FREN 415 - Literary Periods and Movements
This course category encompasses the study of literature in various literary periods and/or movements. Such courses may alternate every year and include:
Resistance and Revolution in 18th-century France
Eighteenth-century France is a period characterized by vigorous literary and philosophical challenges to traditional authority and its institutions, although the events of 1789 were not anticipated by most of the leading thinkers of the period, and the notion that the Revolution was the necessary outcome of their challenges has often been viewed as a retrospective historical illusion. In this course we examine intellectual challenges to traditional authority during the final decades of the ancien régime in three primary areas: the domain of politics and the state; the domain of religion and the church; and the domain of gender, sexuality and the family. The course culminates with a discussion of some key revolutionary ideas and manifestos, and a review of the legacy of French Enlightenment thought and its advances and limits, in dialogue with contemporary critical and theoretical perspectives. Themes to be discussed include despotism and democracy, freedom and equality, nature and culture, tolerance and fanaticism, deism and natural religion, atheism and materialism, education, sex and libertinage. Readings include selections from the Encyclopédie and from works by Rousseau, Montesquieu, Beaumarchais, De Gouges, Voltaire, Sade, Vivant Denon, Diderot, D’Holbach and La Mettrie (Offered next in 2013).
Money and the Marketplace in 19th century French Literature
French culture and society witnessed vast changes in both traditional structures and values during the 19th century, due to the influence of the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism. This course offers a survey of 19th century French literature (novels, play, short stories, and poetry) linked to the theme of the course, money and the marketplace. We examine the different roles and uses of money in the literary texts of the course, including works by Balzac, Flaubert, Hugo, and Zola, and we identify some of the many 19th-century characters connected with different aspects of money: the banker, the notary, the lender, the speculator, the industrialist, the inheritor, the bankrupt, the criminal, the gambler, the artist, the young girl with/without dowry, the poor, etc. We try to understand in what respects literature itself had become an object for purchase linked to the marketplace, and, finally, we explore the question of whether or not there exists a relationship between money and the key 19th-century literary movements and styles (Romanticism, Realism, and Naturalism). (Offered next in 2014)
20th-century Literature and Cinema: The Century of Ruptures and Sutures: The Avant-Garde(s)
(Offered next in 2015)