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French travellers in Mediterranean lands

Provide a multi-layered presentation of various images of Mediterranean lands, parting from traveling literature in different forms in order to incite the participants to understand intercultural issues within a historical, aesthetic and theoretical framework.

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Master's
  • PhD
Field of studies
  • Art, Design and Media
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
2 February 2023 - 6 May 2023

The teaching and learning activities want to privilege a broad learning process and thus include different historical periods, literary forms, gender issues, territories, and so on. The scope covers at least three centuries of writing (mostly from the 17th century and forward), multiple areas of the Mediterranean lands (Corsica, Northern Africa, Egypt, Greece…), fictional and documentary sources, as well as male and female authors. In order to provide a link between the areas of content (and of geography), the programme is closely tied together at the theoretical level: in all seminars, the question of the Other and the Otherness, seen through historical, cultural and generic perspectives, provides the main entrance to analytical work and deepened reflection. 

Main topics addressed

  • Greek antiquity as seen by French travelers (17th-19th centuries)
  • Oriental fashion in the service of the knowledge of the Other : viatic and artistic glimpses and artistic insights
  • Travel in the ancient world and late antiquity, 
  • Education in antiquity and poetry of late antiquity.
  • The image of Corsica
  • The chronotopic imaginary
  • Traveling to the Orient in the Classical Age: The Example of the Chevalier d'Arvieux 
  • Cultural Exchanges and the Representation of Otherness in the 17th Century 
  • Tales of fact and tales of fable: the journeys in question.
  • Corsairs, pirates, buccaneers: the relation of captivity.
  • The theatrical turqueries
  • Isabelle Eberhardt: a nomad in the Maghreb

Learning outcomes

  • New and broad knowledge in travelling literature and the presentation of Mediterranean lands
  • Enhanced understanding of intercultural patterns and historical factors, including history of ideas
  • Improved ability to apply theory and perform a literary analysis
  • Improved or confirmed (for the native speakers) proficiency in the French language, oral and written
Dates: 2 February 2023 - 6 May 2023 Total workload: 162 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 6*
Location: Aix-en-Provence, France Language: French (B2) 

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility 

The face-to-face part will take place in Aix-en-Provence from 2 to 6 May 2023. The programme will alternate conferences and workshops and will include off-site events at the MUCEM and the Regards de Provence Museums in Marseille, the Ziem Museum in Martigues, the Méjanes Library in Aix-en-Provence, among others.

Virtual part

The virtual part will take place in 5 sessions of 3 hours, 5 Thursdays from 10:00 to 13:00 CET between 2 February and 6 April 2023. It is backed up in a blended way by a master seminar at Aix-Marseille Université on the question of “Dialogues between worlds”.  The virtual part will be in French only.

We will start with a general introduction online (on Zoom), with all the teachers present, in order to lay a firm ground for the entire course. Each teacher will then dispose of a seminar online, which will allow for extensive reading and reflection, and prepare for the campus week. To include the students even more in the learning process, the closing seminar on-line will provide a synthesis of the programme as well as general comments on the student’s papers. In this manner, the students will see in what way their participation contributes to form the knowledge of the subject studied, open perspectives, strengthen their confidence and encourage their critical thinking. 


This course is open to Master's and PhD students at CIVIS member universities.

Participants should have a good level of written and spoken French, culture in the humanities (literature, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, etc.), critical thinking, curiosity, and desire to participate. 

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Check link for the eligibility criteria.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 30 November 2022 with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Research project outlines

Applications will be evaluated according to the student's motivation, level in French, and interest.


The assessment of the virtual part will consist of a written essay in 3 hours at the same time as the Aix-Marseille Université seminar students. The evaluation of the physical part will consist of an oral presentation during the workshops, which will have been prepared beforehand with the help of the teaching staff and a tutor assigned to the chosen subject. Each evaluation will be worth 3 ECTS and the whole will be worth 6 ECTS (3 in blended + 3 in physical).

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

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  • Sylvie Requemora is Professor of 17th century French literature at Aix-Marseille Université and Director of the Centre de Recherches sur la Littérature des Voyages ( She studies travel literature from a rhetorical, theoretical, imagological and intercultural perspective. Author of Voguer vers la modernité. Le voyage à travers les genres au XVIIe siècle (PUPS) and critical editions (Théâtre français et Voyages de Regnard), co-responsible for the series "Voyages réels et imaginaires" (Classiques Garnier), she is in charge of the program “Imaginary geographies: the travel as a pretext for thinking” and is preparing a new project linking travel narratives to ecological awareness, entitled "TRAVEL" (Terre en Récits, Arts de Voyager & Ecoliterature).
  • Irini Apostolou is Associate Professor of French Cultural History, Department of French Language and Literature at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She studied at Paris-Sorbonne University, where she graduated with a DEA and a PhD in 2003. Her research areas include writing and iconography, Orientalism, Antiquarianism, History of French Art, Iconography, and French Cultural History. She has mostly worked on the 18th and 19th century in France. Her research examines the relationship between West and East and focuses on the French Travellers perception of the East. Irini was Associate Research Director, Guest Researcher, Fondation Maison Des Sciences de l’Homme; Paris (April, May-June 2019). Currently, she is National and Kapodistrian University of Athens scientific coordinator for the program E-Belong: Sense of Belonging in Online Learning Environments Erasmus +Programme Key Action 226.
  • Hans Färnlöf is currently Associate Professor of French at Stockholm University. He is interested in the context of literary production as well as in the semiotic study of the text and its generic particularities. Since his dissertation on Maupassant's short stories (Stockholm, 2000), Hans Färnlöf has published a wide range of studies on nineteenth-century French literature (Stendhal, Mérimée, Nodier, Sand, Flaubert, Maupassant, Daudet, Zola, and Verne), among others in Cahiers naturalistes, Romantisme, Poétique, and Nineteenth Century French Studies. Participating in international projects, such as the Bibliographie Maupassant, Flaubert sans frontières le Naturalisme-monde, he has also conducted his own research projects on the transfer of Zola to Sweden and, more recently, on literary motivation (monograph by Classiques Garnier, 2022). He has also explored the notion of the chronotope, linked to the adventure novel. 
  • Vanezia Pârlea is Associate Professor of French Literature (17th century), Department of French Language and Literature at the University of Bucharest, and Director of the Heterotopos Research Center. Her areas of research include 17th century French Literature and Travel writing, with a main focus on representations of otherness, cultural exchanges and cultural transfers between East and West. She has published «Un Franc parmy les Arabes». Parcours oriental et découverte de l’Autre chez le chevalier d’Arvieux (ELLUG, Grenoble, 2015).
  • Francesca Romana Nocchi is a professor of Latin language and literature, propaedeutics to university Latin, ancient Christian literature at the University of Tuscia, at the University 'Sapienza' of Rome. Her studies focus on travel in the ancient world and late antiquity, education in antiquity and poetry of late antiquity. Among his essays: 'Tecniche teatrali e formazione dell'oratore in Quintiliano' (De Gruyter 2013), 'Commento agli Epigrammata Bobiensia' (De Gruyter 2016); 'Quintiliano: modelli pedagogici e pratiche didattiche' (Morcelliana 2020).