Recent topics for the French Doctoral Seminars (LF 850, LF 860)
Mallermé & the Fate of Reading
An examination of the principal works of poetry and prose of one of the central figures of the French canon and an assessment of the possibilities of writing a history of French thought since World War II in terms of the idiosyncratically angled investment of a number of French thinkers—including Sartre, Blanchot, Richard, Derrida, and Deleuze–in Mallarmé’s achievement.
Poetics of Memory in Francophone Literature & Film
This course examines the poetics of memory in Francophone literature and film today, focusing on how individual memory intersects with collective history in literary and filmic narratives. Attention to representations of exile or/and (im)migration, extreme violence and traumatic experiences of war and genocide; how new aesthetics have emerged in the process.
Writers to be discussed include: Maïssa Bey, Ananda Devi, Boubacar Boris Diop, Danny Laferrière, Scholastique Mukasonga, Veronique Tadjo, Sami Tchak, Raharimanana.
Films by: Ousmane Sembene, Yamina Benguigui, Felix Samba Ndiaye, Oswalde Lewat, Raoul Peck, Kivu Ruhorahoza, Jean-Marie Teno.
Course includes discussion of classic works by Latin American, European, Asian, and African thinkers. Course approaches theory as a means to respond strategically to a particular literary or cultural manifestation in specific contexts.
Women & Paris in 19th Century French Literature & the Arts
Literary and visual representations of the complex place of women in the rapidly changing Paris of the nineteenth century. Texts by such authors as Balzac, Baudelaire, Sand, and Zola; theoretical texts and specific articles related to the individual works.
Displacement, Migration, & Mobility in Francophone Artistic Production Today
Examines literary and filmic narratives on displacement, migration, and mobility, with a discussion of representation, borders, geographies, aesthetic transformations, and the critical discourses that have emerged in the process.
Readings in 20th Century French Poetry
To include works by Valéry, Apollinaire, Ponge, Supervielle, Perse, Char, and Aragon.
Literary Theory from Structuralism to Post-Colonialism
Survey of important theoretical works and trends from structuralism through post-colonial theory. Theoretical essays are read in tandem with literary works.
Twenty Plus Years After: The Genocide of Tutsis in Literature & Film
Examines new artistic forms in literature, film, and performance arts on the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda with a discussion of aesthetic transformations, ethical questions, and the critical discourses that have emerged in the process.
Through a Writer's Eye
This seminar centers on the writer, understood as the prince of the readers (according to Albert Thibaudet). Patrick Autréaux, also a former psychiatrist, will trace his writer’s journey through an intimate reading of works in literature, science, but also other arts. Each session will include a lecture followed by a discussion, centered on selected articles, essays, or short fictions.
Taught as LF 569, Topics in Francophone Writing