Literature and Cultural Studies Courses

My teaching interests are diverse and interdisciplinary, but primarily focus on investigating how literary narratives encourage readers to envision their linguistic and socio-material experience as well as literature from a different perspective. Throughout my teaching career, I have designed literature and cultural studies courses that reflect on that question through the study of different literary genres, settings, eras, and cultures. Diversity is paramount to my teaching, so I strive to include a plurality of voices in my selected texts.​ Below you will find a selection of courses that I have previously taught in the U.S. and France as well as those that I am currently teaching. 

Queer Politics in Literature

This course examines ways in which gender, sexuality, and identity politics inform, critique, and shape literature and visual narratives in the United States and Western Europe. It focuses on the relation between works of fiction and key sociopolitical and artistic moments from the 1890s to today, covering the Decadent movement, queer activism in the Weimar Republic and 1920s U.S., Second-Wave feminism, Stonewall riots, Third-Wave Feminism, the AIDS crisis, marriage equality movement, and global queer migrations. Readings include printed, visual, and oral sources which are complemented with press articles, legal and medical documents, and a critical bibliography addressing major debates in literary studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Authors include Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Edmund White, Audre Lorde, John Rechy, Cherríe Moraga, Adrienne Rich, Leslie Feinberg, Audre Lorde, Cheryl Dunye, and Sandy Stone.

Writing Diversity in America

This two-semester seminar offers an interdisciplinary and historically organized study of minorities in twentieth and twentieth-first century United States. Through active readings of literary and visual narratives centering on African American, Native American, Chicana/o, Asian American, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender subjectivities, we examine how creative uses of discourse articulate and challenge historical contexts and longstanding social inequalities. Primary readings include a selection of short stories, excerpts of novels, plays, comic performances, and autobiographical essays by Gloria Anzaldúa, Octavia Butler, W.E.B. Du Bois, Sandra Cisneros, Toni Morison, among other authors, which are complemented with critical studies on narratology, American history, Critical Race Theory, feminism and Queer Studies. Our class discussions, assignments and term essays, address the narratives’ relation to social issues such as racial and ethnic discrimination, intersectionality, heteronormativity, (post)migration, gender and ecological inequality, language rights, and the writing of history, but we will also explore the works’ artistic and aesthetic devices—including humor, intertextual allusions, linguistic hybridism, and the fantastic—used to convey the broad and complex experience of being a minority in the U.S. 

Postmigration Studies: 

Toward the Study of Migration Heritage 

In this seminar we draw from fictional narratives, history, and politics to explore experiences of immigrants’ descendants in contemporary France, the United States, and Germany. We begin by situating global cultural productions within the context of Postmigration, a concept that emerged in the 2000s Berlin theatre scene to describe the reality of individuals who have not migrated themselves, but who have been socialized in an environment marked by migration and narratives about migration. Next, we look at literary representations of Chicana/o, Franco-Maghrebi, and Turkish-German subjects through the themes of migration, language, family, pervasive literary tropes, gender, and socio-material space. We then compare the studied works cross-culturally, paying special attention to the different cultural and sociopolitical contexts. Finally, we explore the discursive and analytical space of Postmigration as a tool for social change. Primary readings include short stories, essays, excerpts from novels, and visual and digital narratives by authors that include, among others, Mehdi Charef, Jakob Arjouni, Sandra Cisneros, Faïza Guène, Alejandro Morales, Zafer Şenocak, Selim Özdoğan, and Leïla Sebbar. 

Francophone Postcolonial Literature

 

 

This course explores various ways in which authors hailing from mainland France, the Francophone Caribbean, the Maghreb, and West Africa have attempted to create a sense of the colonial historical past and understand its diverse legacies through literature and film. Readings for the course focus around key historical periods such as the building of the French colonial empire, slavery, the Haitian Revolution, the departmentalization of the French Caribbean, the decolonization of West Africa and their civil wars, the French-Algerian War and migrations to continental France. Primary texts include novels, films, autobiographical texts, and experimental fiction that will bring our focus to six themes: history and literary history, history as experience, poetics of history and the politics of history, socio-historical approaches to literature, the transcription of history in fiction, and the concept of collective memory. Authors include Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Yamina Benguigui, Assia Djebar, Patrick Chamoiseau, Azouz Begag, Ahmadou Kourouma, and Rachid Bouchareb. 

Écritures algériennes: 

Myths, Narratives, Memory

 

Covering key periods of Algerian history (Antiquity, the Ottoman period, the French colonization of 1830 to 1962, the independence war [1964-1962], the emigration waves to France, the Algerian Civil War [1991-2002], the post-civil war), this course analyzes major works of Algerian literature in French. The general questions that guide our analysis include: how do Algerian writers and visual artists respond to both the hegemony of the French literary tradition as well as the Arabization policies of the Algerian State and the marginalization of Amazigh languages and cultures? How can we further “decolonize” the study of Algeria and dedicate a space for Algerian women writers to achieve visibility and foreground their experiences and ideas of Algeria?  Readings include printed, visual, and oral sources which are complemented with readings of the colonial press and a critical bibliography in order to better understand the diverse history and complexity of the Algerian cultural landscape. Authors include, among others, Albert Camus, Assia Djebar, Leïla Sebbar, Kamel Daoud,  and Tahar Djaout.

Le Creuset Français: 

Tales of Migration to France

This course studies fictional depictions of immigration into France from the late 19th century to the present. It aims to provide a critical understanding of migration as a theme and literary genre of French literature with a special emphasis on four migration waves: the Italian migrations of the 19th and early 20th century, the Spanish migrations of the 20th century, the postcolonial migrations from North and West Africa, and refugee narratives of the 2010s. Through the study of novels, theatre, film, and critical texts from a number of disciplines (art, history, sociology, political science) we will discuss concepts and theories of exile, postcolonialism, transnationalism, multiculturalism, immigrant integration, postmigration, third space, and intersectionality. Authors include Omar Benlaala, Calixthe Beyala, Marie Darrieussecq, Fatou Diome, Sylvie Garcia, Serge Valetti as well as press on immigrants from the 19th to today. 

French Love Series

This two-semester course focuses on love as a theme and narrative device in French short stories, novels, poetry, films, and graphic novels  from the early modern period to the present. The first semester covers narratives from the end of the 16th century to late 18th century. It explores the tragedy of forbidden love in the 17th century ,the rehabilitation of human passions in the Enlightenment and various plays of love in the theatre and novels of the 18th century. Selections from contemporary texts on love, sex, and desire that include literary, philosophical, visual rewritings of early modern love contribute to a renewed understanding of early modern French and Western European traditions of affects and feelings. The second semester covers narratives from the French Revolution to the 21st century. Through the reading of texts by Chateaubriand, Balzac, Proust, Duras, among others, the course centers on the theme of modernity as a cultural and social process that continues to influence  artistic representations of love as a feeling linked to contradictory emotions, an ideal of intersubjective relations, and a unique, life-changing experience. Readings for the course focus around key historical events such as the French revolution of 1789, the urbanization of the 19th century, the world wars, decolonization, and other contemporary events including marriage equality.