French and Francophone Studies to 1789
In this course, we will study texts that are part of French collective memory and that may range from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment. We will read these texts with a view to their socio-historical context, literary genre, and topics such as crusade, courtly love, humanism, (proto-)feminism, skepticism, classicism, reason & knowledge, and fabrications of alterity. One of the historical threads of our discussions will be the rise and fall of the French monarchy.
Texts may include Le Chevalier au Lion by Chrétien de Troyes; medieval tales (‘fabliaux’); women writers such as Marie de France and Christine de Pisan; poetry by Pierre de Ronsard, Louise Labé, and Maurice Scève; novels by Rabelais; Montaigne’s Essais.