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Special Topics in French and Francophone Studies

Examines selected topics in French and francophone studies. Content varies by semester and instructor.

This course examines 19th-21st-century French-language literature and culture through the lens of the environmental humanities. The course will introduce students to the major concepts, questions, and debates of this interdisciplinary field, which combines literary, cultural, geographical, political, historical, anthropological, and philosophical modes of analysis. That foundation will inform our study of a series of primary texts from the French-speaking world, including novels, poetry, theater, films, artworks, graphic novels, philosophical texts, digital media, and installations. Throughout the course, we will consider questions of environmental justice, including how colonialism, capitalism, racism, and historical events have shaped who is most vulnerable to planetary warming and other crises. A series of other questions will guide our inquiry: how can literature and art help us reimagine the world, and our communities? How does the geological timescale of the Anthropocene change our approach to times and cultures that otherwise seem distant? How might literature and art help us envision new modes of connection and interconnection? How might reading and thinking in a second language help train our perception of climate and distributed agency? Our objective is not simply to see what the humanities can help us think, but also to see what humanistic inquiry can do in times of crisis. Course is conducted in French.

Instructional mode: remote-synchronous

The body moves across the landscape, works the land, sways to render art palpable, and pauses for respite. We will scrutinize the literary, artistic, and cultural productions of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Haiti in relationship to the body. This course asks students to consider the status and repercussions of a body in its socio-political context and mediated by theories of the body, as well as critical race theories. Our intervention would be incomplete without visual components and, as such, will incorporate still images and short films. Taught in French.

In this course, we will analyze the format and content of texts centering around childhood narratives and memoirs. Starting with the premise that playing is learning, we will examine stories that center around adventures and the lessons they bring to both characters and readers. These learning opportunities often present essential information that forms the individual’s identity as well as prepares them for the communities they are entering.

Course taught in French.

Requisites: Prerequisites, FREN 300 and one of the following: FREN 255260, or 262.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 9 total credits. 3 total completions.