Michel S. Laronde

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Michel Laronde
Professor Emeritus
563 PH

2013-14 Graduate College Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award for Humanities and Fine Arts.

 Postcolonializing High Culture in the Schools of the Republic

Published by Lexington Books in 2014, Rethinking Reading, Writing, and a Moral Code in Contemporary France: Postcolonializing High Culture in the Schools of the Republic is my own translation of Postcolonialiser la Haute Culture à l’Ecole de la République (L'harmattan, 2008)

My main research interests, teaching responsibilities and publications are in the domain of the postcolonial literatures and cinema from France, represented mostly by immigration from North- and subSaharan Africa. An area of global transit for postcolonial subjects and cross-cultural encounters, the literatures and cultures of (im)migration and exile include all sorts of practices that modify 21st-century France as well as the diverse cultures of the Francophone world.

Autour du roman beurAutour du roman beur.  Immigration et identité (1993) is a seminal book that studies the identity of second- and third generation “North Africans” in France through the presentation of their literary output in the 1980s, called roman beur.

I have also edited two volumes of articles by international scholars.  L'Ecriture décentrée. La langue de l’Autre dans le roman contemporain (1996) follows the evolution of the fiction of immigration in France and addresses questions of style and language, narratology and discourse analysis in postcolonial novels. Leïla Sebbar (2003) presents studies on the fiction of this prolific and influential French author born in Algeria, again by a team of international scholars. My contribution is a substantial introduction and complete bio-bibliography.

I have articles in journals such as International journal of Francophone StudiesNottingham French StudiesEtudes FrancophonesFrench Literature SeriesLe Maghreb littéraire, and chapters in several books. I was on the editorial board of Le Maghreb littéraire and I regularly review articles for Nouvelles Etudes FrancophonesResearch in African Literature and university presses here and abroad.

Recent courses

Because migrations are at the crossroads of global and specific historical and linguistic situations, past and future imaginations of France and the French-speaking world are present in all my courses.

  • FREN:4080 / CL:4368 Postcolonial Literatures in France, an introduction to the literature and cinema of post-immigration generations from North African and sub-Saharan origins, follows the evolution of the 1980s roman beur and the rise of Afro-French culture in the 1990s (upper undergraduate / graduate course, last taught in Fall 2018)
  • FREN:4750 Topics: Algérie française! Al Djazaïr! Algériance combines a multiple approach to explore the war of independence in Algeria in relation to colonial memory/ies and postcolonial History (new upper undergraduate / graduate course taught in Spring 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2016)
  • FREN:6120 Literature of Immigration in France presents the field through texts and films, explores new socio-cultural and literary situations, offers interpretive and theoretical models to understand issues of post(-)coloniality within France (advanced graduate course last taught Spring 2013)

I regularly teach "Quebecois literature", that focuses on the culture, literature and cinema of Quebec, and courses on Translation and Comparative Stylistics. I work with students and colleagues in France and other Francophone countries. Graduate students in the department have worked with me on Contemporary/Postcolonial France, North African, West African, and immigration literatures, cultures and cinema.

Recent PhDs (as director)

  • La Réémergence du Sujet dans le récit français après Mai 68 (Farzad Salamifar 2018)
  • Naissance et évolution d’une mentalité populaire urbaine au XXe siècle : Paysage urbain et littérature populaire (Stève Levillain 2017)
  • Representations of the Amerindian in French Literature and the Post-Imperialist Literature of Québec (James Boucher 2016)
  • Mon Père, l'étranger: stéréotypes et représentations des immigrés algériens en France (Rebecca Leal 2012)
  • Réalités et fictions du travail de l’immigré subsaharien dans la France postcoloniale (Sonia Kpota-Richardson 2010)
    “Three Francophone Writers from East Africa. William J.F. Syad, Daher Ahmed Farah, and Abdourahman A. Waberi : Caravaners of Words” (Garane Garane, 2007)
  • “L’appropriation de l’Histoire dans quelques romans francophones africains et caribéens” (Nehemiah Anzah, 2006)
  • “L’initiation dans le roman et le cinéma francophones de l’Afrique de l’Ouest et de la Caraïbe” (Amadou Ouédraogo, 2006)
  • “L’inscription du Code noir dans les littératures francophones coloniales et son évolution dans les littératures postcoloniales de la diaspora” (Joseph Diémé, 2006)

Selected Publications

Books and Editions

Postcolonialiser la Haute Culture à l’Ecole de la République (Editor. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2008) studies how postcolonial subjects in France reinterpret references to classical literary models used in school to teach language and values. This process of an ongoing evolution of the Culture of the Nation is approached through studies of immigration literature and postcolonial cinema.

Leïla Sebbar (Editor. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2003) A collection of articles on Leïla Sebbar, a prolific post-colonial author in France.

With the participation of Cornelia Ruhe (Germany) Denise Brahimi, Christiane Chaulet-Achour, Marie-France Chitour, Dominique Le Boucher, Leïla Sebbar (France), Margaret Majumdar (United Kingdom), Armelle Crouzières-Ingenthron, Anne Donadey, Brigitte Lane, Mary Mc Cullough, Mildred Mortimer (United-States)

L'écriture décentrée. La langue de l'Autredans le roman contemporain (Editor. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1996)

A collection of articles on postcolonial fiction and the fiction of immigration in contemporary France. On questions of style, narratology, discourse analysis, and theory of the novel.

With the participation of Caroline Eysel, Anne Gualino, Marc Sourdot (France), Martine Delvaux, Alec Hargreaves, Mireille Rosello (United-Kingdom), Odile Cazenave, Sylvie Durmelat, Michel Laronde, Monique Manopoulos (United States).

Autour du roman beur. Immigration et Identité (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1993)

A study of the identity of second and third generation North Africans in France in the 1980s through their literary output. Theorizing on identity (race, the Other, cross-cultural discourse, Difference, neo-Orientalism…)


En Route: Introduction au français et au monde francophone, A. Valdman, M. Barnett, E. Holekamp, M. Laronde, S. Sieloff Magnan, C. Pons (MacMillan, 1986)

Selected Articles and Chapters in Books

“Narrativizing foreclosed history in ‘postmemorial’ fiction of the Algerian war in France: October 17, 1961, a case in point” in Reimagining North African immigration. Identities in flux in French literature, television, and film (Véronique Machelidon & Patrick Saveau, Manchester UP, 2018);

“La Départementalisation: les DOM-ROM entre postcolonial et postcontact” in Departmentalization at Sixty: The French DOMs and the Paradoxes of the Periphery, a special issue of IJFS (Adlai Murdoch & Jane Kuntz, Vol. 11:1, 2, 2008), “ ‘Effets d’Histoire’. Représenter l’Histoire postcoloniale forclose” in a 2007 special issue of IJFS (Azzedine Haddour & Margaret Majumdar, Vol. 10: 1 and 2); “La Fontaine etSalut cousin!. Le stéréotype scolaire dans le cinéma arabo-français” in Discursive Geographies: Writing Space and Place in French/Géographies discursives: l’écriture de l’espace et du lieu en francais (Jeanne Garane, Rodopi, 2005); “La veine Beaujolais’. La question d’une littérature mineure chez René Fallet” in René Fallet. Vingt ans après (Marc Sourdot, Maisonneuve et Larose, 2005); “Displaced Discourses: Post(-)coloniality, Francophone Space(s), and the Literature(s) of Immigration in France” in Postcolonial Theory and Francophone Literary Studies (Anne Donadey & Adlaï Murdoch, UP of Florida, 2005).