Intro to French/Francophone Studies: The Discovery of the New World-#1959

FRIT-F300 — Fall 2022

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Nicolas Valazza
BH 315
Days and Times
TR 3:00P - 4:15P
Course Description

Europeans claim—somewhat abusively—to have “discovered” the American continent in 1492, which was soon to be identified as the New World. Beyond its geographical aspect, this historical event carried such a strong cultural impact that the New World came to be seen, notably by writers, as the Other World, also considered the World of the Others, with all its historical, sociological, philosophical, but also fictional and metaphorical implications. Since then, and for centuries to come, writers have kept discovering the New World again and again, always lending new meanings to it.

In this course, we will read and analyze several texts belonging to different centuries and literary genres (essay, fiction, theatre and poetry) in which the topic of the New World is developed in various manners. Works studied include: the 16th-century Chronicles of the New World, the essay Des cannibales by Montaigne, the 18th-century short story Candide by Voltaire, the 18th-century play L’Île des esclaves by Marivaux, a 19th-century anthology of poems and the 20th-century play La Controverse de Valladolid by Jean-Claude Carrière. We will also have the chance to watch the film based on the latter play.

The final grade will be based on class preparation and participation (10%), two compositions (25%), a mid-term exam (20%), an oral presentation (20%) and a final paper (25%). The course will be conducted entirely in French.


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The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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