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The Francophone Maghreb


Admission requirements

This course is an Honours Class and therefore only available to students of the Honours College.


The Maghreb countries (particularly Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) cannot be understood without a Francophone perspective. During this seminar and the stay at NIMAR (Dutch Institute in Rabat-Morocco; one week), students will gain insight into the Francophone challenges of cultural and political life in the Maghreb. The lectures will examine the historical and political aspects of Francophonie in the Maghreb, the language policies and the relationships between language, identity and literary production.

  1. Colonisation, decolonisation and Francophonie
  2. French and other languages in North-Africa
  3. French and Dutch Maroccan Literature
  4. Preparation of the stay at NIMAR

Stay at NIMAR

Date of the stay at NIMAR: 03-08/07/2017 (date set with NIMAR and Prof. dr. L. Buskens)
The stay at NIMAR will be prepared by the series of lectures given in Leiden (conceptual and historical approaches; preparation of the interviews and visits in Morocco). The readings will offer to students a good overview of the current state of knowledge on Moroccan francophone/ French past and its challenges (case studies in Rabat and Casablanca). Excursions to various sites of cultural interest and to francophone social organisations in the surroundings of Rabat and Casablanca will be proposed to students.
Sub-fields: Linguistic identity, language and society, language and religion, language and political power, language and education, French Linguistic and cultural policies in the Arab world, language and literary production.
Accomodation: The accomodation with Maroccan families in Rabat is organised and supervised by the NIMAR and Prof. dr. L. Buskens

  •  The stay at the NIMAR in Morocco is an integral (and hence obligatory) part of the course
  • Travel and accommodation are partly covered by the university in the form of a scholarship; the estimated amount of student’s accommodation for travel and accommodation is of approximately 125 euros. All other expenses besides travel and accommodation (i.e. meals, entry fees, etc) are to be paid for by the students.

  • Accommodation will be arranged, but the plane tickets need to be booked by the students.

  • Insurance: Every student will need a travel insurance, whose number will be communicated to the Humanities International Office, Educational en Student Affairs, before departure

Brief description of the activities at NIMAR:

  1. Visit to the French Embassy: interview with the Department of the French Cultural and linguistic cooperation in Rabat, historical and contemporary approaches + work on French Consulate archives.
  2. Visit of Casablanca: with Prof. dr. L. Buskens (transport organised by the NIMAR, one hour from Rabat). The French colonial and post-colonial modernity (architectural and urban heritage) of Casablanca, city ‘rebuilt’ by the French at the beginning of the 1920’s.
  3. Table ronde: Francophone Moroccan literary production, at NIMAR and Centre J. Berque (French CNRS Centre in Rabat) Workshop ‘Francophone literature and Maroccan identity’. Evening at the National Theatre of Rabat (with dr K. Sanchez and Prof. Dr. L. Buskens).
  4. Francophone education in Morocco, visits of Francophone/ French schools Historical and current challenges of the francophone education in Morocco (+ arabisation process results).
  5. Visit of a Moroccan francophone newspaper Interview with 2 Journal MT: historical and current challenges of journalism in French.

Course objectives

Course objectives
Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  •     have a thorough understanding of societal, linguistic and literary relations between France and the Maghreb
  •     be able to put France/ Maghreb debates into a historical context;
  •     understand how this knowledge can be applied to linguistic and cultural policies;
  •     present their findings, based on research, to varied types of audience


The timetable is available on the Humanities lab page

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

This course is worth 5 EC (140 hours).

  • Lectures: 4 lectures of 4 hours: 16

  • NIMAR stay (activities): 34

  • Literature reading: 30

  • Assignments & final essay: 60 hours

Assessment method

  • 20% active participation

  • 30% oral presentations at NIMAR 
  • 50% Final paper of 3000 words

The final grade is an average of these three grades. All three exams need to be passed with a 5.0 min


A resit will be proposed for the marks inferior to 6.


Blackboard will be used in this course. Students can register for the Blackboard site two weeks prior to the start of the course

Reading list

Articles will be uploaded on BB


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


DR. K. Sanchez r