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Graduate Courses Offered

Graduate Courses Offered Fall 2020

French 8020, Dr.  Nathalie Debrauwere-Miller, Spring 2020
French & Francophone Feminisms from Beauvoir to the Present

Through a selection of theoretical essays and literary works, the aim of this course is to comprehend the specificity of French & Francophone feminisms and feminist theory.  We will analyze the ideological, political (universalists versus differentialists) and cultural contexts in which French feminisms are inscribed. While American feminism is in some ways more pragmatic, French feminisms belong to the tradition of the social sciences such as philosophy, anthropology, linguistics and psychoanalysis. Therefore, our study of French and Francophone feminisms is also an introduction to literary theory and will focus on some principal feminists: Beauvoir, Leclerc, Cixous, Delphy, Guillaumin, Irigaray, Kristeva and Agacinski.  Also the works of more recent figures such as Amara, Ayada, Guirous, Diome as well as literary figures such as Duras, Abécassis, Adnan, Bart, Bâ and Djavann will be included.

French 8080, Dr. Lynn Ramey, Spring 2020
Seminar in French Film

This course will focus on perspective and presence in French film and new media. What techniques do filmmakers use to draw viewers in or call attention to their exclusion from the film’s world? What are the theoretical underpinnings of these decisions? From the earliest films with their fixed-location cameras to 360 video and virtual reality films, we will look at the perspective and positionings of the filmmaker, the audience, and the individual viewer. Directors include Lumière, Méliès, Dulac, Renoir, Truffaut, Varda, Laurent Bazin.

Graduate Courses Offered Fall 2019

French 8050, Dr. Raisa Rexer,  Fall 2019
Modernity

By the end of the 19th century, the question of “modernity” had become the subject of artistic and cultural fascination in France. This class will examine the literature and visual arts of the period to explore different conceptions of “modernity” and the “modern” age, as well as some of the historical, social and artistic forces at work in shaping these ideas. Each week, a different primary source (novels, poems, photographs, paintings, art criticism) will be paired with secondary and theoretical texts to frame discussion and introduce graduate students to different modes of inquiry in the field.

French 8070, Dr. Anthère Nzabatsinda, Fall 2019
Langue et identité chez l’écrivain Francophone

Le séminaire examine le rapport entre la langue et l’identité chez les écrivains francophones. Les écrivains sélectionnés dont les œuvres seront étudiées en profondeur sont représentatifs d’une région, une époque, une écriture, un style, une thématique, une esthétique romanesque influencée par le positionnement à l’égard de la langue. Ils illustrent aussi une manière particulière de définition identitaire. Ils montrent les modalités d’insertion de différentes régions géographiques et d’entités littéraires dans la Francophonie : langue, géographie et histoire, contexte institutionnel de la littérature, thèmes liés à l’identité, question des langues. Régions : Afrique (subsaharienne, maghrébine, diasporique) ; Québec/Canada ; Les Iles (Antilles/Caraïbe, Océan Indien et Océanie).

French 8075, Dr. Paul Miller, Fall 2019
Modern Caribbean Literature

Modern Francophone Caribbean culture, much like its counterparts in the Anglophone and Hispanic Caribbean, can be described as a dialectical process of assimilation, resistance and negotiation of African, European and indigenous modes of being and representation.  The synthesis of this dialectic, ideally, is an autonomous Caribbean cultural identity. Literature is a privileged expression of this process in that it allegorizes the travails that must be worked through in order to achieve cultural autonomy.

Modern Caribbean literature is dominated by male-centric visions of identity and history stemming from the Haitian Revolution and its legacies, Haitian indigenisme and articulations of “Bovarysme collectif,” Césarian Négritude, critiques of (post)-colonial discourse and discourses of Antillanité and Créolité. While we will review these stalwart expressions as the foundational bases of Caribbean literature, we will then shift the focus to engage more recent literature especially (but not exclusively) by women. How do modern Francophone Caribbean writers negotiate ideas of racial, ethnic, national and sexual identity in a post-Marxist world in which neo-liberalism and departmentalization are a fait accompli? The pressing issues for modern writers are the persistence of sexual violence, machismo and and homophobia; environmental catastrophes that are the result of global inequalities in income and consumption; and the constant pressures of migration and linguistic assimilation. Writers will include (among others):  Aimé Césaire, Jacques Roumain, Franz Fanon, René Depestre, Marie Chauvet, Maryse Condé, Patrick Chamoiseau, Michel-Roth Trouillot, Eveylne Trouillot, Yanick Lahens, Giselle Pineau, Kettly Mars, Edwidge Danticat, Jamaica Kincaid among others.

Graduate Courses Offered Spring 2019

French 8010, Dr. Lynn Ramey, Spring 2019
Medieval and Early Modern Travel and Encounter


Like the modern world, the medieval world saw the exchange and circulation of people, objects, stories, and ideas on a much more global scale than is sometimes evident in modern conceptions of the period. Postmodern concepts of the relationship between self and other, colonizer and colonized, have had a significant impact on medieval studies, as recent books and essay collections attest (see Heng, Ganim, Ingham and Warren, Kabir and Williams, Cohen, among others).  While many of these studies attract the reader with the promise that past situations are relevant to current problems, their authors often draw short of delivering on their promises, citing postmodern concerns with presentism.  Medieval studies, perhaps more than any other field, has spent the past twenty years in an uneasy relationship between historicization and alienation, between a desire to understand the past through archival and archaeological research, and a sense of insurmountable estrangement.  While Renaissance scholars birthed New Historicism with its focus on the contingent, they tellingly reconceived of their own period as “Early Modern,” and the Middle Ages was forced into an unusual alliance with the postmodern as the “other” to the Modern period.  Perhaps, then, it is particularly important that any consideration of post-postmodernism should account for that enduring other, the Middle Ages.

French 8030, Holly Tucker, Spring 2019
Seminar in Seventeenth-Century French Literature

  Course objectives: At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of core literary texts of the French seventeenth century and an ability to interpret them with nuance and originality
  • Demonstrate an ability to situate these texts in their historical, political, cultural, aesthetic contexts
  • Demonstrate awareness of and functional proficiency in using key reference resources for research in the field
  • Articulate clear next steps for future work in the area, with a clear understanding of professional norms in regard to research and publication

French 8050, Dr. Bob Barsky,  Spring 2019
Literature and Law

The goal of this course is to study narratives that occur in both literature and law, with special emphasis upon confession, the construction of the subject, the reception of texts, judicial argumentation and rhetoric, and intercultural translation and interpretation. We will begin by examining some theoretical and judicial works, and then turn to see how they can be applied to literary texts that feature situations or methods of reasoning that raise similar issues. The corpus from which we will draw includes seminal works in French and English, from the 19th Century forward. We will also overview the literature and law movement, and examine how it has unfolded in the US. Then, through a careful examination of the new Revue de Droit et littérature, we’ll see how the French Academy has responded to this work, and produced its own version of “Droit et littérature”.

Graduate Courses Offered Fall 2018

French 8060, Dr. Debrauwere-Miller,  Fall 2018
French Jewish Intellectuals in Post-Dreyfus France

Through historical accounts and a selection of essays, novels, drama and poetry, the aim of this course is to assess the plight of the Jewish intellectual/writer in France from the late nineteenth century to the present.  Our historical framework will begin with the exclusionary discourse stemming from the Dreyfus Affair (1894-1904), the historical precursor to the genocidal collaboration of the Vichy regime (1940-1944) and its repercussions in the post-Shoah generation of intellectuals.  By questioning the mythical purity of a “unique” French identity, the course will reflect on the invention of the word “anti-Semitism” (1879) and on the conspiracy theory elaborated in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (~1903); in so doing, we will attempt to define the discourses of exclusion and racism while opposing them to the counter-discourse of a heterogeneous France that is hospitable to its “others.”  We will also explore the ideology of fascism while analyzing the notions of race, nationalism and French citizenship. Writers and thinkers will include (among others): Bernstein, Zola, Lazare, Proust, Spire, Fleg, Cohen, Némirovsky, Duras, Jabès, Modiano, Humbert, Arendt, Blanchot, Levinas and Lyotard.

French 6030, Dr. Elyse Petit, Fall 2018
Foreign Language Learning and Teaching

Principles and practices of teaching a second language, with concentration on recent interactive and communicative models of foreign language instruction. Goals of the course are 1) to introduce principles of Second Language Acquisition and learning, 2) to critically read relevant literature in the area(s), and 3) to develop FL instructor’s awareness through reflective and critical thinking. Classroom observations, journal writing, development of materials, and a small action-research project are expected. Required of all entering teaching assistants.

French 7060, Dr. William Franke, Fall 2018
French Literary Theory

Introduction to French literary theory with a focus on questions of alterity and of the limits of language. Theorists include Foucault, Blanchot, Bataille, Lacan, Derrida, Nancy, Irigaray, Kristeva, Compagnon, Deleuze, and Badiou.  Literary texts from French poets (including Nerval, Hugo, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé) are used for illustration and application of concepts.

French 7050, Dr. Virginia Scott, Fall 2018
Applied French Linguistics

Graduate Courses Offered Spring 2018

French 8070, Dr. Anthère Nzabatsinda, Spring 2018
Seminar in Francophone Literature

Le séminaire examine le rapport langue/identité chez les écrivains francophones. Les écrivains sélectionnés* dont les oeuvres seront étudiées en profondeur sont représentatifs d’une région, une époque, une écriture, un style, une thématique, une esthétique romanesque influencée par le positionnement à l’égard de la langue. Ils illustrent aussi une manière particulière de définition identitaire. Ils montrent les modalités d’insertion de différentes régions géographiques et d’entités littéraires dans la Francophonie: langue, géographie et histoire, contexte institutionnel de la littérature, thèmes liés à l’identité et aux identités tant nationales qu’individuelles, question des langues dans la Francophonie. *Ousmane SEMBÈNE; Jacques POULIN; Maryse CONDÉ; Assia DJEBAR; Driss SCHRAIBI; Ngangura MWEZE.

French 8030, Holly Tucker, Spring 2018
Seminar in Seventeenth-Century French Literature

  Course objectives: At the end of this course, students will be able to:
    • Demonstrate knowledge of core literary texts of the French seventeenth century and an ability to interpret them with nuance and originality
    • Demonstrate an ability to situate these texts in their historical, political, cultural, aesthetic contexts
    • Demonstrate awareness of and functional proficiency in using key reference resources for research in the field
    • Articulate clear next steps for future work in the area, with a clear understanding of professional norms in regard to research and publication

FREN 8050, Dr. Raisa Rexer, Spring 2018
Realism

This seminar examines the nineteenth-century French Realist novel in the context of different, and sometimes conflicting, attempts to define it. How does theory and criticism construct Realism as a category?  What is the relationship of the Realist text to this discourse about Realism? And how did nineteenth-century Realist and Naturalist writing practices intersect with other discourses besides the literary?  Includes painting and early photography.

Graduate Courses Offered Fall 2017

FREN 8020, Nathalie Debrauwere-Miller, Fall 2017
French & Francophone Feminisms from de Beauvoir to the Present

Through a selection of theoretical essays and literary works, the aim of this course is to comprehend the specificity of French feminisms and feminist theory.  We will analyze the ideological, political and cultural contexts in which French feminisms are inscribed. While American feminism is in some ways more pragmatic, French feminisms belong to the tradition of the social sciences such as philosophy, linguistics and psychoanalysis. Therefore, our study of French feminisms is also an introduction to literary theory and will focus on some principal feminists: Beauvoir, Cixous, Irigaray, Kristeva, Delphy and Guillaumin. Also the works of lesser-known figures such as Agacinski, Roudinesco and Amara as well as literary figures such as Duras, Abécassis, Adnan, Trouillot and Bâ will be included.

French 6030, Dr. Stacey Johnson, Fall 2017
Foreign Language Learning and Teaching

Principles and practices of teaching a second language, with concentration on recent interactive and communicative models of foreign language instruction. Goals of the course are 1) to introduce principles of Second Language Acquisition and learning, 2) to critically read relevant literature in the area(s), and 3) to develop FL instructor’s awareness through reflective and critical thinking. Classroom observations, journal writing, development of materials, and a small action-research project are expected. Required of all entering teaching assistants.

FREN 8075, Dr. Paul B. Miller, Fall 2017
Seminar in Contemporary Caribbean Literature (1992-present)

Modern Francophone Caribbean culture, much like its counterparts in the Anglophone and Hispanic Caribbean, can be described as a dialectical process of assimilation, resistance and negotiation of African and European modes of being and representation.  The synthesis of this dialectic, ideally, is an autonomous Caribbean cultural identity.  Literature is a privileged expression of this process in that it allegorizes the travails that must be worked through in order to achieve cultural autonomy.

Modern Caribbean literature is dominated by male-centric visions of identity and history stemming from the Haitian Revolution and its legacies; Haitian indigenisme and articulations of “Bovarysme collectif”,  Césarian Négritude, critiques of (post)-colonial discourse and discourses of  Antillanité and Créolité.  While we will review some of these stalwart expressions as a foundational base,, the primary focus of this seminar is to engage more recent literature that might be considered posterior to these dominant modes of modern expression.  Literature since 1992 is characterized by women’s voices who have left far behind the debilitating critique that Franz Fanon articulated about Mayotte Capécia’s so-called desired “lactification”; Francophone Caribbean Marxism, having already suffered a mortal blow with Césaire’s letter to Maurice Thorez in 1956 announcing his withdrawal from the PCF (French Communist Party), received the coup de grâce with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the inauguration of the Cuban “special period in times of peace.”

How do contemporary Francophone Caribbean writers negotiate ideas of racial, ethnic, national and sexual identity; fraternity and social (in)equity in a post-Marxist world in which departmentalization is a fait accompli;  the persistence of  sexual violence, machismo and and homophobia; rampant global inequality ncome and consumption that come to fruition in the Caribbean in the form of environmental catastrophe?  Writers included:  Aimé Césaire, Édouard Glissant, Marie Chauvet, Maryse Condé, Patrick Chamoiseau,  Michel-Roth Trouillot, Eveylne Trouillot, Yanick Lahens, Giselle Pineau, Kettly Mars, Danny Lafferière among others.

FREN 8080, Dr. Andrea Mirabile, Fall 2017
Seminar in French Film

The course explores the evolution of French cinema from the end of the 19th century to the present, with a focus on the directors associated with the New Wave (1950s – 1970s), including Chabrol, Godard, Malle, Resnais, Truffaut, and Varda. Topics include the intersection of French with other national cinemas (mostly Italian, but also American, British, and German), the cross-fertilization of the cinematic with the pictorial, and the collaborations between filmmakers and artists working with other media.

Graduate Courses Offered Spring 2017

French 8010, Dr. Lynn Ramey, Spring 2017
Medieval French Literature

Nous et les autres – Like the modern world, the medieval world saw the exchange and circulation of people, objects, stories, and ideas on a much more global scale than is sometimes evident in modern conceptions of the period. Postmodern concepts of the relationship between self and other, colonizer and colonized, have had a significant impact on medieval studies, as recent books and essay collections attest (see Ganim, Ingham and Warren, Kabir and Williams, Cohen, among others).  While many of these studies attract the reader with the promise that past situations are relevant to current problems, their authors often draw short of delivering on their promises, citing postmodern concerns with presentism.  Medieval studies, perhaps more than any other field, has spent the past twenty years in an uneasy relationshipb etween historicization and alienation, between a desire to understand the past through archival and archaeological research, and a sense of insurmountable estrangement.  While Renaissance scholars birthed New Historicism with its focus on the contingent, they tellingly reconceived of their own period as “Early Modern,” and the Middle Ages was forced into an unusual alliance with the postmodern as the “other” to the Modern period.  Perhaps, then, it is particularly important that any consideration of post-postmodernism should account for that enduring other, the Middle Ages. This course will look at encounters of the self and other from Antiquity to the Early Modern period.  We will also question and explore the phenomenon of making the Middle Ages itself “other” to the modern “self.”

FREN 8030,Dr. Holly Tucker, Spring 2017
Seminar in Seventeenth-Century French Literature

  Course objectives: At the end of this course, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of core literary texts of the French seventeenth century and an ability to interpret them with nuance and originality
  • Demonstrate an ability to situate these texts in their historical, political, cultural, aesthetic contexts
  • Demonstrate awareness of and functional proficiency in using key reference resources for research in the field
  • Articulate clear next steps for future work in the area, with a clear understanding of professional norms in regard to research and publication

French 8050, Dr. Robert Barsky, Spring 2017
Seminar in Nineteenth-Century French Literature – Émile Zola

This course will introduce students to Emile Zola’s fiction, including examples of work from the long series of novels called Les Rougon Macquart, about a family under the Second Empire. Different facets of Zola’s writings will be discussed, including his method of researching his subject matter, the style of his writing, as well as the “environmental” influences of violence, prostitution, alcoholism and what he described as “the fatal convulsions that accompany the birth of a new world”.

Graduate Courses Offered Fall 2016

French 7010: Introduction to Research

The goal of this course is to provide graduate students with the background needed in order to be conversant in modern research methods.  While we will consider a variety of different approaches to literary analysis and investigation, technology and different aspects of the digital humanities will be central to the course.  In the course, students will participate in a variety of activities related to scholarly life.  By completion of the course, the students will:  prepare a conference abstract, give a mock conference paper; and prepare and submit a scholarly article for publication.  Throughout the process, the students will learn to be mindful of the different aspects of scholarly production.

Instructor: Lynn Ramey

French 7050: Applied French Linguistics

This course, entitled LA LINGUISTIQUE FRANÇAISE APPLIQUÉE, introduces graduate students to French phonology, morphology, syntax, and stylistics and their application to teaching French language and literature. Through the study of these linguistic features, students will explore ways to analyze and teach French poetry, prose, and theater. Students will also have opportunities to improve their spoken and written French for academic purposes. The final project—devising a syllabus for an advanced undergraduate literature/culture course—will allow students to investigate the ways their areas of research interest can inform their teaching and prepare them for the job market.

Instructor: Virginia Scott

French 7060: French Literary Theory

French Theory and Apophatics: The course provides an introduction to French theory focusing particularly on the question of the limits of language and the unsayable.  Mystical spiritual traditions informing contemporary literary-theoretical reflections will be studied as background, and literary texts especially from 19th century French poetry will be used for illustration and application of concepts.  Works to be studied include De Certeau, La fable mystique ; Irigaray, « Femmes divines » ; Nancy, Les Muses; Blanchot, L’espace littéraire ; Derrida, “Comment ne pas parler.”

Instructor: William Franke

French 6030: Foreign Language Learning and Teaching

Principles and practices of teaching a second language, with concentration on recent interactive and communicative models of foreign language instruction. Goals of the course are 1) to introduce principles of Second Language Acquisition and learning, 2) to critically read relevant literature in the area(s), and 3) to develop FL instructor’s awareness through reflective and critical thinking. Classroom observations, journal writing, development of materials, and a small action-research project are expected. Required of all entering teaching assistants.

Instructor: Stacey Johnson