Module Catalogue 2020/21

FRE2045 : French Caribbean Literature

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Myriem El Maizi
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
FRE1071Level B (HE Intermediate) French
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the SML to build on skills gained at Stage 1:
- To provide students with knowledge of the social and political history of the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
- To introduce students to the critical analysis of a range of novels in Caribbean literature.
- To introduce students to theoretical approaches to the question of cultural identity in the Caribbean context.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module consists in the study of four novels by key writers from Guadeloupe and Martinique, and combines discussion of the socio-historical background of literary production with theoretical and literary approaches to the colonial and postcolonial context in the French Caribbean.

Week 1: General Introduction – Lecture 1 (90 mins) + Lecture 2 (90 mins)
Week 2: La Rue Cases-Nègres (Joseph Zobel) – Lecture 1 (90 mins) + Lecture 2 (90 mins)
Week 3: La Rue Cases-Nègres (Joseph Zobel) – Seminar 1 (120 mins) + Seminar 2 (120 mins)
Week 4: Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle (Simone Schwarz-Bart) – Lecture 1 (90 mins) + Lecture 2 (90 mins)
Week 5: Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle (Simone Schwarz-Bart) – Seminar 1 (120 mins) + Seminar 2 (120 mins)
Week 6: Essay Writing Workshop (90 mins)
Week 7: Traversée de la Mangrove (Maryse Condé) – Lecture 1 (90 mins) + Lecture 2 (90 mins)
Week 8: Traversée de la Mangrove (Maryse Condé) – Seminar 1 (120 mins) + Seminar 2 (120 mins)
Week 9: Chronique des sept misères (Patrick Chamoiseau) – Lecture 1 (90 mins) + Lecture 2 (90 mins)
Week 10: Chronique des sept misères (Patrick Chamoiseau) – Seminar 1 (120 mins) + Seminar 2 (120 mins)
Week 11: Feedback Workshop on Formative Assessment (90 mins)+ Surgery Hours (120mins)

Seminars will feature a non-assessed presentation by a group of students.
The module is taught and examined in English.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

- Knowledge of the history of French colonisation and departmentalisation of the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
- Understanding of theoretical approaches to the historical and political realities in the Caribbean and the movements of ‘Négritude’, ‘Antillanité’ and ‘Créolité’.
- Critical understanding of Caribbean culture and literature and the ways in which a Caribbean cultural identity is constructed in the writing.

Intended Skill Outcomes

- Developing critical and analytical skills, learning to construct coherent arguments and to use textual evidence to support them.
- Developing linguistic skills in reading in the target language, both standard reading and close analytical reading.
- Presenting and discussing ideas orally in seminars.
- Developing research skills, using appropriate sources (books, journals and electronic sources).
- Organising private study.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:3015:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching82:0016:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:303:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide students with a general introduction to the socio-historical context of French Caribbean literature, as well as an introduction to key selected novels and theoretical grounding for the study of these texts. Seminar discussion will be based on student presentations in groups and on prior close reading of the prescribed texts. The presentation and seminars will allow students to practise teamwork and presentation skills. Private study time will be devoted to an initial reading of the novels and to a more detailed analysis of relevant extracts, as well as reading and note-taking from secondary critical sources and additional teaching material. This will be available primarily through Blackboard or through the Robinson library, and students will develop their independent learning skills and research techniques.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A70One essay of 2500 words. To be written in English, and submitted end of Semester 1.
Written exercise1M30One Commentary of 1500 words. To be written in English, and submitted in Week 7 of Semester 1.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MDetailed Essay Plan
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Both assessments (essay and commentary) enable students to work independently, develop writing skills and time management skills, and demonstrate the ability to produce a reasoned and structured argument based on evidence from the literary texts.
The commentary allows students to demonstrate their ability to produce a close reading and critical analysis of a specific passage of text and to show their understanding of how the passage relates to the wider issues addressed in the module.
The essay encourages students to study in depth a particular aspect of the issues addressed in the module, and enables them to develop skills in bibliographical work, footnoting and referencing.

SEMESTER ONE ONLY STUDY ABROAD: The coursework assessment needs an earlier submission date but otherwise remains unchanged.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.