This article offers a genealogy of the impact of French and Francophone Studies during the past decades in order to offer suggestions about how the field might be reconfigured and re-imagined in the present. We argue that the best way forward will be to dispense with traditional boundaries and borders within the field and instead embrace a general identity as Francophonists in order to bring together work on and from different regions of the globe.
Laurent Dubois and Achille Mbembe
Entre enjeux locaux et perspective globale
This article discusses the circulation of francophone news, information, and literary content between Western Europe and North America in the nineteenth century. During this period, big metropolitan cities (Paris, Brussels, Montreal, New Orleans) were forming a dense media network. For the western Atlantic region, New York City and the Courrier des États-Unis (1828–1938) served as the hub of this network. Francophone readers on both sides of the Atlantic shared a large common corpus, including works such as Eugène Sue’s Mystères de Paris (1842–1843), which was distributed in North America by the literary supplement of the Courrier. By providing a general overview of this French-speaking network, this article invites scholars to explore how texts, and literature in particular, operated through an interlinked dynamic system of publication rather than as independent unconnected works.
This article explores cultural traditions from a little-known corner of the francophone world, what specialists call Franco-America. It represents a fertile site for reexamination of francophone postcolonial cultures. Beginning in the nineteenth century, French Canadians traveled to New England mill towns in search of work, established ethnic communities, and progressively became Franco-Americans. Today, endogamous Franco enclaves have all but disappeared, but French cultural expressions persist. Jack Kerouac is the most wellknown representative of this obscure French life. Franco-American written cultures, the focus of this essay, shed light on a distinct immigrant experience in the United States.
Drawing on archival material, oral interviews, and memoir literature, this article explores the changing meanings of France, the French language, and French colonialism for francophone Sephardic Jews who immigrated to the United States in the post-World War II years. Initially, both francophonie and a larger sense of connection to France and French culture were points of positive connection that set Jewish immigrants from the Muslim world apart from the Ashkenazic American mainstream. By the turn of the millennium, however, Sephardic francophonie in the United States had become largely attenuated. While this was due in part to demographic factors, it was also the result of changing attitudes towards France and francophonie on the part of both Sephardic immigrants and their descendants, as well the general American and American Jewish population more broadly.
With FPCS embarking on its fourth decade of publishing work on the study of France and the francophone world, the journal invited scholars in several disciplines to write short essays on where they thought the field of French Studies should head in the future. This essay introduces the resulting dossier on “French Studies and Its Futures.” It situates the project in the current context in which the field is thriving intellectually but struggling with menacing institutional pressures. It goes on to describe the particular formulation of French Studies that the journal came to represent in its early years in the 1980s, how it evolved since, and what that experience suggests about how scholars can respond creatively to the challenges and opportunities the future may hold for the field.
The Paradoxes and Possibilities of the Francophone Belgian Road Movie
This article builds on recent scholarship on the European road movie, focusing on Francophone Belgian road films that engage with issues of citizenship and personal, national, and transnational identities. The relationship of these films to the process of identity reformulation within new European parameters is examined, using four films from the past decade as case studies: Eldorado (Bouli Lanners, 2008), L'iceberg (Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy, 2005), Quand la mer monte/When the Sea Rises (Jeanne Moreau and Gilles Porte, 2004), and Les folles aventures de Simon Konianski/Simon Konianski (Micha Wald, 2008). Despite the limited scale of its territory, this article contends that Belgium's complex make-up and status as a post-colonial “melting pot“ provides the ideal laboratory for cinematic identity quests. While anchored in a distinctively Belgian context, these films demonstrate that national boundaries are no longer an adequate container for identities in contemporary Europe. Particular focus is paid to the ways by which each film employs and distorts the traditional road movie template to stage voyages into citizenship.
des terrains d’Afrique de l’Ouest francophone aux faits stylisés
Catherine Baron and Muriel Maillefert
*Full article is in French
English abstract: The issue of water and in particular the access to potable water in developing countries has become a great challenge on the local scale as well as at the global level. Public policies—often under the influence of donors—have successively favored several patterns of access to water. Each of these patterns has been tested, though none has been able to achieve established objectives from the point of view of both efficiency and equity. Using an institutionalist perspective that focuses on the issues of actors constructing collective rules of resources management and distribution, we perform a comparative analysis of the processes of emergence and of institutional sustainability for water management in some French-speaking African countries, based on field cases.
Spanish abstract: La problemática del agua, particularmente el acceso al agua potable en los países en desarrollo, se ha convertido en un gran desafío a nivel local y global. Las políticas públicas, a menudo bajo influencia de concesionarios, han implementado en los últimos años diversos modelos de acceso al agua sin alcanzar los objetivos de eficiencia y equidad esperados. A partir de información de campo, y desde una perspectiva institucionalista centrada en la construcción social de reglas colectivas de gestión y asignación de recursos, nos proponemos un análisis comparativo de los procesos de surgimiento y sustentabilidad de las instituciones encargadas de la gestión del agua en países africanos de habla francesa.
French abstract: La problématique de l'eau, et notamment l'accès à une eau saine dans les pays en développement, est devenue un enjeu majeur tant à l'échelle locale qu'au niveau global. Les politiques publiques, souvent sous influence des bailleurs, ont successivement privilégié plusieurs modèles d'accès à l'eau, chacun ayant été testé, sans pour autant atteindre les objectifs fixés à la fois sur le plan de l'efficacité et sur celui de l'équité. Nous proposons, à partir d'une entrée institutionnaliste, c'est-à-dire qui s'intéresse aux enjeux de la construction, par les acteurs, des règles collectives de gestion et de répartition des ressources, une analyse comparative des processus d'émergence et de pérennisation des institutions pour la gestion de l'eau dans certains pays d'Afrique francophone, à partir de données de terrain.
Une notion stratégique dans l’espace littéraire francophone
*Full article is in French
This article offers a socio-historical approach to analyzing the genesis of the notion of “Algerian literature” and its structural relationship to “French literature”— unstable notions that have been subject to fierce debate. I show how “Algerian literature” has been nationalized and ethnicized during the twentieth century. These transformations are linked to Algerian writers’ literary and political struggles with one another. Their approaches to affirming or denying the very existence of “Algerian literature” during the colonial era, or its ethnic character after Algerian independence, depended on their political convictions, but also on their recognition within the French-Algerian literary space. A structural analysis of the kind offered here allows us to see new historical continuities and ruptures between French colonial literature and the literature of post-independence Algeria. It reveals too that the figure of Albert Camus has remained in the heart of the debates even to this day.
The present edition of European Comic Art is our somewhat belated tribute to the eightieth anniversary of Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin. Hergé’s roaming reporter first appeared in the Brussels-based children’s magazine Le Petit Vingtième on 10 January 1929, but he still bestrides the world of Francophone comics like a colossus in plus fours. The 24 Tintin albums, which appeared from 1929 to 1986, have sold millions of copies. Without The Adventures of Tintin the bande dessinée would not exist as we know it and neither, very probably, would European Comic Art.
This article explores the strategies Gabonese cartoonist Pahé deploys to disrupt media-driven images of Africa in both his autobiographical series La vie de Pahé ['The Life of Pahé'] and the fictional series Dipoula, co-created with French cartoonist Sti. It focuses on the role of humor as a way to mock Western hegemony while exposing how sustained colonial logic informs Western representations of Africa. Using humor that thrives on misrecognition, Pahé thwarts readers' expectations and facilitates new possibilities for thinking through the relationship between Europe and Africa, while also drawing attention to the attendant relationship between Franco-Belgian bandes dessinées and other Francophone comics.