The evolution of girls' schooling from a "basic and practical" approach to a more academically oriented syllabuses — that allowed the first African women to enter university in the middle of the 20th century — is part of an evolution that is only being explored very recently.Scholars such as Pascale Barthélémy[5] and others have tackled a ground-breaking exploration of the field that could "challenge our knowledge of the subject"[6]; but it still remains difficult to ascertain the extent to which colonial French schools and literacy prompted attitudinal changes such as those mentioned by Adame Ba Konaré in her dictionary of Malian women : One rides her bicycle with the intent to shock the patriarchal society [...] one goes as far as driving a car and taunting colonial bystanders as did Marguerite Bertrant.

First, while the women may be of the dominant nationality, they are not truly wealthy, as they belong to the proletarian classes.

Secondly, the age asymmetry and the usual direction of exchange are reversed; the women are older than their partners and provide compensation, in terms of either economic or administrative security, in return for various male services—among them, sex.

This is why I have called the phenomenon the “trade in romantic illusions” (2009a). The relationships established can lead to cohabitation and marriage, and require, in addition to the sex work, an emotional labor—a subjective investment upon which the success of the enterprise depends.

The men must comply with the code of heterosexual seduction and love.

This session explores the transformation of modern romance over the past century, paying particular attention to recent changes related to the Internet, globalization, the rising status of women, the acceptance of non-conventional sexual relationships, and the search for a soul mate.

The panelists, who come from inside and outside the academy, will assess how singles manage the expanded options available to them today, and examine emerging attitudes about and experiences in committed relationships and marriages.

Despite the emergence of a class of literate, progressive and imaginative women who took charge of new tasks and responsibilities in Africa during the first half of the 20th century, texts written in French by women of African origin have been few and far between.

Girls' education, French colonial discourse and sexist prejudice contributed largely to this state of affairs.

When American sociologists initially studied modern romance about a century ago, they discovered that most people were fiercely parochial.