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French Worldwide: Language, Culture, Identity


Admission requirements

This course is available for students of the Humanities Lab
If you have received your propaedeutic diploma, or completed your first year, within one academic year, your academic results are good and you are a very motivated student, you may apply for a place in the Humanities Lab.


What does it mean to speak (and write in) French in the francophone ‘periphery’ (i.e. the French-speaking world outside France, supposedly the centre of power)? How do the various francophone contexts influence language, identity and cultural production? Can the debates around ‘francophonie’ inform our contemporary considerations and concerns about global power?

These questions are at the core of the course in which we address ‘Francophonie’ in all its aspects (historical, political, linguistic and cultural) and through analysis of various artefacts (e.g.: novels, songs, movies, etc.). The course tackles the relations of domination, post-colonialism and legitimacy in specific temporal and geographical contexts, for instance the Near East (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine), North-Africa, Sub-saharian Africa, the Caribbean, Canada and South East Asia.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
1. have a thorough knowledge of the societal, diplomatic, linguistic and cultural challenges of the French speaking world;
2. be able to:

  • put Francophonie and its debates into a historical context

  • discuss the concepts of the course with sound argumentation

  • find relevant information on the topics of the course

  • analyse cultural artefacts from the French speaking world

  • present their findings, orally and written


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Courses of the Humanities Lab are scheduled on Friday afternoon from 13.30 to 17.00hrs.

Mode of instruction

Seminars (weekly lecture and discussion); Excursion (Africa Museum - Tervuren, BE)

Assessment method

The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of three exams (paper: 50%; participation: 25%; oral examination: 25%). All three exams need to be passed with a 5.0 min.


  • Paper (approx. 3000 words): 50%

  • Oral examination (in small groups): 25%

  • Active participation & individual contribution to the discussions: 25%.


As shown above.


Attendance is compulsory for all meetings (lectures, seminars, excursion). If you are unable to attend due to circumstances beyond your control, notify the lecturer and/ or the Humanities Lab coordinators in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence, and hand in your weekly assignment in writing to the lecturer (if applicable). Being absent without notification and valid reason may result in lower grades or exclusion from the course.


If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the final essay. Contact the course lecturer for more information.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

All material of the course will be made available via Brightspace or via a Dropbox.


Students of the Humanities Lab will be registered in uSis by the administration of the Humanities Lab. Students register for the Humanities Lab modules through an online form, more information will be provided by Umail.

General information about uSis is available on the website.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


This course is part of the Humanities Lab programme, visit the website for more information.
Visit the Honours Academy website for more information about the Honours College.