FREN 201   Intermediate French I

Odile Chilton

M T . Th .

9:20 - 10:20 am



For students who have completed three to five years of high-school French or who have already acquired a solid knowledge of elementary grammar. In this course, designed as an introduction to contemporary French civilization and culture, students will be able to reinforce their skills in grammar, composition and spoken proficiency, through the use of short texts, newspaper and magazine articles, as well as video.



FREN 202   Intermediate French II

Odile Chilton

M T . Th .

10:30 - 11:30 am



For students with three to four years of high school French or who have acquired a solid knowledge of elementary grammar. In this course, designed as an introduction to contemporary French civilization and culture, students will be able to reinforce their skills in grammar, composition and spoken proficiency, through the use of short texts, newspaper and magazine articles, as well as video.



FREN 220   French through Film

Odile Chilton

M . W . .

1:30 -2:50 pm



In this intermediate course we will explore major themes of French culture and civilization through the study of individual films ranging from the silent era to the present and covering a wide variety of genres. We will examine the interaction between the French and their cinema in terms of historical circumstances, aesthetic ambitions, and self-representation. Conducted in French.



FREN 341   Art or Virtue? Rousseau's Legacy in French Literature

Marina van Zuylen

. . W . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 301


Rousseau’s brutal condemnation of the arts in his Discours sur les sciences et les arts sets the stage for a debate that will rage from the Enlightenment to Sartre’s Qu’est-ce que la littérature?  What does literature want?  To please or to instruct?  From his biased endorsement of Molière’s Misanthrope to his mordant critique of Montaigne and Voltaire, Rousseau pinpoints the arts as the culprit of our moral demise.  Continuing Plato’s legacy, he identifies “entertainment” as the single most dangerous obstacle to virtue.  Taking Rousseau as its point of departure, this seminar will examine a wide spectrum of works that have pitted art against social or ethical responsibility.  Works include Montaigne, Molière, Rousseau, Sade, Hugo, Baudelaire, Zola, and Sartre.  Conducted in French.



HR 245   Humanism and Antihumanism in 20th Century France

Eric Trudel

. T . Th .

9:00 - 10:20 am

OLIN 201


Cross-listed:  French Studies   What is the legacy of humanism and its very long tradition in twentieth-Century French thought? So strong was once the belief in its values that humanism came to be equated, in France, with republicanism and the Declaration of the Rights of Man. And yet, the humanists’ affirmation of the centrality of man -- the “measure of all things” --, their faith in the dignity of man, their commitment to reason, progress and universal truth came under severe attacks throughout the century, under the influence of Marx, Nietzsche, Kojève and Heidegger, to be ultimately denounced as nothing more than a construct of “petit bourgeois” ideology. Althusser praised Marx for having reduced to ashes the “myth” of Man, Foucault celebrated its disappearance “like a face drawn in the sand at the edge of the sea”, and Derrida deconstructed the metaphysical foundation of subjectivity. What happens to ethics and politics when what appears to be their very foundation is withdrawn? Does antihumanism signal the end of responsibility? This course surveys the ongoing, contentious and often violent debate between humanism and antihumanism throughout the century. Our goal will be to understand, for instance, how Sartre, who ferociously mocked humanism in the 1930s, came to declare, after the war, that Existentialism is a Humanism; to grasp why Simone de Beauvoir could plead for an Ethics of Ambiguity while Camus, who initially tried to redefine humanism in the face of the Absurd, later sacrificed it to Irony. Along the way, we will examines how this debate is tied to a discourse on human rights, to a specific understanding of the role of the intellectual, and to issues of colonialism, humanitarianism, and political activism. Texts include fictions and essays by Antelme, Barthes, Bataille, de Beauvoir, Benda, Camus, Derrida, Fanon, Ferry, Finkelkraut, Foucault, Heidegger, Houellebecq, Kojève, Lefort, Lévinas, Malraux, Merleau-Ponty, Nizan, Rancière, Renault, Ricoeur, Sartre, Todorov and Weil.



LIT 315   Proust: In Search of Lost Time

Eric Trudel

. . W . F

10:30 -11:50 am

OLIN 304


Cross-listed:  French Studies   Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time is about an elaborate, internal journey, at the end of which the narrator discovers the unifying pattern of his life both as a writer and human being. Famed for its style and its distinctive view of time, love, sex and cruelty, reading, language and memory, Proust's epic broke new ground in the invention of a genre that lies between fiction and autobiography. Through a semester devoted to the close reading of Swann’s Way and Time Regained in their entirety and several substantial key-excerpts taken from all the other volumes, we will try to understand the complex nature of Proust's masterpiece and, among other things, examine the ways by which it accounts for the temporality and new rhythms of modernity.  We will also question the narrative and stylistic function of homosexuality, discuss the significance of the massive social disruption brought about by the Great War and see how the arts are represented and why they are seminal to the narration. Additional readings will include philosophy, art criticism and literary theory. Taught in English.



PS 225   West European Politics

and Society

Elaine Thomas

. T . Th .

2:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 301


Cross-listed: French Studies, German Studies, GIS, Human Rights, Social Policy    This course will be of especially great interest not only for those concerned about contemporary Europe, but also for those concerned about globalization, democratic political reform, acceptance of cultural diversity, developments in social policy, or the viability of socialism.  Western Europe has been a key arena for some of the most remarkable late-20th and early-21st-century ventures and experiments in each of these areas.  We will look at what brought these experiments into being, their relative historical success, and how they have fared in the face of new global and international challenges.  Focusing on Britain, France and Germany, the course examines the often dramatic transformation of Western European political life from the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, and World War II in the 1930s and 1940s to our contemporary period, including the present day conflicts and challenges facing the region.  We will be especially concerned with the future prospects of European welfare states which, in contrast to the United States, provide most or all citizens benefits like free health care, childcare, and even free university education.  We will also trace the influence of the Greens and other radical or unconventional parties; political leaders’ often troubled efforts to develop a ‘European Union’ conducive to peace, prosperity and human rights; and changing responses to immigration, particularly from the Muslim world.  The course will draw on both a range of readings and selected European films. This course addresses issues of social class, globalization, nationalism, and social justice and therefore fulfills the Rethinking Difference requirement.