A Season in the Congo

Karen Bouwer
FREN 195 01
Core C1

Course Description:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has played a privileged role in the Western imagination, whether the terrifying and exotic “heart of darkness” of early accounts or the subject of humanitarian efforts in recent times. But what do we learn when we start listening to African voices, whether in literary texts or in oral testimonies? In this class we will learn about Congolese culture, history and customs. We will also discover and engage with grassroots initiatives developed to counter the violence that is ravaging the war-torn east of the country. Sign up to spend a season in Congo!

Faculty Bio:

Karen Bouwer, Professor of French Studies, is co-chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. She enjoys teaching all levels of French and Francophone language, culture and literature. Her research focuses on gender in African literature and film. Her book Gender and Decolonization in the Congo: The Legacy of Patrice Lumumba was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2010. In her free time, she takes ballet and reads literature in her mother tongue, Afrikaans.