Early Encounters: Travel Literature and Colonial Writing in French

This course explores narratives of travel and exploration in French from 1500 to 1800 and their relationship to colonization, gender, unfamiliar culture and nature, knowledge production and representations of the self and others. We will study “early encounters” across the globe positioning France within a planetary framework. This course will engage with French travelers to India, South and North America (Canada), Africa and the Caribbean. We will historicize the very notion of travel and geography as we closely read our texts. Along the way, we will address crucial topics that move us today, including migration, colonization, territorial exploration, borders, gendered spaces, ecology, multilingualism and the feeling of (non-)belonging.

Prerequisites: One of FREN 321, FREN 328, FREN 329 and one of FREN 402, FREN 225.

Language of instruction: French