2019 Fall Graduate Course Descriptions

Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses - Fall 2019

Advanced undergraduate students who have earned a B+ (or higher) in at least one 4000-level course may enroll in graduate level courses with instructor permission.

FREN 5510/8510 -  Topics in Medieval Literature: Poetry in Motion: The Composition, Circulation and Reception of Verse in the Late Middle Ages

Founded on the notion that art is neither produced in a vacuum nor received by passive participants, this course will consider the ways in which the circulation of writings transforms their form, function, and meaning. Key topics to be addressed include 1) multi-authorship (both collaborative and competitive), 2) multi-modal compositions that combine text/image/music, 3) delivery and messaging (whether as performed works or material artifacts), 4) textual appropriation through rewriting and translation. Primary works will be from the “long fourteenth century” and will include Jean de Meun’s continuation of the Roman de la Rose, the Ovide moralisé, the poetry and music of Guillaume de Machaut, Christine de Pizan’s Cent ballades d’amant et de dame, and Charles d’Orléans’ French and English poetry.

R         3:30 PM – 6:00 PM (McGrady)

FREN 5520/8510 – Topics in 16th Century Literature:  Masculine/Feminine: Gender, Sexuality, and Self in French Renaissance Literature

This course will examine texts from a variety of genres in which men and women of the sixteenth century write about themselves and each other, constructing similarities and differences, expressing love or hatred, admiration or rivalry, perplexity or a claim to know. What ideas of the body, sex, and gendered roles informed their thinking? In a period marked by new humanist models of learning, the perennial querelle des femmes, and the outbreak of civil war, sexual, social, political, and religious categories are at once circumscribed and fluid; the stakes of writing are high; the exploration of the self and the other in history is an undertaking at once urgent, tentative, and contested.

W        3:30 PM – 6:00 PM (Ferguson)

FREN 5585/8585 – Topics in Civilization/Cultural Studies LE SIÉCLE DES INTELLECTUELS (1898-2018)

« Intellectuel » was coined as a substantive in 1898, in the context of the Dreyfus Affair. Since then, it has remained a key notion in French social, political, and literary life. Used as a rallying cry or an insult, the word was born polemical, and never ceased to stir up controversy. In many occasions, French intellectuels proved able to considerably influence the course of national, and sometimes international, events. In that sense, telling their stories is one of the best possible introductions to French cultural, artistic and political life in the past one hundred years. Is it still the case, or is the « soft power » of French intellectuels already a thing of the past ?  

Those questions, and many others, will be addressed in this seminar.

We will follow three major paths :

1) we will contextualize the intellectuels' rise and reign, in relation with specific political events (Dreyfus Affair, antifascism, protests against colonization and colonial wars, Mai 68, etc.), but also in relation with the development of new literary genres (roman  «idéologique», roman à thèse, polemical essays, «engagés» novels or theater, «littérature de témoignage»), and new forms of interventions in the public sphere (manifeste, pétition, lettre ouverte, collective or anonymous writing, films-tracts, political graffiti, etc.)

2) we will take a fresh look at the disputes among, or about, French intellectuels, and we will revisit the notions around which authors such as Zola, Péguy, Sartre or Camus quarreled (art vs. ideology, «mystique» vs. politics, engagement vs. mauvaise foi, political partisanship vs. ethical critique, etc.) ;

3) finally, we will try to assess the status of les intellectuels today. Although anti-intellectualism is in no way a novelty, it has been boosted in recent times by a new wave of populism. Is the French intellectuel(le) an endangered species ? From Houllebecq's novels to the Gilets jaunes' street demonstrations, he or she is, in any case, the target of many attacks.  

 We will work mostly on short excerpts from various sources, political, sociological, historical, but most of all literary and philosophical  — among the latter : Zola, Barrès, Péguy, Gide, Breton, Alain, Beauvoir, Sartre, Camus, Blanchot, Barthes, Foucault, Kristeva, Lyotard, Lévy, Houllebecq.

Special guest : Prof. Martin Rueff (University of Geneva), an eminent literary critic and a poet, also an editor of Michel Foucault, will come to UVA this Fall at the invitation of the French Department, and has agreed to speak in our seminar.

Taught in French

T          3:30 PM – 6:00 PM (Roger)

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.

TR       2:00 PM – 3:15 PM (James)

FREN 7500  - Topics in Theory and Criticism:  Literary Theory: Classic Thoughts, Modern Texts, Contemporary Debates

This course serves as an introduction to theoretical texts we encounter most frequently in the discourses of literary criticism. Our aim is to gain a deeper understanding of how literature has been thought and debated as well as how literary criticism has been practiced over time.

In the first part of the course, we will read key texts of the critical tradition from antiquity to the early twentieth century. In the second part of the course, we will survey the major theoretical movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries such as formalism/ structuralism/ deconstruction, reader response theory, psychoanalysis, feminism/ gender studies/ queer theory, eco-criticism/ animal studies. (Due to time constraints, we will not cover post-colonial theory and its variations in the francophone context, given that several seminars in the department treat the subject.)

M         3:30 PM – 6:00 PM (Lyu)

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