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 FREN 505    Seminar on Pedagogy 

Dr. Sandra Descourtis / Mondays 1:00-4:00pm 

(Cross-listed with LING 505-1 and HISP 610-1) 

Content: This course will offer a foundational background to the history of language teaching approaches, current trends in the field, and practical approaches to lesson planning, course building, assessment, and other major areas of concern for language teachers including the teaching of literature and culture. The course will involve observations and reflections on one's own teaching and will culminate in the development of a teaching portfolio." Textbook: A multiliteracies framework for collegiate foreign language teaching (2015) by K. PAesani, H. Willis Allen, B. Dupuy, J. Liskin-Gasparro, and M. Lacorte ISBN - 0205954049 Pearson. Other readings will be made available on Canvas.) 

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FREN 775    Primal Scenes: Literature & Psychoanalysis 

Dr. Elissa Marder / Tuesdays 1:00-4:00pm 

(Cross-listed with CPLT 751R-1; PSP 789) 

Content: In this course, we shall examine how psychoanalysis both establishes and challenges the boundaries of the human. Beginning with a close reading of Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams, we shall explore how Freud's derives the specificity of the human unconscious (via the complex operations of the dream-work) by turning to literary language, theatrical spaces and events, and technological operations. Throughout the course, we will focus on the Freudian conception of the `primal scene' as a way of examining how psychoanalytic theory challenges traditional conceptions of temporality, repetition, sexuality and desire, writing, mourning, cruelty, and the status of the historical event. 

Texts: The Interpretation of Dreams (Freud); Freud's case histories (including `Dora,' `The Wolf-Man', `The Rat-Man,' `Little Hans', and `Schreber') Phèdre (Racine); Le Ravissment de Lol V. Stein (Duras); Moderato cantabile (Duras); La Chambre claire (Barthes); Selections from: Combray and A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (Proust); La Bête humaine (Zola); To the Lighthouse (Woolf) Muriel (dir. Alain Resnais). 

Additional readings may include works by: Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Avital Ronell, Samuel Weber, Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, Hélène Cixous, & Sarah Kofman. 

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FREN 780    Thinking With Montaigne 

Dr. Chad Córdova / Wednesdays 1:00-4:00PM 

(Cross-listed with CPLT 752; PHIL 525) 

Content: Michel de Montaigne (1533-92) has emerged in recent decades as a radical contemporary in ways comparable to the rereading of Descartes in 20th-century phenomenology and French existentialism. This seminar interrogates the reasons and implications of Montaigne’s contemporaneity by rereading the Essais (1580-95) in critical dialogue with seminal figures from the history of Western philosophy and theory, such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Bovelles, Descartes, Pascal, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Husserl, Adorno, Heidegger, Foucault, Deleuze, Agamben, Derrida, and Haraway. While studying Montaigne’s anachronic place in intellectual history, we will also examine related problems and modes in the visual arts and explore how the unprecedented (anti)philosophical gesture of the Essais resonates with recent posthumanist methods and questions in literature, philosophy, aesthetics, politics, and ecology. *French highly recommended; German desirable.* 

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FREN 780   Ideologies of Theory 

Dr. Geoffrey Bennington / Thursdays 1:00-4:00pm 

(Cross-listed with CPLT 750-1, PHIL 789-2) 

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 770     Natures Mortes (Seminar on ecocriticism, taught in English)

Dr. Vincent Bruyère/ Wednesday 1-4 pm

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FREN 780    Introduction to Derrida (taught in English) 

(crosslisted with CPLT 751; PHIL 789)

Dr. Geoffrey Bennington/ Thursday 1-4 pm

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FREN 780    Lyotard's Différends (taught in English)

Dr. Claire Nouvet/ Friday 1-4 pm

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FREN 785     Écritures de la terre: Haïti et Martinique (taught in French) 

Dr. Valérie Loichot/ Tuesday 1-4 pm

 

 

FREN 505    Problems in Foreign Language Learning

(same as LING 505-1 and HISP 610-1)

Dr. Alexander Mendes / Monday 1-4PM (in person)

Content:  This course will offer a foundational background to the history of language teaching approaches, current trends in the field, and practical approaches to lesson planning, course building, assessment, and other major areas of concern for language teachers including the teaching of literature and culture. The course will involve observations and reflections on one's own teaching and will culminate in the development of a teaching portfolio." Textbook: A multiliteracies framework for collegiate foreign language teaching (2015) by K. Paesani, H. Willis Allen, B. Dupuy, J. Liskin-Gasparro, and M. Lacorte ISBN - 0205954049 Pearson. Other readings will be made available on Canvas.)

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FREN 770     Tyranny: Dictatorship in Literature and Theory

Dr. Subha Xavier / Thursday 1-4PM (in person)

Content:  The middle years of the last century saw the rise of a wave of strong men who spawned writings, both literary and theoretical, about the meaning and function of authoritarian rule, its various representations, humorous and tragic, and the discursive modalities of resistance. This course will explore tyranny as political device and literary trope in works by writers and thinkers who use dictatorship as an analytic lens through which to understand and reconfigure asymmetries in power, language and thought. Theoretical readings will include Frantz Fanon, Achille Mbembe and Hannah Arendt. Literary works may include Sony Labou Tansi (La vie et demie), Tchicaya Utam'si (Le destin glorieux du maréchal Nnikon Nniku), Ahmadou Kourouma (En Attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages), Véronique Tadjo (Le royaume aveugle), Gérard Étienne (Un Nègre crucifié), Marie Vieux Chauvet (Amour, Colère, Folie), Anna Moï (Nostalgie de la rizière), Linda Lê (Cronos), Shan Sa (Porte de la Paix Céleste).

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 FREN 775     French Literature:  Fictions of Photography

(Originates as CPLT 751R-1)

Dr. Elissa Marder / Tuesday 1-4PM (in person)

Content:  Since its invention in 1839, photography has been a source of fascination, reflection, inspiration, and revulsion for many nineteenth- and twentieth century thinkers and writers. Because the medium of photography has the capacity to record images that are not available to the naked eye and to preserve and repeat them indefinitely, photography has given rise to many powerful written reflections about mourning, memory, time, history, fantasy, ghosts, death, and desire. In this course, we will examine a selection of literary, philosophical, and theoretical texts to help us think about how photographic writing affects our understanding of images, events, the imagination, and history. Readings may include literary works by: Baudelaire, Balzac, Champfleury, Maupassant, Nadar, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Rodenbach, Villiers de L'Isle Adam, Proust, Cixous, and Marguerite Duras and philosophical/critical works by Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, and Jacques Derrida.

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FREN 780     Early Modern French Thought & Aesthetics

(same as CPLT 752R-2)

Dr. Chad Córdova / Wednesday 1-4PM (in person)

Content:  Seminar focused on early modern texts by (e.g.) Montaigne, Descartes, Pascal, Diderot, Rousseau, and others. Dealing with early modern anti- and post-humanism, and topics such as: subjectivity, embodiment, alterity, animality, vegetal being, monstrosity, representation, affect, violence, politics, ecology, and nature. With forays into ancient and more modern philosophy, the 20th- and 21st-c. afterlife of early modern issues (Freud; Heidegger; Derrida; Agamben; etc.), and related or homologous problems and modes in the visual arts (e.g., the grotesque; the beautiful and the sublime; sketching; the non-finito; fragments; ruins; e.g.). Proficiency in French and German would be helpful.

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FREN 780     Ideologies of Theory

(Originates as CPLT 750-1.  Same as ENG 789-3, PHIL 789-2, and WGS 730R-1

Dr. Geoffrey Bennington / Thursday 1-4PM (in person)

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 550      Rousseau

Geoffrey Bennington
Th 1-4pm (online)
(cross-listed with CPLT 752R-1)

Content:  Plus qu'un autre, peut-être, c'est Jean-Jacques Rousseau qui aura signé le dix-huitième siècle français. Que ce soit en matière de philosophie politique, de théorie pédagogique, d'écriture littéraire ou autobiographique, tout change là où Rousseau écrit et signe de son nom. Nous essayerons, à travers la lecture de grands textes en tous genres, de mieux cerner la place et les enjeux de cette signature qui se veut unique, garant présumé d'une vérité qui se révèlera de plus en plus fabuleuse.

Texts:  Les Confessions; Emile, ou de l’éducation; Discours sur l’origine de l‘inégalité; Du Contrat social; Les rêveries du promeneur solitaire; Rousseau juge de Jean-Jacques; Essai sur l’origine des langues où il est parléde la mélodie et de l’imitation musicale.

Particulars:  This course will be taught primarily in French.

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FREN 775      Revolutionary Perversions: Literature, Sexuality, Anachrony

Elissa Marder
W 1-4pm (online)
(Same as CPLT 751R-8; WGS 730R-1; PSP 789-2)

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 most famous canonical literary texts written in French prior to 1871 include references to impotence, lesbianism, hysteria, cross dressing, bestiality, masturbation and prostitution in the context of narratives that re-write or un-write the legacy of the French revolution. By focusing on the literary treatment of these 'perverse' forms of sexuality, we shall attempt to see how they encourage us to think differently about questions of historical transmission, language, gender, and sovereignty. Possible texts include: La Philosophie dans le boudoir (Sade), René (Chateaubriand), Ourika, Mme de Duras, Armance (Stendhal), Le Père Goriot and La Fille aux yeux d'or (Balzac), L'Education sentimentale (Flaubert), 'Le Secret de l'Echafaud' (Villiers de L'Isle-Adam), and selections from Baudelaire's prose poems. Critical readings may include works by Freud, Marx, Benjamin, Blanchot, Daniel Arasse, Derrida, and others.

The course will be taught in English although we will focus on the works in the original French texts. Reading knowledge of French recommended but not required as (almost) all of the works are available in translation.

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FREN 780      “Seduction” Theories: Freud/Laplanche 

Claire Nouvet
Tuesdays 1-4pm
(Cross-listed with PSP 789-3)

Content:  This course will focus on Laplanche's reevaluation and extension of Freud's 'seduction theory,' an extension that allows him to propose an original interpretation of the Freudian corpus. As we shall see, Laplanche's 'generalized' theory of seduction affirms the primacy of the other against a certain theoretical self-centering, and proposes new understandings of key notions such as 1) the unconscious and its genesis 2) repression 3) the drives 4) time (the temporality of 'Nachträglichkeit' or 'afterwardsness' in Laplanche's reformulation) 5) gender 6) trauma.

Particulars:  The course will be entirely online and will be taught in English.

Texts:

Freud:

  • 'Aetiology of Hysteria'
  • 'The Hysterical Proton Pseudos' in Project for a Scientific Psychology
  • Three Essays on Sexuality
  • Leonardo Da Vinci and a Memory of his Childhood

Laplanche:

  • New Foundations for Psychoanalysis
  • Essays on Otherness [selections]
  • Freud and the Sexual [selections]
  • Life and Death in Psychoanalysis [selections]
  • The Unconscious and the Id [selections]

FREN 505      Problems in Foreign Language Teaching

Mendes
Mondays 1:00-4:00pm
Cross-listed with LING 505

Content: Introduction to foreign language teaching methodologies and practices. This course will offer a foundational background to the history of language teaching approaches, current trends in the field, and practical approaches to lesson planning, course building, assessment, and other major areas of concerns for language teachers. The course will involve observations and reflection on one's own teaching and will culminate in the development of a teaching portfolio. Textbook: A multiliteracies framework for collegiate foreign language teaching (2015) by K. PAesani, H. Willis Allen, B. Dupuy, J. Liskin-Gasparro, and M. Lacorte ISBN - 0205954049 Pearson. Other readings will be made available on Canvas.

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FREN 770      Health Humanities

Bruyère
Wednesdays 1:00-4:00pm

Content:  In this seminar, the emergent field of Health Humanities serves as a platform to both think about the pressure to be interdisciplinary scholars in precarious times and reabsorb some of it in the form of close readings. A focus on temporality will allow us to make provisions for notions of demographic transition, chronic illness, and health crisis in the critical repertoire of affect studies, visual culture, and literary criticism. Taught in English.

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FREN 780      Édouard Glissant and Feminist Theory

Loichot
Tuesdays 1:00-4:00pm
Cross-listed with ENG 789; CPLT 751; WGS 730

Content:  Martinican poet and Philosopher Edouard Glissant seems like an unlikely partner for feminist theory. Some critics have argued that the question of women, gender, and sexuality was thwarted in his writings that privilege the imperative of remaining human (i.e. non-gender-marked or coded as masculine by default) in a context of enslavement, colonization and de-colonization. This seminar will show, however, that Glissant’s thought had a lot to gain from women and feminist thinkers and poets, and that his theories (or Relation, Opacity, Creolization, Tout-Monde, and Caribbeanness/Antillanité) have a lot to contribute to feminist theories of sexuality, time, space, memory, theology, and ecology. The seminar is organized around systematic pairings of Glissant’s texts and its feminine/feminist interlocutors. Seminar contributors will be encouraged to propose and theorize their own pairings with authors from the syllabus and/or of their own choosing.

Readings by Glissant will include Le Discours antillais (Caribbean Discourse), Poétique de la Relation (Poetics of Relation), “Métissage et créolisation,” Traité du Tout-Monde (Treatise on the Whole-World), and Philosophie de la Relation. Texts by his interlocutors will include Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera, Suzanne Césaire’s Grand camouflage (Great camouflage), Hélène Cixous’s “Le Sexe ou la tête” (“Castration or Decapitation”), Saidiya Hartman’s “Venus in Two Acts,” Luce Irigaray’s Ce Sexe qui n’en est pas un (This Sex Which is Not One), Kara Keeling’s Queer Times, Black Futures, Catherine Keller’s Cloud of the Impossible, María Lugone’s “The Coloniality of Gender,” Grace Nichol’s Startling the Flying Fish, M. NourbeSe Philip’s “Notanda,” Ntozake Shange’s A Daughter Geography, Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake, and Sylvia Wynter’s “Beyond Miranda’s Meaning.”

Particulars: Sustained participation (including involvement in seminar discussions, occasional short Canvas responses and mini-interventions on a concept or text), a twenty-minute oral presentation, and a 10-12-page final research paper plus annotated bibliography. The seminar is taught in English. Some reading knowledge of French is helpful but not required. Class discussions will be customized according to the registered students’ skills. We will discuss Glissant’s texts paying close attention to the original (with the help of seminar members who speak French). Students from the French doctoral program or students wishing to read and write in French will be encouraged to do so and will be given targeted assignments on texts available only in French.

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FREN 780      Literary Theories

Bennington
Thursdays 1:00-4:00pm
Cross-listed with CPLT 750R*

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.

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FREN 775-001 - Primal Scenes: Psychoanalysis and Literature
Cross-listed with CPLT 751-7, PSP 789-1, WGSS 589-2
Elissa Marder - Wednesday 1:00-4:00PM

Content:  In this course, we shall examine how the two fundamental insights of psychoanalysis (sexuality and the unconscious) put psychoanalysis into a primal relation to literature. Beginning with a close reading The Interpretation of Dreams, we will explore how Freud derives his model of the human psyche through dreams by appealing to literary language, literary figures, theatrical spaces and events as he explains the complex operations of the dream-work. Paying close attention to the privileged place that Freud accords to hysteria (and feminine sexuality) as the bedrock of the human psyche, we will look at how Freud's feminine figures both define and challenge the very conception of the human. Throughout the course, we will focus on Freudian conception of the `primal scene - as a way of examining how psychoanalytic theory challenges traditional conceptions of temporality, repetition, sexuality and desire, writing, mourning, cruelty, and the status of the historical event.

Texts:  Texts may include selections of major works by Freud (including: The Interpretation of Dreams (Freud); Case Histories); selected works by Lacan, Seminar VII on Antigone); Theban Plays (especially Antigone), Phèdre (Racine); Madame Bovary (Flaubert) Le Ravissment de Lol V. Stein (Duras); To the Lighthouse (Woolf); Marnie (dir. Alfred Hitchcock); Muriel (dir. Alain Resnais) Additional readings may include works by: Jacques Derrida, Jean Laplanche, Hélène Cixous, Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, André Green, Shoshana Felman, Sarah Kofman. This course will be taught in English. Texts originally written in French can be read either in French or in an English translation.

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FREN 780-001 - Introduction to Derrida
Cross-listed with CPLT 751-6, ENG 789-6, PHIL 789-5
Geoffrey Bennington - Thursday 1:00-4:00PM

Content:  The class aims to come to a general understanding of some basic Derridean 'concepts' and an appreciation of what we might call some of the manners of deconstruction. Each session will concentrate on one or two texts, but the class as a whole will work cumulatively. Some further readings are suggested, but are not obligatory.

Texts:  Texts to be studied will include: De la grammatologie (tr. Of Grammatology); La Voix et le phénomène (tr. Speech and Phenomena); L'écriture et la différence (tr. Writing and Difference); La dissémination (tr. Dissemination); Marges de la philosophie (tr. Margins of Philosophy); Limited Inc.; Voyous (tr. Rogues).

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FREN 780-002 - Thinking & Feeling in Early Modern France
Cross-listed with CPLT 751
Chad Córdova - Tuesday 1:00-4:00PM

Content:  Séminaire sur la philosophie et l'anti-philosophie prémodernes en France (XVIe-XVIIe s.). Centré sur des auteurs tels que Montaigne, Descartes et Pascal, ainsi que sur des questions de: (anti)humanisme, subjectivité, corporalité, altérité, animalité, représentation, affect, violence et nature. Avec des incursions probables dans la philosophie antique, dans la survie (au XXe s.) des problèmes philosophiques prémodernes ainsi que dans les arts visuels.

Seminar on early modern philosophy and antiphilosophy in France (16th-17th c.). Focus will be on authors such as Montaigne, Descartes, and Pascal, and questions of (anti)humanism, subjectivity, embodiment, alterity, animality, representation, affect, violence, and Nature. With likely forays into ancient philosophy, the 20th-c. afterlife of early modern philosophical issues, and related problems in the visual arts.

FREN 505 - Problems in Foreign Language Teaching
Alexander Mendes - Monday, 1:00-4:00PM

Content: Introduction to foreign language teaching methodologies and practices. This course will offer a foundational background to the history of language teaching approaches, current trends in the field, and practical approaches to lesson planning, course building, assessment, and other major areas of concerns for language teachers. The course will involve observations and reflection on one's own teaching and will culminate in the development of a teaching portfolio.

Textbook: A multiliteracies framework for collegiate foreign language teaching (2015) by K. PAesani, H. Willis Allen, B. Dupuy, J. Liskin-Gasparro, and M. Lacorte ISBN - 0205954049 Pearson.  Other readings will be made available on Canvas.

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FREN 770 - Literature on the alert
Claire Nouvet - Wednesday, 4:15-7:15PM

Content: To be on the alert implies not only foreboding in the face of danger, but also vigilance, an awakening of sorts, a warning even. Literature can be on the alert in all of those senses insofar as it is attentive to a “mal,” an affliction, that confronts language to its very limits. As we shall see, the poetry of the troubadours alerts us to the presence of “something” that, as Lacan pointed out, is not an object, but something else entirely and much more terrifying, which turns poetry into an infinite address and romances into an endless quest. Elevated through idealization or degraded into comical obscenity, this “something” can also make its presence felt as an enigmatic sickness, a devastating malaise at the core of the literary space.  As it attends to these afflictions, literature can become a strange wake-up call that breaks through everyday slumber to transmit what Julien Gracq called “something like a far-away alarm.”

Texts:
-- Troubadours (selections)
-- Guillaume de Lorris: Le roman de la rose
-- Chrétien de Troyes: Perceval ou le Conte du Graal
-- Villon (selections)
-- Robert Desnos: A la mystérieuse
-- Gracq: Le rivage des syrtes
-- Lacan: Ethique de la psychanalyse (selections)

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FREN 775 - Fictions of photography
Cross-listed with CPLT 751
Elissa Marder - Tuesday 1:00-4:00PM

Content:  Since its invention in 1839, photography has been a source of fascination, reflection, inspiration, and revulsion for many nineteenth and twentieth century thinkers and writers.  Because the medium of photography has the capacity to record images that are not available to the naked eye and to preserve and repeat them indefinitely, photography has given rise to many powerful written reflections about mourning, memory, time, history, fantasy, ghosts, death, and desire.  In this course, we will examine a selection of literary, philosophical, and theoretical texts to help us think about how photographic writing affects our understanding of images, events, the imagination, and history.  Readings may include literary works by: Baudelaire, Balzac, Champfleury, Maupassant, Nadar, Edgar Allan Poe, Rodenbach, Villiers de L’Isle Adam, Proust, Cixous, and Marguerite Duras and philosophical/critical works by Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag, and Jacques Derrida.

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FREN 780 - Literary Theories
Cross-listed with CPLT 750R
Geoffrey Bennington - Thursday 1:00-4:00PM

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 775 - Revolutionary Perversions: Literature, Sexuality, Anachrony
Cross-listed with CPLT 751 and PSP 789
Elissa Marder - Tuesdays 1:00-4:00PM

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 most famous canonical literary texts written in French prior to 1871 include references to impotence, lesbianism, hysteria, cross dressing, bestiality, masturbation and prostitution in the context of narratives that re-write or un-write the legacy of the French revolution. By focusing on the literary treatment of these ‘perverse’ forms of sexuality, we shall attempt to see how they encourage us to think differently about questions of historical transmission, language, gender, and sovereignty. Possible texts include: La Philosophie dans le boudoir (Sade), René (Chateaubriand), Ourika, Mme de Duras, Armance (Stendhal), Le Père Goriot and La Fille aux yeux d’or (Balzac), L’Education sentimentale (Flaubert), “Le Secret de l’Echafaud” (Villiers de L’Isle-Adam), and selections from Baudelaire’s prose poems. Critical readings may include works by Freud, Marx, Benjamin, Blanchot, Daniel Arasse, Derrida, and others. 

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FREN 775 - Drives: Between Psychoanalysis and Literature
Cross-listed with PSP 789
Claire Nouvet - Wednesdays 4:15-7:15PM

Content: The course will address the notion of “drive” as it imposes itself, if somewhat enigmatically, in two distinct fields: psychoanalysis and literature. While claiming that drive theory is “indispensable,” Freud acknowledged that he only “painfully felt” his way toward the drives and their vicissitudes. We will trace some of the steps of this painstaking analysis (infantile sexuality, the “death drive,” his analysis of war) before turning to literature and to the “drive” that it also sometimes invokes. If writing responds to a drive, what then drives writing? What does writing make of/with this drive? And what difference does it make?  The course will be taught in English.

Texts:
- Sigmund Freud: 
Drives and Their Vicissitudes
Three Essays on Sexuality
Beyond the Pleasure Principle
Thoughts for the Times on War and Death
- Guillaume Apollinaire: Calligrammes
- Georges Bataille: Le bleu du ciel
- Roger Caillois: Le mythe et l’homme [selections]
- Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Casse-pipe suivi du Carnet du cuirassier Destouches
- Salvador Dalí:   
Oui 2 [selections]
Le mythe tragique de l’Angélus de Millet

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FREN 780 - Humanisme et antihumanisme (16e et 17e siècles)
Chad Córdova - Thursdays 1:00-4:00PM

Description: L’antihumanisme philosophique ou “théorique” français est connu comme un phénomène récent, voire contemporain: né autour de l’après-guerre avant de devenir une force et une mode de l’université surtout anglophone. Or, les formes de la pensée antihumaniste ont une histoire – sinon une préfiguration – dans certains courants (anti-)philosophiques datant des deux premiers siècles qui ont vu l’émergence de l’humanisme culturel et philosophique. Ce séminaire étudiera quelques aspects de ces courants au 16e et au 17e siècles, et posera la question de leur survie, ou variation, au 20e siècle. .

Avec des textes de: Aristote; Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; Machiavel; Marguerite de Navarre; Montaigne; Rabelais; Descartes; Élisabeth de Bohème; Pascal; Freud; Sartre; Lévi-Strauss; Lacan; et/ou d’autres. 

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FREN 780 - Literature and Justice: Writers on Trial
Cross-listed with CPLT 780
Shoshana Felman - Mondays 4:00-7:00PM

Content: History has put on trial a series of creative thinkers. At the dawn of philosophy, Socrates drinks the cup of poison to which he is condemned by the Athenians for his influential teaching, charged with atheism, and corruption of the youth. Centuries later, in modernity, similarly influential (similarly charismatic and ironically subversive) Oscar Wilde is condemned by the English for his homosexuality, as well as for his provocative artistic style. In France, the most outstanding writers-- Flaubert and Baudelaire-- are both indicted as criminals for their first (shockingly innovative) literary works; Emile Zola is condemned for defending a Jew against the state which has convicted him, flees from France to England to escape imprisonment.

However different, all these accused have come to stand for something greater than themselves: something that was symbolized -- and challenged – by their trials. Through the examination of a series of historical and literary legal dramas, this course will ask: Why are literary writers, artists and philosophers, repetitively put on trial, and how in turn do they challenge culture and society? What is the role of art and literature as political actors in the struggles over ethics, and the struggles over meaning?

Texts:Texts selected among: Plato’s Dialogues; Molière’s plays; Shakespeare’s plays; Oscar Wilde (Plays, Autobiography, Critical writings); Gustave Flaubert (novels, letters); Charles Baudelaire (poems, criticism, theory of art); Emile Zola (political writings); Herman Melville (novellas); Bertolt Brecht (plays)); Hannah Arendt (Essays, Interviews); Spinoza (Ethics); Sigmund Freud (Psychoanalytic Writings); Jacques Lacan (psychoanalytic seminar); E. M. Forster (novel); Virginia Woolf (novel); Franz Kafka (short stories, parables).

Particulars: Regular attendance; Two short papers distributed throughout the course of the semester; Brief oral presentations; Intensive weekly reading assignment (weekly one-page reading reports) and active preparation of texts for class discussion; ongoing participation.
***NOTE: Advanced undergraduates can take the class (by permission).

FREN 505 - Problems in Foreign Language Teaching
Cross-listed with LING 505
Lilia Coropceanu - Mondays 1:00-4:00PM

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: Required (to be purchased) Kate W Paesani, Heather Willis Allen, Beatrice Dupuy, “A Multiliteracies Framework for Collegiate Foreign Language Teaching: Theory and Practice in Second Language Classroom Instruction”. Prentice Hall; 1 edition (January 22, 2015).  ISBN: 978-0205954049  

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

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FREN 770 - Water Graves
Cross-listed with CPLT 751
Valérie Loichot - Tuesdays 1:00-4:00PM

Content: Martinican philosopher and poet Édouard Glissant writes: “The cemeteries of countries and cities of creolization, and, generally, of powerful hurricanes --Guadeloupe, Martinique, Haiti, New Orleans, Cartagena-- grow into glittering small towns like white beaches, whose avenues open onto fleeting illuminations rather than onto the mute space of a dull hereafter.”
The seminar focuses on the shared vulnerability -ecological, societal, cultural- of sites of creolization in the Greater Caribbean. Particularly, it explores how poets, fiction writers, and mixed-media artists represent the vulnerability of land and people in response to the lack of official rituals granted to the drowned. In addition to figuring death by drowning in the aftermath of slavery and “natural” and human-made catastrophes, their aesthetic creations serve as memorials, dirges, tombstones, and even literal supports for the regrowth of life underwater. Water, as we will see, is both a place of disconnection (island) and relation (archipelago), as well as an abyss and conduit between the dead and the living. 

Course Material: In addition to the books to be purchased (below) readings will include selections from texts by Derek Walcott (The star Apple Kingdom), Edouard Glissant (Poétique de la Relation/ Poetics of Relation), Gabriel García Márquez (“The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”), C.L.R. James (The Black Jacobins), Tiphanie Yanique (How to Escape from a Leper Colony), Judith Butler (Frames of War), Saidiya Hartman (Lose your mother), Christina Sharpe (In the Wake), Colin (Joan) Dayan (Haiti, History, and the Gods), Joseph Roach (Cities of the Dead), Ian Baucom (Specters of the Atlantic). We will also discuss creations by artists EPaul Julien, Radclife Bailey, Beyoncé (Lemonade), Patricia Donatien, Laurent Valère, Édouard Duval-Carrié, and Jason deCaires Taylor.

Required Books (to be Purchased with indicated ISBN only)

  • Aimé Césaire. Notebook of a Return to the Native Land. 978-0819564528 or Cahier d’un retour au pays natal for students reading in French. 978-2708704206
  • Edwidge Danticat. Claire of the Sea Light. 978-0307472274
  • Fabienne Kanor. Humus. 978-2070780853 (French edition)
  • NourbeSe Philip. Zong! 978-0819571694

Particulars: Sustained participation (including involvement in seminar discussions, occasional short Canvas responses and occasional mini-interventions on a concept or text), a twenty-minute oral presentation, and a 12-page final research paper plus annotated bibliography. The class is taught in English. Students proficient in French will be encouraged to read the French original texts if appropriate.

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FREN 780 - Illness Narratives
Vincent Bruyère - Wednesdays 1:00 - 4:00PM

Content: Or, Life Writing in the Age of Biomedicine. This seminar seeks to assess both the emergence of illness narrative as genre, as archive, as mode of expression, as a form of ethics of the self, and the reliance of health humanities on illness narratives. The focus on biomedicine and its impact on life writing will give us an opportunity to revisit the history of bioethics, biography and autobiography, from devotional practices to Montaigne, from early modern anatomical writings to contemporary diagnostic practices.  The reading list includes: Jean-Luc Nancy, L’intrus; Jean-Dominique Bauby, Le scaphandre et le papillon; Agnès Varda, Cléo de 5 à 7; Montaigne, Essais (II. 6); Georges Didi-Huberman, “Ex-Voto”; Lauren Berlant, “Slow Death”; Arthur Kleinman, Illness Narratives; Ovid, Metamorphoses; Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Catherine Walby, The Visible Human Project, Annemarie Mol, The Body Multiple; Catherine Malabou, The Ontology of the Accident; and Michel Foucault, “The Life of Infamous Men.”  

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FREN 785 - Configuring the East after Orientalism
Subha Xavier - Thursdays 1:00 - 4:00PM

Content: At least since the 19th century, Western philosophical and literary traditions have imagined Asia as a mystical other, a distant land of spiritual secrets buried in the indecipherability of its ancient scripts and impenetrable sounds. At the same time, China and the Asian continent have often been a source of desire and longing that has taken political and artistic forms in the French literary text.

This course will examine representations of the East in late 19th and 20th century French literature alongside migrant texts authored by Chinese and Vietnamese writers and filmmakers. Through the lens of Edward Said’s seminal work, students will revist the writings of Victor Hugo, Victor Segalen, Henri Michaux and Marguerite Duras, in search of the Asian imaginaries that inhabit their texts. We will also explore the migrant works of contemporary Sino-French and Vietnamese-French authors Ying Chen, Shan Sa, Kim Thuy, Dai Sijie, Matt Huyhn and Thi be Ngyuyen, to uncover their poetic renditions of the relationship between East and West, as expressed through the philosophical traditions, languages and cultures that underpin their work, as well as the experience of migration that defines them.

FREN 775 - Literature on the Alert
Cross-listed with CPLT 789
Claire Nouvet - Mondays 1:00-4:00PM

Content: To be on the alert implies not only foreboding in the face of danger, but also vigilance, an awakening of sorts, a warning even. Literature can be on the alert in all of those senses insofar as it is attentive to a “mal,” an affliction that confronts language to its very limits. As we shall see, the poetry of the troubadours alerts us to the presence of “something” that, as Lacan pointed out, is not an object, but something else entirely and much more terrifying, which turns poetry into an infinite address and romance into an endless quest. Elevated through idealization or degraded into comical obscenity, this “something” can also make its presence felt as an enigmatic sickness, a devastating malaise at the core of the literary and social space.  As it attends to these afflictions, literature can become a strange wake-up call that breaks through everyday slumber to transmit what Julien Gracq called “something like a far-away alarm.”

Texts:
-- Troubadours [selections]
-- Tristan et Iseut: Les poèmes français, la saga norroise
-- Blanchot: “Orphée, Don Juan, Tristan” in L’entretien infini
-- Guillaume de Lorris: Le roman de la rose
-- Chrétien de Troyes: Perceval ou le Conte du Graal
-- Barbey d’Aurevilly:“Le rideau cramoisi” in Les diaboliques
-- Gracq: Le rivage des syrtes
-- Lacan: Ethique de la psychanalyse (selections)

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FREN 780 - Politics in Deconstruction
Cross-listed with CPLT 751 and PHIL 789
Geoffrey Bennington - Thursdays 1:00-4:00PM

Content:: Taking its lead from some of Derrida's later work, this course will follow the twin 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.

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

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FREN 785 - Haïti et Martinique: Écritures de la terre
Max: 18
Valérie Loichot - Tuesdays 1:00-4:00PM

Content: S’il est un paradoxe, c’est d’aimer sa terre quand on y a été déporté. Ce séminaire envisagera, à travers les exemples de la Martinique et d’Haïti, l’écriture de la terre en littérature et philosophie. Nous y étudierons les stratégies de réappropriation de la terre après l’économie de la Plantation, l’ambivalence de la terre nourricière et cannibale, sa valeur mémorielle et poétique, son caractère profane et sacré, ses personnifications et sexualisations. Nous nous demanderons également, dans le sillage de la pensée du désastre de Blanchot, ce qu’il advient du texte quand la terre écrit elle-même par son tremblement. En effet, comment et quoi écrire après Goudougoudou ? Qu’advient-il de l’histoire quand la Révolution haïtienne est assimilée à une catastrophe naturelle ? Qu’est-ce que la production littéraire apporte à la pensée et aux pratiques écologiques ? Comment l’écriture de la terre des « petits pays » nourrit-elle la pensée de la planète Terre ?

Textes principaux:
Aimé Césaire. Cahier d’un retour au pays natal. ISBN 978-2708704206
Laurent Dubois. Haiti : The Aftershocks of History. ISBN 978-0805093353
Édouard Glissant. Poétique de la Relation. ISBN 978-2070720255
Philosophie de la Relation. ISBN 2070125424
Suzanne Roussi Césaire. Le Grand camouflage. ISBN 978-2021289275
Yannick Lahens. Failles. ISBN 978-2848050904
Jacques Roumain. Gouverneurs de la rosée. ISBN 978-2843046636

Particulars
One 12-page research paper, one oral presentation, active class participation, three 400-word response papers.

The seminar will be conducted in French. Students from other graduate programs who have a good reading knowledge and communication skills in French are encouraged to enroll and will be able to deliver their presentation and write their paper in English.