May 18, 2024  
College Catalog 2021-2022 
College Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

FREN 441 - Images of the World from the 16th Century to the 21st Century

Maps tell us much more than merely how to get from here to there. One of the oldest forms of human communications, they ultimately express the many ways we attempt to understand the world and be part of it. The explorers, their itineraries, and their diaries offer a complex view of this world, too. This course will expose the different interactions between maps, explorers, and writers from Antiquity to present. During the Renaissance and later explorations, colonization also ushered a significant challenge to Christian and Muslim accounts of their travels. The indigenous peoples of Africa and the Americas offered ways for the explorers and cartographers to express their consternation or their enthusiasm and to subvert what was ordered by kings or queens. Our class will explore the ways that Egyptians and Greeks (Aristotle, Plato, Ptolémée) influenced the thought of travelers of the Middle Ages (Marco Polo). We will discuss French Renaissance exploration and travel writing (Verrazano, Cartier, Thevet, Léry, Lescarbot, Christine de Pizan, Montaigne) and artists/cartographers (Leonard de Vinci, Michel Angelo Dürer, Alberti). We will read about the influences of 17th and 18th century mapmakers (Champlain, Finé, Roccoco and Baroque art/maps) through diaries of Hennepin, Nicollet, Champlain, la Carte du tendre. The 19th century will bring many diaries and maps from utopian discourse (Villemart, Gustave Raulin, Charles-Albert Gauthier) to romantic travels (Victor Hugo, Jules Vernes). The study of contemporary diaries (Ruffin, Le Clezio, Amélie Nothomb and Sophie Calle) and their maps of the world will be studied through discussion and will show the changing dynamics of identity and the other in the Modern world. These concepts and ideas will be debated through the study of journals, maps, and philosophical and literary texts of the time.  Students will visit the Ford Library, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center for studies of maps, their philosophical concepts (Aristotle, Plato, Erasmus, Machievelli, Descartes, Kant, Foucault, Didi-Huberman, Jean Luc Nancy, Greenblatt, Onfray) and their conceptualizations from late Sixteenth century to present. Taught in French. Prerequisite(s): FREN 306  . Offered spring semester. (4 Credits)