems by Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian writers. Special and constant emphasis will fall upon the technical method and thematic concerns, language and tragic vision; and therefore, study and discussion revolve around problems of genre, social and cultural identity, and the effects of irony in these 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.
  • Speak with an enhanced knowledge of world literature.
  • Enjoy reading works of a significant era of post-colonial Maghreb.
  • Interpret with acumen foreign literature.
  • Undertake a comparative study between Maghrebian literature and, say, American literature.
Method of presentation: 

A variety of major and minor works are 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 modem Maghrebian Francophone Literature. The approach to this literature in class is by means of textual analysis and debate; exposes and written essays will consist of critical analysis of seminal passages of these texts.

Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Class participation and exposes - 15%
  • In class midterm exams - 20%
  • Research paper (10-15 pages) due by week 12 - 25%
  • Final exam - 40%
Week Topic Content
1 Colonial Discourse and Post Colonial Theory
  • Aimé césaire, Discourse on Colonialism, "Discourse on Colonialism", pp. 31-53
  • Albert Memmi, "Le portrait du Colonisé précédé du portrait du colonisateur » dans Littérature Maghrébine de langue Française par Jacqueline Arnaud, pp. 338- 341
  • Lamrani Alaoui, « langue, culture et identité » dans Identité culturelle au Maghreb. (Publications of Mohamed V University, Rabat), No. 19,1991, pp.99-102
2 Post Colonial Maghrebian Literature
  • A. Khatibi, « Introduction » et « situation du Roman Maghrébin » dans Le Roman Maghrébin par A . Khatibi.
  • S. Rachida Boucetta. « Identité Culturelle et Discours parallèles » dans Identité Culturelle au Maghreb,(revue littéraire) ibid, pp.33-39
3 Decolonizing Maghrebian Literarature
  • Albert Memmi, « la situation de l'écrivain Colonisé » in Le Roman Maghrébin de A.Khatibi,pp. 127-129
  • Malek Haddad, Destin de l'écrivain algérien » in le Roman Maghrébin, pp.130-132.
  • A.Laabi, « Prologue de la Revue « Souffles (revue littéraire)» in Le Roman Maghrébin, pp. 142-146
4 The Maghrebian Experience in Literature
  • Mohammed Choukri, Le Pain nu (novella). pp. 74-79
5 Being and Nothingness in Maghrebian Literature
  • Tahar Benjelloun, Harrouda (novel), chapter, chapters: 2 and 3 
6 The Representation of the Other in Maghrebian Literature
  • Tahar Benjelloun. l'enfant de sable, (novel) chapter 2_« la porte du Jeudi »x pp. 15- 27
7 Maghrebian Literature: Mirror of a Society Lost and Disappearing
  • Rachid Boujedra, La Répudiation, (novel) chapter. 2 , pp. 33-41
  • T. Benjelloun, La Nuit sacrée,( novel) chapter.6 « un poignard caressant le dos », pp.58-62
8 Alienation in the Maghrebian Novel
  • Driss Chraibi, Le Passé simple (novel),  chapter.1 « Les éléments de base »
9 Immigration and its Impact on Meghrebian Identity
  • Rachid Boujedra, Topographie Idéale pour une agression caractérisée (novel), chap ; 13, pp. 157-162
10 Feminine Consciousness in the Meghrebian Novel
  • Assia Djebar, L'Amour, la fantasia(novel), pp.11-13 and pp.227-300
11 The Search for the Lost Self in Maghrebian Literature
  • M . Choukri, Le Pain nu. chap. 1, 2, 3, 4
12 Meghrebian Literature and the Politics of Genre
  • Kateb.Yassin,Nedjma,chapitre 1,pp.41-47
  • Abdellatif .Laabi. « Oeil de Talisman» (Poem)


Required readings: 
  • Abdellatif Laâbi. « Le Règne de Barbarie. »
  • Abdellatif Laâbi. « Discours sur la Colline Arabe. »
  • Driss Chraibi. Le Passé Simple.
  • Driss Chraibi. Les Boucs.
  • Katib Yassin. Nejma.
  • Mohamed Choukri. Le Pain Nu.
  • Mohammed Choukri. Violence sur la Plage.
  • Mohamed Kheir Eddine. Agadir.
  • Mohamed Dib. La Grande Maison.
  • Mohamed Dib. L’Incendie.
  • Mustapha Nissabouri. « Les Mille et Deuxième Nuits. »
  • Rachid Boujedra. Topographie Idéale pour une Agression Caractérisée.
  • Rachid Boujedra. La Grande Répudiation.
  • Tahar Benjelloun. La Nuit Sacrée.
  • Tahar Benjelloun. Moha le Fou Moha le Sage.
  • Tahar Benjelloun. L’Enfant de Sable.
  • Tahar Benjelloun. Harrouda.