Current Seminars

Spring 2018

For details and updates, please consult the Course Offerings on the Office of the Registrar's website.

FRE 500
Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy
Christine M. Sagnier

Designed to provide future teaching assistants with the knowledge and conceptual tools needed to reflect critically on pedagogical practices in the second language classroom. Examines issues related to teaching language and culture in a university setting, highlighting the relationship between theory in Second Language Acquisition and language pedagogy and helping students understand the practical implications of theoretical frameworks in the field.

FRE 516
Seminar 17th-Century French Literature: Satire
Volker Schröder

This seminar explores the transformations of satirical writing and its place in French culture between 1600 and 1715. Course materials include a variety of literary genres such as poetry, novel, and comedy, as well as graphic satire. These works are analyzed in relation both to the traditional models that they adapt and to the contemporary conflicts that they express and address. Among the topics to be discussed throughout the semester are: obscenity and civility, free speech and verbal violence, derision and defamation, authorship and censorship.

FRE 518
The Literature of Enlightenment: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Joanna Stalnaker (Columbia)

In this course, we read Rousseau through the lens of the polarized critical reactions his writings have elicited, in an effort to understand why he has been viewed as an exemplar of both Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment, as a defender of human liberty and a proto-totalitarian, as an inspiration to women writers and a misogynist. Central to our discussions is the question of how his view of nature, as expressed in the Discourse on Inequality, is linked to his triptych of autobiographical works. Critical readings include Lévi-Strauss, Derrida, de Man, Starobinski, Foucault, Wittig, Darnton and Goodman.

FRE 525
20th-Century French Poetry or Theater: French Modernist Poetry
Efthymia Rentzou

This course investigates Modernist poetics in France from mid-19th to mid-20th c. and seeks to re-evaluate Modernism in French literary history. The course treats the topic at a variety of interrelated levels by exploring French poetry as part of the broad historical phenomenon of Modernism while examining the specific ways it materialized in France as formal innovation and as a response to modernity. Seminal poets such as Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Apollinaire, and Cendrars, are discussed as well as specific movements. Readings and theoretical questions also address the complex relationship between avant-garde and Modernism.

FRE 526 / COM 525
Seminar in 19th & 20th-Century French Literature: Beckett
Thomas A. Trezise

A study of Samuel Beckett's major works in prose and theater with extensive reference to the body of criticism it has generated.


Fall 2017

FRE 524 / HUM 524
20th-Century French Narrative Prose - Realism and (Post-)Truth
Christy N. Wampole

Through theories of realism and examples of realist fiction, this course poses the following questions: What happens to realism in the post-truth era? Do we really suffer from what David Shields has called 'reality hunger' or some other literary affliction? What has happened to realism since the 19th century? Other topics include: naturalism, socialist and capitalist realism, the role of journalism and the social sciences in changing the texture of realism, the seepage between life and literature.

FRE 526
Seminar in 19th- and 20th-Century French Literature - Reading Proust
André Benhaïm

A study of Marcel Proust's works and "imaginaire", some of his most remarkable readings, along with readings of/by some of his most remarkable readers (writers, philosophers, critics, artists, and film makers).

FRE 528
Francophone Literature and Culture Outside of France - Imperialism and Decolonization in the Francophone World
F. Nick Nesbitt

Classic theories of Imperialism (Marx, Lenin, Hobson, Arendt, Fanon), and the relation of the critique of imperialism to decolonization. Focus on the francophone Caribbean and Africa. Attention as well to contemporary critiques of Imperialism that draw on this legacy. Readings and discussion in English.