How can we see the desert as a new site of culture, life, sustainability and sustenance? How does the desert engage historically with cultures, people, and power? Does the desert allow us the space and time to strip away old theoretical paradigms and to see the world’s cultures and future differently? How are these visions, horizons, and futures represented in literature, contemporary art, film, dance, music, and other contemporary cultural productions of French expression? How do these themes factor into postmodern and postcolonial theories, gender theories, cultural studies, and sexuality studies? Do new cultural phenomena and new technologies change our view of the desert and of life? Of these visions, horizons, and futures?
With our profession now two decades into the twenty-first century, it also seems timely to assess where we are headed in 20th and 21st-Century French and Francophone Studies. As we move further along into the 21st century, how can the desert as a paradigm help us to disassemble the theories of the 20th century and to reassemble them to find new visions for the future of our profession?
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