This landmark text constitutes the first comprehensive overview of Francophone Postcolonial Studies. Moving away from reductive geographical or linguistic surveys of the Francophone world, this collection of original essays provides a thematic discussion of the complex historical, political and cultural links between France and its former colonies. Providing a theoretical framework for postcolonial criticism of the field, it also aims to trigger a genuine dialogue between Francophone and Anglophone scholars of postcolonialism. Part I provides a historical overview, from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, addressing issues of colonialism, slavery and exoticism. Part II looks at language issues and discusses France's belief in the universality of its language and culture and the postcolonial challenges to that view. Part III discusses issues of diversity and multiculturalism in contemporary Francophone cultures. Part IV concludes with an analysis of the French-language contribution to postcolonialism as well as an examination of Francophone postcolonial thought and culture in the principal areas of the French-speaking world. Edited by two of the up-and-coming names in Francophone Postcolonial Studies, the collection includes contributions from an international team including some of the world's leading scholars in the field.