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Special Topics in French and Francophone Studies

This course centers on reading as praxis of both resistance and creation within the literature of the French-speaking Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Haiti). We will analyze texts that touch on questions surrounding the environment and we will examine its influence, sanctum-like role, and the paradox of bounty and unproduction. We will interrogate the act of writing in conjunction with reading as both a fundamental procedure and the yield of the soil. Students will consider the tracing of history (from bondage to anticolonial thought), familial bonds, language positioning, the politics of space, the problematization of gendered roles, and memory.

In French. Prerequisites include FREN 300 and one additional course above FREN 330; permission of the instructor for students lacking the requisites.

Contact Dr. Serrato for more information.

Instructional mode: remote-synchronous

Each projection will last as long as the film: the longest is 111 min.

In a filmmaking career that began in the 1950s, Jean-Luc Godard (b. 1930) has produced an immense body of work, regarded worldwide as including some of the most important movies ever made. From the beginning, Godard’s main object of interest has been the cinema itself: how movies represent the world, how they affect viewers’ perceptions, how they may be used for both education and propaganda. At the beginning of his career, along with his fellow journalists at the newly founded magazine Cahiers du cinéma, Godard was fascinated with the particular artistry of American cinema: although his early features rework classic Hollywood genres, the gangster movie and the musical, he was also interested in these genres as part of a set of industrial and commercial conventions. His work then turned to the social and political functions of cinema; in the mid-1960s his films became blatantly political, addressing imperialism, class division, and consumerism, yet always centering on the role of media images. This course will focus on Godard’s relationship with the history and practices of cinema in the first fifteen years of his career and the increasing prominence he accorded to social and political criticism. In addition to viewing his films, we will read his writing and that of some of the critics who have explored his work, notably philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Rancière.

Open to undergraduates; please check with instructor whether you have appropriate preparation.

The course will be taught in English. The movies will be subtitled in English. All readings will be available in English; those originally written in French will also be available in that language. Students earning credit for the undergraduate major or minor or for the graduate major in French should read French texts in the original, as well as complete their written assignments in French.

Prerequisites: FREN 300 and one additional course above FREN 330; permission of the instructor for students lacking the requisites.