Spring 2020 Graduate Course Descriptions

Graduate Courses

5000-Level Graduate Courses

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

FREN 5530/8530 Topics in Seventeenth-Century French Literature –– Baroque Culture

There are many ways of framing French culture in the period from the last quarter of the sixteenth century to the first quarter of the eighteenth century.  Sometimes called the “long seventeenth century,” or simply “early modernity,” this period reveals different aspects when considered in conjunction with the “Baroque,” a term about which French literary studies have exceptionally ambivalent.  Yet the term “Baroque” contextualizes the French experience within the European and the colonial culture of absolutism, of the Counter-Reformation, of heliocentrism and other disruptive scientific advances, and of growing controversies about Modernity (e.g. the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns).  In this seminar we will consider the hypothesis that the “Baroque” can be fruitfully understood not simply as a style but as a set of solutions to a crisis of organization in knowledge, belief, and politics.

W  3:30 pm – 6:00 pm (Lyons)

FREN 5560/8560 Topics in Nineteenth-Century Literature –– Girls of the Nineteenth Century

In his 1884 novel Chérie, Edmond de Goncourt refers to his protagonist as “no longer a little girl, and not yet a woman.”  This in-between state serves as a general identifier of the jeune fille (literally young girl), a protagonist of countless nineteenth-century French novels and a target buyer for nineteenth-century manuals of beauty and etiquette. Yet the idea of the jeune fille is more complex and culturally dependent than a general biological time-frame would suggest. In a 1907 article, critic Remy de Goncourt explained that while jeunes filles have existed for a long time, the question of the jeune fille becomes particularly complicated at the turn of the century. One could argue, of course, that writers like Gourmont contributed to this precarious status through their analyses and fictional representations of young women. Gourmont, like others, further defines the jeune fille as both marriageable and wanting to marry, characteristics that distinguish the jeune fille from what she may become if she strays from her wholesome destiny: a vieille fille (old maid); a fille-mère (a pejorative term for single mother); or a fille publique (streetwalker).

In this course we will explore the constructs of the nineteenth-century jeune fille and her fallen sisters in poetry and prose fiction by writers such as Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Honoré de Balzac, Delphine de Girardin, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Guy de Maupassant, J.-K. Huysmans, Emile Zola, Julia Daudet, Edmond de Goncourt, and Rachilde, and in essays and self-help books of the era.

Open to graduate students with reading knowledge of French
Course conducted in French and English (depending on students’ background)
Written work in French (for most French MA and Ph.D. students), or English
Primary readings in French; some secondary readings in English

T  3:30 pm – 6:00 pm  (Krueger)

FREN 5585/8585 Topics in Civ/Cultural Studies –– Global France: History, Education, Empire

This course has several related ambitions. First, to prepare students to think about France through a global lens and to familiarize them with important theoretical approaches--derived from history, anthropology, sociology and literature--to such an expansive object of study. In order to understand how scholars use theory, we will examine theoretical texts in tandem with scholarly works that exemplify them.

Then, to give focus to the broad objectives outlined above, our study will be anchored by three intersecting concerns: the writing of history, both national and global; the role of education, including schools, books, and reading; and the construction and deconstruction of empire.

This course will hopefully allow graduate students to fill any gaps they may have in their own understanding of modern French history and to think more deeply about how that history intersects with their own research and teaching agendas, particularly because they may one day be expected to teach an undergraduate course on French history and culture. Since students will enter this course with varying backgrounds and interests, I will want to meet with each student very early in the spring semester, or even now, during the fall semester. Please contact me to set up an appointment.

This course will be taught in French and occasionally in English. Seminar participants are expected to read, write, and discuss readings in both languages.

R  3:30 pm – 6:00 pm  (Horne)

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