nl en

French Worldwide: Language, culture, identity


Admission requirements

This course is available for students of the Humanities Lab
If you have received your propaedeutic diploma 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, identities and cultures? 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 (esp. literary). 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, the Caribbean, Canada and Louisiana. The module includes a visit to the African Studies Centre (Leiden).


  1. History, diplomacy and identity: the Francophone case (Wednesday 28-03-2018, 19-22 hrs)
  2. Language and language politics in postcolonial settings I (Friday 06-04-18, 13-17 hrs)
  3. Language and language politics in postcolonial settings II (Friday 13-04-18, 13-17 hrs)
  4. The Maghreb: Francophonie and literature (Friday 20-04-18, 13-17 hrs)
  5. Writing French in the Caribbean (Friday 04-05-18, 13-17 hrs)
  6. Visit to the African Studies Centre + final session (Friday 18-05-18, 13-17 hrs)

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • have a thorough understanding of the societal, diplomatic, linguistic and literary challenges of the French speaking world
    They will be able to:

  • put Francophonie and its debates into a historical context

  • analyse Francophone artefacts

  • discuss the concepts of the course with sound argumentation

  • present their findings, orally and written


Courses of the Humanities Lab are scheduled on Friday afternoon from 13.00 to 17.00 h. For the exact timetable, please visit the following website
Please note: the first lecture is scheduled on Wednesday 28 March 19-22 hrs (due to Good Friday).

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Excursion

Course Load

This course is worth 5 EC (140 hours).

  •     Lectures: 5 lectures of 4 hours: 20
  •     Excursion + final session: 5 hrs
  •   Literature reading & practical work: 55       
  •   Assignments & final essay: 60 hours

Assessment method

  • 25% active participation

  • 25% oral presentation

  • 50% final paper of approx. 3000 words

The final grade is an average of these three grades. All three exams need to be passed with a 5.0 min
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.


Attendance is compulsory for all meetings (lectures, seminars, excursion). If you are unable to attend due to circumstances beyond your control, notify the Humanities Lab office 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.


Blackboard will be used for study material, communication and discussion.

Reading list

Articles and texts will be provided by Blackboard.


Students of the Humanities Lab will be registered in uSis by the administration of the Humanities Lab

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Lecturer: Dr. A.E. Schulte Nordholt Humanities Lab office