Graduate Courses - Fall 2017

Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses

Advanced undergraduate students may enroll in graduate level courses with instructor permission.

FREN 5510/8510 Topics in Medieval Literature:  The Poetics of War and Trauma in Late Medieval France

From 1337 to 1453, the French kingdom was the site of war and pillaging that began as an Anglo-French dispute over the throne only to be exacerbated by a civil war that divided the French royal house into two warring factions. During this period, the French kingdom and its people endured unprecedented violence, corruption, and loss. Equally unprecedented was the response of intellectuals and poets to these events. Far from serving as sycophants who bolstered the powerful or as entertainers who endeavored to distract society from reality, the learned community spoke out. They used the written word to challenge authority, to argue for social responsibility, and to document not only events and losses but also the emotional wounds inflicted on the community.

This class will explore the impact of war on shaping literature as much as the power of texts to shape war and society. Questions to be pursued include: What social, political, or personal importance was attributed to written record of this conflict? How did poets’ calls for peace or for vengeance affect real life events? How did accounts of the conflict begin to construct a cultural memory and a national identity? What strategies established writers as poètes engagés on the political stage? More generally, can we speak of a poetics of war and trauma? To answer this last question, we will investigate the potential impact of wartime violence on poetic expression, circumstances where the written word served as a portable memorial of loss, and cases where public discourse orchestrated communal suffering.

Primary readings will range from French lyric, narrative, and drama to sermons, official letters, legal proceedings, and history writing. These readings will address real and imagined origins of the war, key military losses (e.g., Poitiers and Agincourt), prominent victims of the war (e.g., Louis of Orléans and Joan of Arc), as well as efforts to express poetically the trauma of war by key French writers (e.g., Eustache Deschamps, Christine de Pizan, and Alain Chartier). These primary sources will be read in conjunction with critical writings on cultural memory, nationalism, violence, trauma, emotion, nostalgia, and displacement.

Reading fluency in modern French and English required. Seminar conducted in English unless all students have fluency in French.

T 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm (McGrady)

FREN 5570/8570 Topics in 20th & 21st Century Literature:  Roland Barthes’ Century

Roland Barthes (1915-1980), critique, sémiologue, théoricien de la littérature et écrivain, fut à la fois un acteur engagé et un témoin acéré de la vie littéraire, philosophique et politique française. Ce cours propose une traversée du XXe siècle en sa  compagnie : de Valéry et Gide à Blanchot, Camus et Sartre; de Robbe-Grillet à Sollers; de la Nouvelle Critique et du structuralisme à la «théorie du Texte».

Il s’agira, en lisant Barthes, d’éclairer des débats et des notions qui restent au cœur de nos préoccupations : engagement, «écriture blanche», «mort de l’auteur» et retour du sujet, «responsabilité de la forme» et ethos critique.

W 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm (Roger)

FREN 5585/8585 Topics in Civ/Cultural Studies

R             3:30 pm – 6:00 pm (Staff)

FREN 7040 – Theories & Methods of Language Teaching

An introduction to pedagogical approaches currently practiced in second-language courses at the university level. Students will examine critically the theories behind various methodologies and the relation of those theories to their own teaching experience and goals. Assignments include readings and case studies on the teaching of French; development and critique of pedagogical materials; peer observation and analysis; and a portfolio project for collecting, sharing, and reflecting on teaching methods.

Required for all GTAs teaching French at UVa for the first time. Restricted to Graduate Teaching Assistants in French. 3 credits. Students will register for the graded (letter grade) option in the SIS. Graduate exchange instructors will take the course as auditors.

M 3:30 pm 6:00 pm (James)