Topic outline

  • Class Policies

    Gender and Sexuality in Francophone Film

    Professor Boukary Sawadogo

    Office: Gander 2

    Tel: 802-258-9280


    Course Objectives

    This course is designed to facilitate learning and critical analysis of how gender and sexuality are represented in Francophone communities. This course surveys cultural issues and representations, through the filmic medium, to showcase the diversity inherent in the French-speaking world. Emphasis is on gender roles, the condition of women, portrayals of homosexuality, and the power struggle that exists between the center and the margins.



    The 13 selected films include:


    Dakan (Destiny)

    Karmen Gei

    Le Placard (The Closet)

    Woubi Cheri

    Beaches of Agnes Varda

    Tu as crie LET ME GO

    Les Silences du palais  (The Silences of the Palace)

    Women with Open Eyes

    Rue Cases-negres (Sugar Cane Alley)

    Pouvoir de pagne (Skirt power)

    Faat Kine


    Un ete a la Goulette (A Summer in La Goulette)


    Course Requirements

      * Attendance / Participation

    Because you will be graded on your in-class participation, you are expected to attend every class. You must to come to class fully prepared to discuss the films and any supplemental reading materials in a thoughtful way. Participation in class includes exchanging ideas on issues/concepts raised in the films regarding gender and/or sexuality.

      *Online project

    In addition to in-class film screenings and discussion, students will create and maintain an electronic media project on “Gender and Sexuality” on the Critical Commons platform. Using the media sharing capabilities of Critical Commons, students will gather relevant film clips and post critical commentaries that will constitute an online academic source of reference for research.


    There will be individual oral presentations (10-15 minutes) to introduce the assigned film and its director. You are also expected to present a brief cultural and historical context in which the film was produced. 


    Two papers will be required for this course: one short paper (3-5 pages) and one longer research paper (7-10 pages). The short paper is a personal reflection on the films discussed. The research paper may deal with one issue/concept as featured in a given film or compare the treatment of gender/sexuality in two films. The topic of your research paper must be approved by the instructor. The research paper must be documented with at least four sources (No Wikipedia).

    • Topic 1

      August 30: Intro to class

      • UNIT 1: Homosexuality


        Sept. 4    Gender and Sexuality in non-Western context

        Sept. 6   Dakan (Destiny)                                                        

        • Topic 3


          Sept. 11     Karmen Gei

          Sept. 13     Karmen Gei

        • Topic 4

          Sept. 18      Karmen Gei

          Sept. 20     Le Placard (The Closet)

          • UNIT 2: Women (Body & phallocracy)

            Oct. 2      Beaches of Agnes Varda

            Oct. 4     Beaches of Agnes Varda

            • Topic 7

              Oct. 9   Tu as crie LET ME GO

              Oct. 11  Tu as crie LET ME GO

              • Topic 8

                Oct. 15    Les Silences du palais  (The Silences of the Palace)

                Oct. 17    Les Silences du palais  (The Silences of the Palace)

                • Topic 9

                  Oct. 23     Women with Open Eyes

                  Oct. 25     Online Project

                  • UNIT 3: Innovative representations of women

                    Oct. 30     Rue Cases-negres (Sugar Cane Alley)

                    Nov. 1      Rue Cases-negres (Sugar Cane Alley)

                    • Topic 11

                      Nov. 6     Pouvoir de pagne (Skirt power)

                      Nov. 8    Pouvoir de pagne (Skirt power)

                      • Topic 12

                        Nov. 13    Faat Kine

                        Nov. 15    Faat Kine

                        • Topic 13

                          Nov. 20   Bintou

                          • Topic 14

                            Nov. 27   Un ete a la goulette

                            Nov. 29   Un ete a la goulette

                            • Topic 15

                              Dec. 4  Online Project

                              • Topic 16

                                • Topic 17

                                  • Topic 18

                                    • Topic 19