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From Exoticism to Authenticity

Textbooks during French Colonization and the Modern Literature of Global Tourism

Claudine Moïse

Abstract

This article explores the French fascination with “the primitive” and “the exotic” in the post–World War I years through a study of representations of the French colonies in textbooks intended for primary and secondary schoolchildren. It then compares these representations with contemporary French-anguage tourist literature in Ontario, Canada, demonstrating continuities between these “exotic” representations of the colonial other and contemporary discourses centered on “authenticity” in the world of international tourism.