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Department of French & Italian at Emory

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Previous Graduate Seminars

French Graduate Seminars Fall 2007

FREN 505: Problems in Foreign Language Teaching, Herron
FREN 720: Le Métaroman, Lang
FREN 770: The Origins of Subjectivity, Judovitz
FREN 775: Revolutionary Perversions: ‘Literary Sex Acts 1789-1848,’ Marder
FREN 780: Literary Theory, TBA
FREN 785: Food and Cannibalism in Caribbean Literature, Loichot

FREN 505 Problems in Foreign Language Teaching

Herron M 1-4
(Crosslisted 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 and inquirers 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. A collection of xeroxed research articles.

FREN 720 Le Métaroman

Lang F 1-4

Content: Le métaroman—ou le roman sur le roman, qui est à la fois récit et réflexion sur le statut du récit fictif—n’est pas un genre absolument nouveau; il est cependant particulièrement représentatif de la production romanesque du 20e siècle. Dans ce cours, nous étudierons diverses théories et techniques de métafiction dans le roman français moderne et postmoderne, en réfléchissant à leurs implications en ce qui concerne la conception et le rôle de l’auteur, du narrateur, du lecteur, et le statut ontologique du texte de fiction.

Texts: Balzac, Eugénie Grandet (extraits); Gide, Les Faux-Monnayeurs; Proust, Du Côté de Chez Swann, Le Temps Retrouvé; Robbe-Grillet, La Jalousie; Sarraute, Portrait d’un Inconnu; Sartre, La Nausée.

Particulars: Class will be taught in French.

FREN 770 The Origins of Subjectivity

Judovitz W 1-4
Content: Reflecting on the burden of the Cartesian legacy to modernity, Maurice Merleau-Ponty noted that “there are some ideas that make it impossible to return to a time prior to their existence, even and especially if we moved beyond them, and subjectivity is one of them.” This course will examine the elaboration of rational consciousness in Descartes as a foundational moment in the development of modern metaphysics. At issue will be the radical shift from notions of self (notably as elaborated in Montaigne) to subject, that will inaugurate not just a new understanding of truth but a new way of being in the world. The relation of subjectivity to representation, the mind-body dualism, the analogy of the body to a machine, and the question of technology will be at issue along with attendant philosophical/theoretical and literary critiques by Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Georges Canguilhem, Emile Benveniste, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, etc.

Texts: Montaigne, “Of Experience,” and “On Some Verses of Virgil” from the Essays; Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy; Heidegger, “What is a Thing?” (selections),“The Age of the World Picture,” “The Question of Technology;” Merleau-Ponty, “The Cogito,” and “The Body as Expression and Speech” from The Phenomenology of Perception; Benveniste, “Of Subjectivity in Language;” Georges Canguilhem, “Machine and Organism;” Foucault, The Order of Things (selections); Derrida, “Cogito and the History of Madness;” Foucault, “Technologies of the Self.”

FREN 775 Revolutionary Perversions: ‘Literary Sex Acts 1789-1848’

Marder T 1-4
(cross-listed with CPLT 751)

Content: In this course, we shall examine how representations of “non-normative” sexuality in several major nineteenth-century works relate to the problem of representing history in the aftermath of the French revolution. Many of the canonical literary texts written between 1789 and 1848 are organized around explicit or implicit depictions of impotence, lesbianism, hysteria, cross dressing, masturbation and prostitution. By focusing on these figures (as they appear in literary form) we shall explore how these nineteenth-century literary inscriptions of ‘perverse’ forms of sexuality enable us to read changing conceptions of the relationship between language, history, gender and power.

Texts: Possible texts include: La Philosophie dans le boudoir (Sade); René (Chateaubriand); Armance (Stendhal); Le Père Goriot and La Fille aux yeux d’or (Balzac); L’Education sentimentale (Flaubert), La Curée (Zola) and selections from Baudelaire’s prose poems. Critical readings may include works by Freud, Marx, Benjamin and others.

FREN 780 Literary Theory

(cross-listed with CPLT 750)

TBA M 4-7
Content: The course explores some of the ways in which an influential way of thinking about language has affected ways of thinking about literature. After investigating the main tenets of structuralist theory, as derived from Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale, we shall go on to see how the internal logic of structuralism led to the rather different positions often referred to as 'post-structuralism' and/or 'post-modernism', and to a questioning of the position of theory itself.

FREN 785 Food and Cannibalism in Caribbean Literature

(cross-listed with CPLT 752)

Loichot Th 1-4

Content: The Caribbean, in the European conquerors’ imagination, began with Columbus’s confusion, mistaking the name Cariba, screamed by the Carib Amerindians calling out their name, for canibal. The name of a nation thus quickly dissolved into the figure of the savage man-eater. “Cannibal Islands,” “succulent women,” “peppery language”: since the original encounter, Europeans and other Western colonizers, tourists, and readers persisted in reducing the Caribbean to the primal act of eating, whether in the figure of the cannibal, or in that of its tamed counterpart, the Caribbean --its land, women, men, and language-- turned into palatable objects of consumption. This seminar proposes to examine the response of Caribbean writers who reclaim their cultural and historical autonomy and particularity through the representation and control of food in acts of ingesting, regurgitating, cooking, or simply listing culinary products. The course will focus specifically on Martinique and Guadeloupe but students will be invited to extend the reflection to the greater Caribbean, to the Americas, and to the global postcolonial context.

The following questions will lead our reflection: Why is the act of “eating the other” a privileged trope in the colonial/postcolonial encounter? Why would European writers have a right of ownership of their colonial text in the aftermath of pillage and destruction of indigenous modes of communication? Hence, can we really say that Caribbean writers who “cannibalize” canonical texts also plagiarize? How can tourism be seen as a form of cannibalistic consumption? How do European and US readers ingest the Caribbean text by turning it into a palatable object? How do dishes such as calalou or soupe à congo act as central vehicles for memory and creolization?

Texts 1.Texts by Caribbean writers: Aimé Césaire, Cahier d’un retour au pays natal; Suzanne Césaire, “Malaise d’une civilisation;” Maryse Condé, La Migration des cœurs; Édouard Glissant, Tout-Monde; Gisèle Pineau, Chair Piment. 2. Travelers’ accounts: Christopher Columbus, Lafcadio Hearn, André Breton. 3. Theories of cannibalism by Montaigne, Oswald de Andrade, Freud, Peter Hulme, and Lestringant.

Particulars: One research paper, one oral presentation, active class participation including leading discussion and short written responses. 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. Most texts will be available in French and English.



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Department of French and Italian, Emory University, 537 Kilgo Circle, Callaway N405, Atlanta, GA 30322


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