French 211: Representation of Islam in French Literature & Pop Culture

An introductory course in an interdisciplinary area of French studies. Taught in English.


Through a large spectrum of literary works, movies, songs and pop culture, we will examine how Islam and the Islamic world are depicted in French artistic expressions. This course will enhance your “cross-cultural competence” in an interdisciplinary approach that delve into the long and
complex relationships between the Arab World and the West. Learning about another culture will help you to appreciate other societies, challenging your own cultural assumptions about the “Other”.


You will also read articles from the press in order to understand the place of Islam and the Muslim community in France today. Furthermore, we will focus on contemporary debates related to immigration and the secular values of the Republic.


We will read excerpts from the classical French literature: Montesquieu, Voltaire, Hugo, and Lamartine. We will see movies like: Monsieur Ibrahim, Persepolis. And we will listen to singers as: Diam’s, Khaled, Cheb Mammi and stand-up comedians, such as Djamel Debouzze and Gad Elmaleh.


Several guest speakers will visit the class.


Seeing the world through the eyes of other cultures will enhance your intercultural knowledge, and will encourage you to think beyond your regional and disciplinary foci, which can facilitate the expansion of your intellectual horizons.