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A Francophone Maghreb?


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.

This module is only for the most motivated students and there is a maximum of 15 places available. The instructor will select the participants, based on your letter of motivation.
In order to allow students to book their flight as early and cheap as possible, the application deadline is 15 November 2019.


The Maghreb countries (particularly Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) cannot be understood without a Francophone perspective. During this seminar and the stay at NIMAR (Dutch Institute in Rabat-Morocco; 5 days), students will gain insight into the multilingual challenges of the cultural and political life in the Maghreb. The lectures will examine the historical and political aspects of the Francophony in the Maghreb, the language policies and the relationships between language, identity and literary production.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • have a thorough understanding of societal, linguistic and literary relations between France and the Maghreb

  • be able to put France/ Maghreb debates into a historical context;

  • understand how this knowledge can be applied to linguistic and cultural policies;

  • present their findings, based on research, to varied types of audience.


Courses of the Humanities Lab are scheduled on Friday afternoon from 13.00 to 17.00hrs.
For the exact timetable, please visit the following website.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

Date of the stay at NIMAR: Sunday 28/06/2020 to Friday 3/07/2020

The stay at NIMAR will be prepared by the series of lectures given in Leiden (conceptual and historical approaches; preparation of the interviews and visits in Morocco). The suggested/required reading will offer students a good overview of the current state of knowledge on the francophone past of Morocco and its multilingual challenges (case studies in Rabat and Casablanca). Excursions to various sites of cultural interest and to social organisations in the surroundings of Rabat and Casablanca will be offered to students.
Sub-fields: Linguistic identity, language and society, language and religion, language and political power, language and education, French linguistic and cultural policies in the Arab world, language and literary production.
Accommodation: in the historical centre of Rabat, supervised by the NIMAR.

The stay at the NIMAR in Morocco is an integral (and hence compulsory) part of the course.

  • Travel and accommodation are partly covered by the university in the form of a scholarship; the estimated amount of student’s contribution for travel and accommodation is approximately 125 euros. All other expenses besides travel and accommodation (i.e. meals, entry fees for visits not included in the programme, etc) are to be paid for by the students.

  • Insurance: Each student will need travel insurance; its number will be communicated to the Humanities International Office, Educational and Student Affairs, before departure.

Activities with the NIMAR (a detailed programme will be sent to participants later after the first lecture): interview with the Department of the French Cultural and linguistic cooperation of the French Embassy in Rabat, visit of Casablanca with Prof. dr. L. Buskens (French colonial and post-colonial modernity; architectural and urban heritage; city ‘rebuilt’ by the French at the beginning of the 1920’s); literary afternoon with Moroccan writers (in English and in French); round table about the Moroccan literary production at NIMAR; discussion with the Dean, Vice-dean, directors or French and English departments and students of university of Mohamed V Rabat.

Course Load

This course is worth 5 EC (140 hours).

  • Lectures: 4 lectures of 4 hours: 16

  • NIMAR stay (activities): 34

  • Literature reading: 30

  • Assignments & final essay: 60 hours

Assessment method

  • 30% active preparation and participation for the 4 lectures

  • 40% oral preparation and presentations during the stay at NIMAR

  • 30% final paper of 3000 words

To maximize the learning experience, students are expected to prepare for each seminar by both reading and reflecting on the assigned material in advance, to contribute regularly to seminar discussion by raising relevant comments and questions in conjunction with and in response to their peers.

Seminar leadership
In order to frame seminar discussion such that it is closely connected with assigned readings as well as relevant to students’ interests and concerns, students will take turns introducing the readings for the week based upon the content of their reflection paper. Students should speak for approximately 10 minutes and be prepared to facilitate the ensuing discussion.


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 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.


Brightspace will be used for:

  • weekly communications about the readings, questions, tasks etc…

  • discussion boards for the preparation of the interviews in Morocco

Reading list

  • Moha Ennaji, Multilingualism, Cultural Identity, and Education in Morocco, Springer, 2005


  • Charis Boutieri, Learning in Morocco: Language Politics and the Abandoned Educational Dream, Series: Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, 2016, Indiana University Press

(Accessible via the UL)


Students of the Humanities Lab will be registered via uSis by the administration of the Humanities Lab. More information about registration for courses will be provided on Brightspace.

General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Lecturer: Dr. K.M.J. Sanchez
Humanities Lab office: e-mail


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.