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Department of French & Italian at Emory

French Graduate Seminars Fall 2011


Herron, Monday 1-4
(Cross-listed with LING 505)

Content:  This course presents an overview of current second language learning theories, a description and evaluation of existing second language teaching methods, and a discussion of major topics of instructional concern within the foreign language profession. The course goal is to provide experiences that facilitate the development of professional foreign language educators through practical classroom implementation and evaluation of research-based foreign language teaching practices.

Texts: Teacher’s Handbook: Contextualized Language Instruction (3rd edition), Shrum and Glisan.

Assessment: Class participation and preparation (10%); Classroom observation reports (20%, 30% for undergraduates); Lesson plans, classroom demonstrations, and self-evaluations (20%, 30% for undergraduates); Lesson preparation, performance, and student evaluation (20%, not required for undergraduates); Evaluation of a professional presentation (10%); FL teaching philosophy (20%).


Judovitz, Tuesday 1-4
(Cross-listed with CPLT 751, ILA 790, RLTS 750, PHIL 789)

Content: Based on Pierre Hadot’s "spiritual exercises" and Michel Foucault’s theoretical writings on the techniques entailed in the cultivation of the self, this course will examine its elaboration in the early modern period in Montaigne’s Essays. At issue will be the relation of self-knowledge to the care of the self, insofar as its modification and transformations rely on spiritual and corporeal practices and disciplines. We begin by analyzing the philosophical traditions that informed the pagan construction of the self in Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations and its spiritual, Christian elaborations in St. Augustine’s Confessions, in order to elucidate Montaigne’s appropriation of such subjects of meditation, as the contemplation of death, illness, misfortune, friendship, sexuality, and the passions. How do strategies of stoic inspection and control of representations or later Christian models of asceticism, based on self-control and renunciation, give way to a model of self-cultivation that will seek the enjoyment rather than the reform of being?  We will consider the seminal role of reading and writing in composing the self and fashioning its “style,” which is not restricted to writing, but which as ethos of self-formation and practice of embodiment emerges as a “style of life.” In conclusion, we will analyze how this meditative tradition of self-examination and cultivation is brought to an end by the Cartesian redefinition of knowledge as certitude that will radically objectify both the subject’s relations to itself and the world, thereby precluding access to its modes of conduct and being. 

Texts:  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations; St. Augustine, Confessions; Michel de Montaigne’s Essays;  Descartes, Meditations; Pierre Hadot, “Philosophy as a Way of Life; Michel Foucault, “Hermeneutic of the Subject,” “Technologies of the Self,” “Self Writing,” in Ethics; The Use of Pleasure, The Care of the Self; Lyotard, Confessions of Augustine; Marin, “Echographies.”


Bennington, Thursday 1-4
Max: 4
(Cross-listed with CPLT 751, PHIL 789 and ILA 790)

Taking its lead from some of Derrida's later work, this course will set off again from Aristotle's famous politikon zoon to follow the threads of sovereignty and democracy through some of the great texts of political philosophy in the Western tradition.  We shall attempt to understand why both of these notions, albeit in rather different ways, pose such problems for that tradition, and give rise to all manner of complications and paradoxes, which are however (or so I shall argue) definitive of the conceptual space of the political as such.  We shall wonder why almost all political philosophies are enamored of sovereignty, while almost none has anything very good to say about democracy.  We shall consider the possibility of a non-trivial affinity among the political, the rhetorical, the literary and the animal in their constant tendency to exceed conceptual grasp, and also compare our deconstructive approach to these political questions with some other modern and postmodern theories.

Classic authors to be discussed may include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Bodin, Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Tocqueville, and Schmitt; more recent theorists to be considered may include Agamben, Badiou, Foucault, Hardt and Negri, Lyotard, Mouffe and Rancière.

Robbins, Wednesday 1-4PM
Max: 4
(Cross-listed with CPLT 750 and RLTS 771)

An introduction to literary theoretical thinking, focusing on hermeneutic modes and their relationship to linguistic structures.

Readings include texts by Augustine, Spinoza, Gadamer, Auerbach, Benjamin, de Man, Derrida.


Loichot, Wednesday 1-4PM
(Cross-listed with CPLT 751)

Content: This course proposes to come to a global understanding of Glissant’s thinking and literature since the 1960s to his death in 2011. Through an examination of novels, poetry, and theoretical essays we will analyze his key-concepts of Relation, Antillanité, métissage, créolisation, Tout-Monde, and his late pensée du tremblement. We will also look at Glissant’s impact on postcolonial theory and contemporary politics.

Texts:  Readings from Le Discours antillais, Poétique de la Relation, Tout-Monde, Traité du Tout-monde, Philosophie de la Relation, La Case du commandeur, Les Indes, Pays Rêvé, pays réel, and L’Intraitable beauté du monde: Adresse à Barack Obama.

To be purchased (no alternative editions please):
Edouard Glissant. Le Discours antillais. Folio, essais, 1997. 2070746224
---. Poétique de la Relation. Gallimard. 207072025X
---. Pays rêvé, pays réel. Poésie, Gallimard, 2000. ISBN. 2070414469
 Other readings will be available on Blackboard or ReservesDirect.

Assessment: One 12-page research paper, one oral presentation, active class participation including, three 1-page response papers. The seminar will be conducted in French but students from other departments who have a reading knowledge and good conversational skills in French are encouraged to enroll. They will be able to deliver their presentation and write their paper in English.



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