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FREN 330

Approaches to French and Francophone Studies

heitsch_dorothea
Dorothea Heitsch
French Undergraduate Advisor
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Sheena Melton
Undergraduate Student Services Specialist

Focuses on important aspects of the culture, society, history, geography, politics, art, and literature of France and its regions as well as the French-speaking world.

Gen Ed: LA, NA.

Fall 2022: Approaches to French and Francophone Studies – “Paris et ses autres”

TuTh 12:30-1:45pm, Dey 208, Prof. Jessica Tanner (jltanner@email.unc.edu)

From the Revolution of 1789 to today, Paris has occupied an outsized place in the history and imaginary of France, both within and outside the hexagon. Deemed “Capital of the 19th Century” (Benjamin), “Capital of Modernity” (Harvey), and even “Capital of the World” (Higonnet), Paris has inspired countless authors, artists, filmmakers, travelers, and urbanists—as an object of admiration, anxiety, ambivalence, or critique. Beneath its harmonious facades and its fabled renown as a “Ville-Lumière,” Paris has a more complicated and tumultuous history marked by revolt, displacement, marginalization, and conflict—a history that is just as foundational to the city’s meaning today as are its art and its monuments. Through the study of novels, films, paintings, poems, and historical and critical texts, this course will explore the contradictory threads that have made Paris capital, attending to how the city and its symbolism have evolved over the past two centuries. We will look at how different figures have imagined, represented, and tried to make sense of Paris, as well as what the city has represented to those who inhabit it. Throughout the course, we will call the centrality of the city into question by exploring its social and geographical margins (e.g., the banlieue) and alternatives or “others” (e.g., the provinces, former colonies and currently occupied territories, Europe, the US, the world), addressing themes such as colonialism and decolonization, immigration and diaspora, racial and social justice, and globalization.

Prerequisite: FREN 300 or permission of instructor.

*Taught in French. Counts for FREN minor/major.

Previous Topics

Fall 2020: Voyages et altérité / Travel and Otherness

In this course, we will examine the discoveries of self and other brought about by travels. Some of the voyages traversed will be to distant lands, leaving the comfort of one’s own language; others will constitute a voyage into history and back to one’s ancestors. Students will consider the role of writing in such travels and discoveries, as well as the format, purpose, and public of said texts. Taught in French.

Fall 2014: Comment être civilize

Dans l’imaginaire populaire, la France a souvent la réputation d’être le pays le plus poli, le plus raffiné, le plus « civilisé » du monde. D’où vient ce stéréotype ? Il est vrai que les écrivains, artistes et philosophes français ont souvent lancé les discours sur la bonne façon de se comporter et de vivre en société. De l’amour courtois pratiqué par les chevaliers médiévaux jusqu’à l’étiquette des courtisans de l’Ancien Régime et le raffinement urbain des salonnières, la France était au centre du développement des codes de comportement. Dans ce cours, nous allons examiner les discours divers concernant la civilité de l’Antiquité au XVIIIe siècle afin de nous interroger sur des questions telles que : En quoi consistait la bonne conduite à travers les siècles? Comment les concepts du «civilisé» et du «sauvage» ontils évolué avec le temps? Comment est-ce que la notion de la «civilisation» a influencé l’image de la France et de l’identité française? A travers une étude comparatiste des documents historiques, des œuvres d’art et de littérature, et de leurs réflexions dans la culture moderne (notamment dans le cinéma), nous allons approfondir notre connaissance de l’histoire culturelle française tout en développant une perspective critique sur la fabrique du concept de la civilisation. Au long du semestre, nous aborderons plusieurs sujets de discussion y compris : la chevalerie, la civilité humaniste, la rencontre des «sauvages» en Amérique, le raffinement de la langue française, la société courtoise de l’Ancien Régime, et la sociabilité mondaine aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles. En même temps, on va découvrir plusieurs ressources disponibles au campus pour faciliter et enrichir votre étude de l’histoire culturelle française.