Spring 2018 Courses

French 601: Language Teaching and Learning

Prof. McMahon
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This course is required of all Teaching Assistants in French and Italian 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 620: Paris and Philadelphia: Landscape and Literature of the 19th Century

Prof. Andrea Goulet & Prof. Aaron Wunsch 
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This course explores the literal and literary landscapes of 19th-century Paris and Philadelphia, paying particular attention to the ways in which the built environment is shaped by and shapes shifting ideologies in the modern age. Although today the luxury and excesses of the "City of Light" may seem worlds apart from the Quaker simplicity of the "City of Brotherly Love," Paris and Philadelphia saw themselves as partners and mutual referents during the 1800s in many areas, from urban planning to politics, prisons to paleontology. This interdisciplinary seminar will include readings from the realms of literature, historical geography, architectural history, and cultural studies as well as site visits to Philadelphia landmarks, with a view to uncovering overlaps and resonances among different ways of reading the City. We will facilitate in-depth research by students on topics relating to both French and American architectural history, literature, and cultural thought.


French 640: Theater and Polemics in Renaissance France

Prof. Scott Francis
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The sixteenth-century is commonly regarded as a turning point for French theater, a transitional period between “medieval” theatrical genres (farce, sottie, mystery and morality plays, etc.) and the classical theater that reached its apogee in the seventeenth century. As such, theater is inherently tied to the literary debates that characterized the Renaissance, and in particular the Pléiade’s militant call to abandon medieval genres and return to classical sources, even though these genres continued to be popular and influential well into the second half of the sixteenth century. At the same time, theater was a privileged medium for religious and political polemics throughout the sixteenth century in France, and provides invaluable insights into subjects such as Gallicanism (the independence of the French crown and French church from Rome) or the Reformation. This course will examine French theater from the beginning to the end of the sixteenth century with these polemics as its guiding principles, and will consider plays alongside major works in other genres with similar polemical orientations. We will learn how theater evolved from the Middle Ages to the Classical Era, how the tumultuous political and religious landscape of the French Renaissance left an indelible mark on literary production, and how authors appropriate and adapt theatrical conventions for polemical purposes. All primary readings are in French, as are many of the secondary readings, but the course will be conducted in English, and students may choose between French and English for written and oral assignments.


French 675: Science and Literature in 19th Century France

Prof. Andrea Goulet
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Description TBA


French 681: Modern French Poetry, From Baudelaire to Jaccottet

Prof. Samuel Martin
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How does one approach the modern poetic text which ever since the Mallarmean "crise de vers" appears to have cut loose from all referential anchoring and traditional markers (prosody, versification, etc.)? This course will present an array of possible methodological answers to this question, focusing on poetic forms and manifestations of brevity and fragmentation. In addition to being submitted to precise formal and textual inquiries, each text or work will be the point of departure for the analysis of a specific theoretical issue and/or an original practice - e.g., genetic criticism, translation theory, the poetic "diary", aphoristic modes of writing, quoting and rewriting practices, etc. Texts by key modern poets (Ponge, Chazal, Du Bouchet, Jourdan, Jabes, Michaux).