Fall 2020 French courses
This seminar will position itself at the intersection between theory as a “liberatory practice” (bell hooks) that allows one to transcend political, ideological or cultural limitations, and theory as a “traveling” or “translating” practice which should always account for how an idea “came to birth or entered discourse” (Said), that is, for the concrete, historical context of its appearance.
The discussions will focus on how theoretical production and reception come to be shaped by the identity (nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation) of its author, centering around the works of five contemporary thinkers: Kwame Anthony Appiah –The Ethics of Identity, Jacques Derrida –The Monolingualism of the Other, Of Hospitality, Édouard Glissant –The Caribbean, Discourse, The Poetics of Relation, Catherine Malabou –Changing Difference, Achille Mbembe –Critique of Black Reason.
This course will focus on "internal" developments in the language while setting these against an "external"—historical and social—backdrop. We will investigate the evolution of the sound system (phonology), word formation (morphology), sentence structure (syntax), and vocabulary, placing these developments within contemporary approaches to variation and change.Learn more about this course
We will explore the poetry and poetics of the French Renaissance from the Rhétoriqueurs to D’Aubigné and the Baroque poets. We will begin with Jean Molinet’s Art de rhétorique from the very end of the fifteenth century, which is both a treatise on poetry and an anthology of poems. Next we will read and discuss works ranging from Clément Marot and Marguerite de Navarre to the Pléiade (Ronsard, Du Bellay) and beyond.Learn more about this course
Many literary works that are now considered canonical were once censored, or they were subjected to memorable trials. We will study both famous examples (Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal) and lesser-known censored works. At the crossroads between literary analysis, legal history, and the history of the book, this seminar aims to situate texts in their historical and political context.Learn more about this course
The study of the contact languages known as pidgins and creoles is fraught with controversy, which we will explore. First, we will observe many linguistic structures commonly associated with creole languages such as preverbal tense-mood-aspect (TMA) markers, aspect prominence, serial verbs, bimorphemic interrogatives, predicate clefting and ideophones.Learn more about this course
Independent study of a topic not offered in a regular course this semester, under the guidance of a faculty member.Learn more about this course