Event Title

Food and Consumption in Francophone Literature

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of World Languages and Cultures

Honors Thesis Committee

Anna Igou, Ph.D.; Scott Shinabargar, Ph.D.; and Donald Friedman, Ph.D.

Location

West 219

Start Date

20-4-2018 1:45 PM

Description

Francophone authors use the symbolism of food and the act of consumption as a means of exploring postcolonial life and culture. In the postcolonial Francophone world, where native cultural identities were suppressed by French colonists, many authors and their characters use food to express themselves when their native languages or cultures are negated and might otherwise be forgotten. The existing body of scholarship on food in literature has noted the potential food has to function as a means of expression. My study seeks to expand this sometimes narrowly focused vein of study and to demonstrate the crucial role food plays in a diverse body of literature from the global Francophone diaspora. In these cultures, food is an important, concrete representation of culture and this is expressed in African novelist Calixthe Beyala's How to Cook-up Your Husband the African Way, in which the protagonist states plainly, "Food is synonymous with life." Through my discussion of the portrayal of food in a diverse cross-section of works by Antillean authors Edouard Glissant, Maryse Condé, Gisèle Pineau, and Aimé Cesiare, Lebanese-Canadian writer Abla Farhoud, and French-Cameroonian author Beyala, I will establish links between the role food plays in these different cultures and show how, despite colonization, food functions – not just within the confines of specific Francophone regions, but across the Francophone world – as a universal language that transcends borders.

Course Assignment

FREN 360 – Igou

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Apr 20th, 1:45 PM

Food and Consumption in Francophone Literature

West 219

Francophone authors use the symbolism of food and the act of consumption as a means of exploring postcolonial life and culture. In the postcolonial Francophone world, where native cultural identities were suppressed by French colonists, many authors and their characters use food to express themselves when their native languages or cultures are negated and might otherwise be forgotten. The existing body of scholarship on food in literature has noted the potential food has to function as a means of expression. My study seeks to expand this sometimes narrowly focused vein of study and to demonstrate the crucial role food plays in a diverse body of literature from the global Francophone diaspora. In these cultures, food is an important, concrete representation of culture and this is expressed in African novelist Calixthe Beyala's How to Cook-up Your Husband the African Way, in which the protagonist states plainly, "Food is synonymous with life." Through my discussion of the portrayal of food in a diverse cross-section of works by Antillean authors Edouard Glissant, Maryse Condé, Gisèle Pineau, and Aimé Cesiare, Lebanese-Canadian writer Abla Farhoud, and French-Cameroonian author Beyala, I will establish links between the role food plays in these different cultures and show how, despite colonization, food functions – not just within the confines of specific Francophone regions, but across the Francophone world – as a universal language that transcends borders.