Issues in Global Displacement: Voix francophones

FRENCH 325S.01

This course will build advanced language skills while exploring issues in global migration and resettlement. Through historical, political, and literary perspectives, we will explore the current state of refugees and asylum seekers in Western host societies, with a particular focus on Francophone refugees in North America.

  In the first part of this course, we examine current laws, processes, and practices related to refugee resettlement. What leads people to flee their country and seek refugee status, and what are the processes they must go through as they seek asylum? Our investigation of the causes of what has been termed “the global refugee crisis” will focus primarily on refugees whose home countries and countries of first asylum are located Central and Western Africa (DRC, CAR, Chad, Cameroun, Rwanda). Our texts will include UNHCR documents, documentary film and interviews, and literary narratives, with close attention to the politics of listening to and speaking for other communities.

In the second half of the course, we examine the introduction and integration of these refugees in their host countries. As we review discourse and assumptions of host societies, we study the challenges of the cultural orientation process in North America (US and Canada). Our discussions will include an exploration of what constitutes testimony or narrative (including oral vs. written), critiques of testimony as single truth narrative (including the operations of doubt and truth in cultural productions), as well as ethical considerations of creating refugee narrative.  In an effort to better understand these issues – and enhance development of linguistic and cultural competence – this course will have a community-based component that engages students with the Francophone refugee community in Durham. Students in the course will be required to do 20 hours of service over the course of the semester, in a variety of settings that range from ESL tutoring to home-health visits to cultural activities aimed to introducing new arrivals to the Duke and Durham community.

Classes meetings will be conducted entirely in French.

 LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of the semester, you will be able to:

Articulate an understanding of the complex interplay of individual and collective processes related to refugee and community populations in host and home societies

·      Appreciate the ways in which particular narratives of refugee experience can both extend and/or diminish trauma

·      Critically analyze the histories of narrative and testimony and their implications for recording refugee experience

·      Demonstrate intercultural communicative competencies that include empathy, flexibility, and tolerance for other cultures

·      Communicate in oral and written French in ways that are both effective and appropriate for your audience, preparing you to function at the low-advanced level on the ACTFL proficiency scale

 PREREQUISITE: French 204, an AP Literature Test score of 4, an AP Language Test score of 5, or an AP Language and Culture Test score of 5 (advanced-intermediate according ACTFL scale).  If you have any questions related to your course placement, please contact me right away

Prerequisite: French 204 or equivalent.

Day / Time
MW 03:05 PM-04:20 PM

Languages 207

Reisinger, Deborah