Intervening in French: A Colony in Crisis, the Digital Humanities, and the French Classroom
Dize, Nathan H.
Broughton, Abby R.
de Gail, Brittany M
Dize, Nathan, Kelsey Corlett-Rivera, Abby Broughton, and Brittany de Gail. “Intervening in French: A Colony in Crisis, the Digital Humanities, and the French Classroom.” sx archipelagos, no. 2 (September 2017). DOI: 10.7916/D88K7NG5.
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This essay explores the use of *A Colony in Crisis: The Saint-Domingue Grain Crisis of 1789* in the French literature classroom and how it helps address gaps in digital humanities and French language pedagogy while interrogating the colonial positionality of the French Revolution’s digital archive. In 2015, the Newberry Library received a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to digitize 30,000 French language pamphlets, a portion of which pertains to the period before, during, and after the French Revolution. As the digital archive of the French Revolution rapidly grows, the need to draw attention to the broader context of revolution in the French Empire–particularly in the Caribbean–has become even more urgent. One of the most effective ways of addressing the marginalization of the Caribbean in colonial archives is through pedagogical interventions and course design. While digital humanities pedagogy has become somewhat normalized in the anglophone literature classroom, the French language classroom has been slow to adapt to the use of digital tools and pedagogy beyond the introductory language course.