Twentieth-Century Jewish Literature: Loss, Exile, Memory

Module code: FR2041

Module co-ordinator: Dr Fransiska Louwagie

In this module, you will analyse the position of Jewish writers in France and their relationship to French literature. The module will reflect on the definition of 'Jewish literature' and analyse the role of literature in the construction and negotiation of a Jewish identity. We will study two texts and one bande dessinée by post-war authors from different Jewish backgrounds and generations.

Set texts are likely to include:

  • André Schwarz-Bart, Le Dernier des Justes, Editions du Seuil, collection 'Points' (1959)
  • Henri Raczymow, Quartier libre, Gallimard, collection 'Haute Enfance' (1995)
  • Joann Sfar, Le Chat du rabbin: La bar-mitzva [graphic novel], Dargaud, collection 'Poisson Pilote' (2002)

By the end of the module, you will have gained an understanding of the relationships between French national literature and Jewish literature in French. You will understand how the texts function in relation to the reader, to identity discourses, and to the wider literary, social, and historical contexts. You will also demonstrate skills in the analysis of literary texts and bande dessinée.


The module is taught through weekly lectures and seminars.


  • Essay of 2,500-3,000 words (50%)
  • Oral examination (50%)