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Spring 2013

 

Spring 2013 Courses

 

Monday

 

FRENCH 74000

Madame de Stael and the Problem of the Female Intellectual
Professor Helena Rosenblatt

Course conducted in English.

GC 4:15-6:15
2/4 credits

Tuesday


FRENCH 70500

Foucault and Butler
Professor Domna Stanton

Course conducted in English.

GC 4:15-6:15
2/4 credits


FRENCH 77020

Techniques of Literary Research
Professor Ali Nematollahy

Course conducted in French. Open only to first year French students.

GC 6:30-8:30
4 credits

Wednesday


FRENCH 71000

Enigmes médiévales : Regards croisés sur l'interprétation de quatre textes
Professor Francesca Sautman

Course conducted in French.

GC 4:15-6:15
2/4 credits

Thursday


FRENCH 70700

Proust/Memories/Movies
Professor Jerry Carlson

Course conducted in English.

GC 4:15-6:15
2/4 credits

French 74000
Madame de Stael and the Problem of the Female Intellectual (In English)
GC: Mondays, 4:15-6:15, 2/4 credits, Professor Helena Rosenblatt

What were the Enlightenment’s notions of womanhood? How did these interact with ideas of genius and intellectual or artistic creativity? These are questions we will explore before delving into Madame de Staël’s life and work, from her great novels, Delphine and Corinne, to some of her more overtly political texts. To what extent did Madame de Staël imbibe and reflect reigning notions of gender, and to what extent did she subvert them? After reading some of the best and most recent scholarship on 18th century attitudes toward the female intellectual, we will turn to a consideration Madame de Staël’s own literary and political productions to see how she navigated the constraints and opportunities offered by the revolutionary times in which she lived. We will also consider whether contemporary approaches to Madame de Staël do justice to her stature as a female intellectual.

FRENCH 70500
Foucault and Butler (In English)
GC: Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15, 2/4 credits, Professor Domna Stanton

This seminar will focus on the works of Michel Foucault and Judith Butler as emblems of the critical practice (praxis) of intellectuals over the past fifty years. We will concentrate on the conceptions of power/knowledge and agency, and examine the ways in which Butler rewrites (“re-cites”) constructs from Foucault to develop theories or gender and of (queer) subjectivity. Our critical readings will center on both primary works by Foucault --from The Birth of the Clinic to History of Sexuality vol 1 and 2.-- and by Butler -- from Gender Trouble to Parting Ways: Zionism and the Critique of Jewishness-- and their shifts and change of foci; we will read as well some important seminars, articles and interviews that inscribe other emphases in Foucault. Ultimately, our readings will be determined by what the members of the seminar have and have not read in the corpus of these two major theorists. The syllabus will include some critical texts on Foucault.

The seminar will be conducted in English; texts may be read in either French or English. The syllabus will be posted before the beginning of the Spring term.

Work for the course involves intensive, critical reading and class participation; an oral presentation on one of Foucault’s or Butler’s texts; and in consultation with the instructor, the development of a 25-page paper on one or both critic/theorists. Any questions/queries should be addressed to domna stanton (dstanton112@yahoo.com).

FRENCH 71000
Enigmes médiévales : Regards croisés sur l'interprétation de quatre textes (In French)
GC: Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15, 2/4 credits, Professor Francesca Sautman

En ce qui concerne la littérature médiévale, il n’est sans doute pas injuste de supputer que, pour nombre de lecteurs non médiévistes, cette littérature se dérobe à l’entreprise théorique, souffre d’ un affligeant dénuement de pertinence, et est marquée par sa transparence, voire sa simplicité, sa prévisibilité, sa redondance—ou au contraire, est le champ onirique d’ un imaginaire a-historique et sans freins. A l’opposé, les médiévistes en loueront la complexité, les multiples ancrages historiques, les intertextes qui tissent d’ immenses réseaux de conversations, les strates symboliques qui affleurent à la peau des textes, leur étonnante matérialité, à la fois artefacts et traces, et l’enrichissement vertiginieux que lui apportent les approaches théoriques modernes. Recherchant un point de rencontre entre ces deux perspectives, ce cours entreprend une approche multiple envers quatre textes particulièrement significatifs, chacun à sa manière, et chacun dans sa période. Il s’agira du Perceval (ou Conte du Graal) de Chrétien de Troyes, du Roman de Mélusine de Jean d’ Arras, du Livre de La Mutacion de Fortune de Christine de Pizan, et du Testament de François Villon.

Reconnaissant à la fois l’importance d’ un concept tel que “l’étrangeté” du Moyen Age et l’indispensable appareil critique des lectures historisantes, la valeur des approches modernes et post-modernes et le fondement des connaissances médiévistes, le travail du cours consistera à “compliquer” les interprétations trop simples et définitives, à proposer des ouvertutres sur de multiples fenêtres dans et à travers ces textes, et à explorer les sens divers (et contradictoires) qui puissant en conserver intactes ces énigmes fondamentales qui font que ces textes continuent, en fait, à inciter, provoquer, et stimuler.

Travail: lectures des textes premiers et d’un appareil critique et théorique substantiel. Un travail continu sous forme de “research paper” à developer en étapes et ébauches programmées au cours du semestre avec présentation orale du projet individuel. Un court essai de midterm “take-home”. NB: la technologie du GC le permettant, ce cours utilisera E-Portfolio. Le noyau du syllabus sera disponible vers la fin du semestre de Fall 2012: me contacter (fsautman@gc.cuny.edu) par e-mail pour ces informations ou consulter Blackboard.

FRENCH 70700
Proust/Memories/Movies (In English)
GC: Thursdays, 4:15-6:15, 2/4 credits, Professor Jerry W. Carlson

Proust / Memory / Movies will look at the some key sections of Marcel Proust’s monumental A la recherché de temps perdu, often cited as the greatest French novel of the 20th century. From an established base in the novel, the course then considers some key film adaptations, and, more broadly, the relation of the novel to French and global film productions. To do so, the course will explore, among others topics, theories of adaptation, intertextuality, influence, and image-word relations. Among the filmmakers under consideration will be Chantal Akerman, Raul Ruiz, Chris Marker, Agnes Varda, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Terrence Malick. What does it mean to say that a film is Proustian? Is there an aesthetic and theoretical resonance to the adjective that goes beyond a quick marker of high seriousness? All readings will be available in English, the language of instruction of the course. Francophone students are encouraged to read in the original. Papers may be written in English or French.