James H. Thomason Library

Course Guide
258 : Re-Imagining Africa Through Film & Literature
  Background Information


Afrique, Je Te Plumerai   [DVD cover].
A film by Jean-Marie Téno

  French Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
  Africa -- Encyclopedias, etc.
  Film Encyclopedias, Dictionaries
 Locating Books
  PASCAL catalog
  WorldCat & Interlibrary Loan
Locating Articles
  Article Databases
  Journal Finder
Films in the Thomason Library
  Films on DVD and VHS
Internet Resources
    Open Web Resources
Get Help

denotes recommended resource

Reference Sources  
French Language Dictionaries & Encyclopedias   back to top

Le Grand Robert de la Langue Française. Paris: Dictionnaires Le Robert, 2001.
Main Level, Reference
: R 440.3 R54G
[6 vols]

Le Robert des Grands Ecrivains de Langue Française. Sous la direction de Philippe Hamon et Denis Roger-Vasselin.  Paris: Dictionnaires Le Robert, 2000. Main Level, ReferenceR 840.9 R54R

Dictionnaire des Ecrivains Français.  Jean Malignon  Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1995. 
Main Level, ReferenceR 840.9 M295D  (2 volumes).

La Littérature Française de A à Z. Sous la direction de Claude Eterstein. Paris: Hatier, 1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 840.3 L718L

Dictionnaire des Structures du Vocabulaire Savant: Eléments et Modèles de Formation. Henri Cottez.  Paris: Le Robert, 1982.     Main Level, Reference R 440.3 R54D3 v.7

Vocabulaire de l'Analyse Littéraire. Daniel Bergez, Violaine Géraud, Jean-Jacques Robrieux; sous la direction de Daniel Bergez.  Paris: Dunod, 1994.    Main Level, Reference: R 840.3 B453V

501 French Verbs Fully Conjugated in All the Tenses in a New Easy-to-Learn Format Alphabetically Arranged. 4th ed. Christopher Kendris.  Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 1996. Main Level, ReferenceR 448.242 K349F

EBOOKSCollins French Dictionary Plus [CREDO Reference database]. HarperCollins Publishers, 2007.

Provides tabs for English-to-French and French-to-English searching.

EBOOKS The Concise Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary (French-English [or] English-French)

 [Oxford Reference Online]. 3rd ed. Jean-Benoit Ormal-Grenon and Natalie Pomier, editors. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Companions, Handbooks   back to top

The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French. Peter France, editor. Clarendon Press/Oxford U. Press.  1995.   Main Level, Reference:  R 840.3 Ox2O2

Africa --Encyclopedias back to top

New Encyclopedia of Africa[Gale Virtual Reference Library]. John Middleton, editor in chief ; Joseph C. Miller, editor.  Charles Scribner's Sons, c2008.

Addresses the entire history of African cultures from the pharaohs and the ancient civilizations of the south through the colonial era to the emergence of 53 independent countries, some of them newly emergent in world commerce and others deep in conflict. Covers issues facing the continent such as global development, the AIDS crisis, and international terrorism.


Encyclopedia of African History [CREDO Reference]. Kevin Shillington, editor. Taylor & Francis, 2005. 

Covering the entire continent from Morocco, Libya, and Egypt in the north to the Cape of Good Hope in the south, and the surrounding islands from Cape Verde in the west to Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles in the east, the Encyclopedia of African History is a new A-Z reference resource on the history of the entire African continent. With entries ranging from the earliest evolution of human beings in Africa to the beginning of the twenty-first century, this comprehensive Encyclopedia is the first reference of this scale and scope. Also includes 99 maps.

Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life. Timothy L. Gall, editor  Gale, 1998.

Main Level, Reference: R 305.8003 W893W  v.1

Four-volume set;  Vol. 1=Africa.

 Film Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.    back to top

Cinema Studies: The Key ConceptsRoutledge, 2002. 
Main Level, Reference: R 791.43 H335C   

Key genres, movements, theories and production terms are explained and analyzed with depth and clarity.

The Film Encyclopedia, HarperPerennial, 2001.
Main Level, Reference: R 791.4303 K159F   

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers [Gale Virtual Reference Library], St. James Press, 2001. 
Electronic edition of four volume set giving thorough coverage of films and filmmakers, including legendary films, actors and actresses, directors, writers and other production artists. Entries include a detailed essay written by an expert; biographies; filmographies; comprehensive credits; major awards; and updated bibliographies, as well as photographs. For general and professional audiences.

Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film, Schirmer Reference, 2007.

Main Level, Reference: R 791.4303 G767S [4 vols]

Encyclopedia of the Literature of Empire [EBSCO ebook]. Mary Ellen Snodgrass.
Facts on File, 2010.

Search for this by Title at link above.

World Authors 1990-1995. Clifford Thompson, editor. H.W. Wilson, 1999.

Main Level, Reference:  R 809 W893W 1990-95
Library also has volumes for  1950-1970; 1970-1975; 1975-1980; 1980-1985; 1985-1990; 1995-2000.

Locating Books back to top


Use the online catalog to locate BOOKS, DVDs, CDs, etc. in Thomason Library.

You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, then first name:              

          Personal Names, as Author and as Subject


Diop, Birago   [as AUTHOR]

  Dadié, Bernard Binlin, 1916-   [as AUTHOR]
  Sembene, Ousmane [as AUTHOR]
    __________________              [as SUBJECT]

Note: If no results as an author or subject search, try person's name as keyword search, with first name first.

Keyword example: Luís Bernardo Honwana

  • SUBJECT SEARCHING requires use of Library of Congress subject headings.
    Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog

Library of Congress Subject Headings 

Related to 18th Century French Literature

  Africa -- Colonial influence  
  African literature (French)  
  African literature (French) -- Black authors -- History and criticism  
  African fiction (French) -- History and criticism  
  African fiction (French) -- Women authors -- History and criticism  
  Art, African  
  Motion pictures -- Africa, French-speaking  
  Motion Pictures Africa  
  Tales -- Africa  

The following subject heading searches are linked to the

PASCAL Catalog

  African fiction (French) -- Africa, Sub-Saharan -- History and criticism.  
  African literature (French) -- History and criticism.  
  North African Literature French 20th Century History And Criticism  
  North African Literature French History And Criticism  
  • KEYWORD SEARCHING uses natural language, rather than controlled vocabulary.

    Try a KEYWORD search if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. Search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.

  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

· Add * to the root of a word to truncate

or expand a term:

societ*= society, societies, societal, société
cultur* = culture, cultures, cultural

· Use AND between words or phrases to narrow your search:
  AND  africa*

french west africa AND  independence

Mandingo AND Senegal

· Use OR between words to expand your search

france OR french

film* OR cinema OR movies

Cote d'Ivoire OR Ivory Coast

· Use PARENTHESES to nest your "OR" terms when

combined with "AND" terms
literature AND (Cote d'Ivoire OR Ivory Coast)

Try KEYWORD searching with ThomCat,

other library catalogs & library databases.

PASCAL Catalog / PASCAL Delivers    back to top

-If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search here for books in other academic libraries in SC. Through PASCAL Delivers you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days.

This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library.

Click here for searching and ordering tips.

WorldCat & Interlibrary Loan (ILL)   back to top

WorldCat – A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in PASCALCAT.

Interlibrary Loan - ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Check link for instructions.

Locating Articles back to top
Article Databases back to top

Academic Search Complete [EBSCOhost] Pascal Logo

Search for journal and magazine articles in ALL academic disciplines.


MLA International Bibliography  [EBSCOhost]
Use for literature and language topics. Indexes critical literary and language scholarship and provides access to journals and serials published worldwide, as well as books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. Nearly 45,000 records are added annually.

An archive of over 350 full-text journals which can be searched at this site. Other PC databases link to JSTOR articles through Journal Finder, which guides the user to full-text articles. As an archive, JSTOR does not provide the most current three to five year issues of the journals as specified by the publishers in their agreements with JSTOR.


Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  
Current and recent volumes of 112 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Journal Finder back to top

Journal Finder  provides access to PC's electronic and print journals,

magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Browse Journal Finder by title or subject. When browsing or searching, you can read articles from any journal that is available in the Full-text resources online group of results. Choose a database in this group based on the dates available and the time frame in which you are interested.

Films in the Thomason Library
back to top



Afrique, Je Te Plumerai = Africa, I Will Fleece You [DVD]

An overview of one hundred years of cultural imperialism by three European powers, using Cameroon as the basis of a case study. The devastation of traditional African societies, and the present day cultural, intellectual and political conflicts in which colonial powers have been replaced by a dictatorial indigenous regime that still plunders the land and silences the authentic expression of its people are examined.

The Art of the Dogon [VHS]

Attempts to capture the beauty and power of Dogon art while placing it in context within Dogon beliefs and culture.

La Bataille d'Alger [videorecording] = The Battle of Algiers [DVD] Un film de Gillo Pontecorvo ; scénario de Franco Solinas ; production Casbah Films, Igor Film ; produit par Yacef Saadi.

Dramatizes the harrowing events of 1957, a key year in Algeria's struggle for independence from France. Recreates the tumultuous Algerian uprising against the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, the French torture prisoners for information and the Algerians resort to terrorism in their quest for independence. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés. The French win the battle, but ultimately lose the war as the Algerian people demonstrate that they will no longer be suppressed.

Faat Kine [DVD]

The drama of Faat Kine, an independent single mother and business woman who runs a gas station franchise; and also born in 1960, the same year Senegalese independence was attained.

Hotel Rwanda [DVD]

The deeply moving true story of a five-star-hotel manager who used his wits and words to save more than 1,200 lives during the 1994 Rwandan conflict.

Inch'Allah Dimanche
[DVD]/ written and directed by Yamina Benguigui.

Film about the "family reunion," the French government's euphemism for a 1974 law allowing Algerian wives to rejoin their husbands working in France. Strong-willed Zouina parts tearfully from her mother in the port of Algiers; once in France, she and her three small children are at the mercy of her mother-in-law and confused by the strange customs of their local grocer and garden-obsessed neighbor. The radio is her only window on life and on the women of this new country

Karmen Geï  [DVD]

Karmen escapes prison through her lesbian relationship with the warden. She then wrecks the marriage and career of a police corporal by making him her lover and co-conspirator in a smuggling ring. She abandons the corporal who, in a fit of jealous rage, stabs her. Contains much singing and dancing.


Keïta!: l'héritage du griot = The heritage of the griot [DVD]

Based on an important work of African oral literature, the Sundjata epic. When a djéliba, a master griot or bard, arrives mysteriously at the home of Mabo Keïta to teach him "the meaning of his name," the boy and griot are inevitably brought into conflict with his Westernized mother and schoolteacher, who have rejected African tradition. The griot reveals to Mabo the story of his distant ancestor, Sundjata Keïta, the 13th century founder of the great Malian trading empire

 (NOTE: DVD-R; this disc is a recorded DVD and may not play on all DVD players or drives)

Kirikou and the Sorceress (Kirikou et la sorciére). [DVD] A film by Michel Ocelot in collaboration with Raymond Burle. Remstar : Alliance Atlantis Viva Film, c2004.


 The Language You Cry In [DVD] (also available in VHS format)

Traces the history of a burial song of the Mende people brought by slaves to the rice plantations of the Southeast coast of the United States over two hundred years ago, and preserved among the Gullah people there. In the 1930s a pioneering Black linguist, Lorenzo Turner, recognized its origin, and in the 1990s scholars Joe Opala and Cynthia Schmidt discovered that the song was still remembered in a remote village in Sierra Leone. Dramatically demonstrates how African Americans retained links with their African past, and concludes with the visit of the Gullah family which had preserved the song to the Mende village, where villagers re-enact the ancient burial rites for them

Lost boys of Sudan [DVD]

Follows two Sudanese refugees on a journey from Africa to America. Orphaned as young boys in one of Africa's cruelest civil wars, Peter Dut and Santino Chuor survived lion attacks and militia gunfire to reach a refugee camp in Kenya along with thousands of other children. From there, they were chosen to come to America. Safe at last from physical danger and hunger, a world away from home, they find themselves confronted with the abundance and alienation of contemporary American suburbia

Madame Brouette  [DVD]

Madame Brouette is a proud and independent mother in Dakar, Senegal who hopes to lift her family out of poverty by opening a cafe. Her dream is jeapordized when her new boyfriend is murdered and she is the only suspect


Mister Johnson [DVD]

Funny and sometimes poignant look at the struggle between men of the British Empire and African villagers.

Monday's Girls [VHS]

A grandmother named Monday Moses in Ogoloma, Nigeria is responsible for taking the young girls of the village through the rites of passage into womanhood so that they will be ready for marriage.  

Moolaade [DVD]

A mother who has herself been circumcised removes her only daughter from the ritual of 'purification'. Seven years later four other young girls seek sanctuary with her. But the village is in turmoil as the ancient tradition of female circumcision comes into conflict with other values

Nigerian Art: Kindred Spirits [VHS]

Where does the vitality of Nigerian art come from, tradition or modernism? Who are the artists and what are they telling us? What is the role of art in Nigerian culture? This program answers these and other questions through interviews with Nigerian artists, and provides historical background on Nigerian art


Nowhere in Africa [DVD]

Critically acclaimed, this is the award winning true tale of a Jewish family who flee the Nazi regime in 1938 and learn to cope with their new life, and each other, on a remote farm in Kenya


Pink [DVD]

In 1970's South Africa, 10-year-old Lucy's black nanny is killed during a peaceful protest march. The insidious nature of racism is put on full display as the child attempts to convince the nanny's spirit that apartheid is good for her people.


Pièces d'Identités [DVD]

A Congolese king searches for his daughter in Brussels where for a time he loses his royal fetishes, his identity, but finds a friend, a local cabdriver with a secret identity. With his help and a chain of coincidence (it must be destined), Mani Kongo is reunited with his daughter and his regalia and returns to Africa with a circle of friends

Quand les étoiles rencontrent la mer = When the stars meet the sea [DVD, also available in VHS format]

A boy born during a solar eclipse survives abandonment and inherits magical powers

Searching for Jacob [DVD]

"When the Sudanese town of Hangala was bombed and burned by government forces, there were only a few signs of life left behind, among them the school books of a boy named Jacob. In a compelling story of the genocide in Darfur, Scott Pelley goes searching for Jacob - a journey that takes him into dangerous territory in the Sudan, and then into a densely packed refugee camp in Chad, where Pelley learns Jacob's fate"--Container

Tableau Ferraille [DVD]

Tells the story of an idealistic young politician's rise and fall. Daam, a well-intentioned but vacillating European-trained politician, must choose between two social paradigms exemplified by his two wives. The film offers a view of how modernization, as practiced in today's Africa, corrodes traditional communities and retards grassroots development


Images back to top

ARTstor  [Library subscription]

Comprised of approximately 300,000 digital images of visual material from different

time-periods, cultures, and disciplines

derived from several source collections that

are theproductof collaborations with libraries,

museums, photographic archives, publishers,

slide libraries, and individual scholars.


Mask Ivory Coast wood gold copper

19th Century. ARTstor database.



Stuart Franklin. IVORY COAST. Abdijan. Restaurant at the Sofitel Hotel. 2004. ARTstor database

EBOOKS The Bridgeman Art Library Archive

[CREDO Reference], Bridgeman, 2005.
  An outstanding archive of images drawn from
collections throughout the world. Every subject, concept, style and medium is represented, from

the masterpieces of national museums to the

hidden treasures of private collections.

Fine art is just one of the sources of images;

design, antiques, maps, architecture, furniture,

glass, ceramics, anthropological artefacts and

many others also feature in the collection.



RIGHT: The Raising of the French Flag at Timbuktu, by Frederic Theodore Lix (French), 1894 [engraving]

BELOW: The French Flag Entering Abomey from Le Petit Journal 10 December 1892 [etching]. Artist: Henri Meyer (French).

BELOW RIGHT   Senegalese Marabout, from 'Les Esquisses Senegalaises' by Abbe Boilat, 1853 [color lithograph]. Artist: Jacques Francois Gauderique Llanta (French).

Image Source: The Bridgeman Art Library Archive. 




ELECTRONIC RES Internet Resources back to top

Open Web Resources

For library subscription resources, see Article Databases


African Literature on the Internet 

 African Studies page, Columbia University Libraries.

French Literature, Linguistics & Culture  
Western European Studies Section, Association of College and Research Libraries. Provides links to sources of digitized French language texts, such as The ARTFL Project,

Literary Map of Africa
University Libraries, Ohio State University. Includes  an Author List and a Country List, as well as a search option.

Get Help back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Teresa Inman 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8.30 am - 10 pm for research questions & assistance. Personal appointments also available.
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