Spring 2015 Courses

French 601: Language Teaching/Learning

Prof. McMahon

This course is required of all Teaching Assistants in French, Italian, and Spanish in the second semester of their first year of teaching. It is designed to provide instructors with the necessary practical support to carry out their teaching responsibilities effectively, and builds on the practicum meetings held during the first semester. The course will also introduce students to various approaches to foreign language teaching as well as to current issues in second language acquisition. Students who have already had a similar course at another institution may be exempted upon consultation with the instructor.


French 619: East & West in Medieval Europe: Bohemia as Center in the Age of the Luxemburgs

Prof. Brownlee

The seminar will examine a range of topics in Medieval Studies viewing European medieval civilization as encompassing the whole (“global”) geographic and cultural space of Europe and ignoring reference to contemporary socio-political division of Europe into “Western” and “Eastern.” As a case study, the course focuses on the 14th-century Holy Roman Empire from Henry VII to the Emperor Sigismund, and particularly on the reign of Charles IV, in a context in which Prague becomes the imperial capital and Bohemia a center of Europe. A detailed examination of this monarch’s vision of a “Global Europe” will allow us to explore a network of connections, a network that stretches from Prague to the farthermost western, eastern and southern corners of the European continent. We will examine correspondences and differences between various linguistic, textual, political, and religious communities, while attempting to show how Latin and Slavic European cultures were interwoven. Some of the titles from the reading list are Charles IV’s The Life of St. Wenceslas and Autobiography, The Golden Bull, Dante’s Letters & Monarchia, Machaut’s Jugement of the King of Bohemia, Petrarch’s Epistolae & Poems, Froissart’s Prison of Love, Johannes von Tepl’s The Plowman of Bohemia, The Life of St. Constantin the Philosopher, fragments from Czech, French, Italian, Polish, Hungarian and Rus medieval chronicles, etc. All reading will be done in English, with original language versions always available.


French 675: The Underground Imaginary [Topics in 19th-Century Literature]

Prof. Goulet

From the vast quarries and catacombs under modern Paris to coalminer's tunnels in the North and coastal caves of the South, France's underground spaces have been associated through fiction with themes of political revolt, violent crime, symbolic purification, and scientific inquiry.  The nineteenth century in particular saw the institutional and discursive rise of what William Whewell called the "palaetiological sciences", in which inquiry into the (geological) past reveals the patterns of the present.  Combined with France's turbulent Revolutionary history, these fields marked the national consciousness with the recurring notion of cyclical cataclysm.  As the century progressed, positivist thought inflected the underground imaginary through scientific fictions of discovery and naturalist fictions of patriotic recovery.  But despite surface ideology, each narrative text contains its own stratified layers and schistic rifts, which we will study through close analysis of subterranean spaces in novels by Hugo (Les Misérables), Berthet (Les Catacombes de Paris), Verne (Voyage au centre de la terre), Leroux (La double vie de Théophraste Longuet), and Zola (Germinal).  The seminar will also include short secondary readings by figures like Nadar and Dumas and scholars like Williams, Rudwick, Prendergast, and Pike.


French 680: Studies in the 20th Century

Prof. Prince

A study of the poetics of the French novel from the "Nouveau Roman" to the "Nouvelle Ecole de Minuit" and other manifestations of postmodern and contemporary fiction.


French 696: Postco Theory Francophone

Prof. Moudileno