I am in the process of constructing a clearer version of this page, which should be done shortly. I have taught most of these classes, in which case the place and date is specified in the title. A few of these syllabi are pedagogical projects; I would love an opportunity to teach with them -- and modify them according to departmental and curricular needs.
Shipwrecks, Outlaws, and Wonderlands: Reading and Writing the Adventure Story (taught in English). Wellesley College, Fall 2014.
Fictions of Childhood: Puerility in France in the Nineteenth Century. Wellesley College, Spring 2014 (see students' evaluations)
This class is divided into three parts. We first read from major texts written about children and pedagogy in the late eighteenth (J.J. Rousseau) and early nineteenth century; we particularly focus on the two most famous pedagogues of the period: Jean Itard (who wrote two rapports on feral child Victor de l'Aveyron) and Joseph Jacotot, who is the subject of Jacques Rancière's Le maître ignorant. The second part of the class focuses on children's Literature and child-characters in mainstream French Literature (Cosette and Gavroche in Les Misérables, in particular). Finally, the last part of the class deals with writers' childhood, and we will read from four major texts: Rousseau's Confessions, Stendhal's Life of Henri Brulard, Jules Vallès' The Child, and George Sand's Histoire de ma vie. I have reproduced the syllabus in French below, with two downloadable versions (one in French and one in English)
Childhood in French and Francophone Cultures, XXth and XXIst Centuries. Bryn Mawr College, Spring 2013
This class is a pendent to the Fictions of Childhood in the 19th century course. I have conceived it as both an exploration of the theme of childhood and as an introduction to French and Francophone 20th and 21st-century literature. As both individualized and nationalized, the child is central to the literary and cinematographic productions of the period.
Intouchables? Misfits and Outsiders in French Cinema (Taught in English), Bryn Mawr College, Fall 2012 (see Students' evaluations)
I have taught this class at Bryn Mawr College in the Fall of 2012. I conceived it as both a survey class and a theme-oriented course that would allow us to have discussions about the conceptual implications of foreignness and difference. Students learned the necessary cinematographic vocabulary, and through weekly spreadsheets they worked on sequence analysis, frame composition analysis, and cinematographic analysis (mise-en-scène, camera angle, camera movement, editing, etc...). The class was designed to help them think about difference and exclusion through their cinematographic representation, while also giving students a historical overview of French and francophone cinema. I taught it in English but would be ready to teach it again in French.
French Heroes and Mythologies, Brown University, Spring 2010; Gettysburg College, Spring 2012 (see students' evaluations and departmental evaluation)
This class's sample activities and assignments are also available on this website. I slightly modified the syllabus for this class when I taught it at Gettysburg College as an advanced Literature class, as the Brown University version was to be an advanced language class. The first two syllabi are the language class version -- I have included one in English for the reader's convenience. The third Syllabus (titled heros_et_mythologies12.pdf) is the Literature version taught at Gettysburg, and it is also the one that I chose to reproduce below.
Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century
This class is a Literature class designed to introduce students to Baudelaire and Benjamin's writings about the city; the first part of the semester is dedicated to graphic representations of modern life (Gavarni, Grandville, Daumier) and to Baudelaire's texts on the subject. The second part of the class focuses on major French novels of the nineteenth century and their renderings of the capital. I have reproduced below a French version of the syllabus, and an English version is also available for download below.
Public Bearings, Private Feelings: Literature and the Civil Sphere in Nineteenth-Century France
This course will look at how the shifting conceptions of civility and politeness – both as a set of social rules and as a moral ideal – have affected the French novel of the nineteenth century. In a period when the political instability constantly challenged the delimitation of social classes and the relevance of the aristocracy as the embodiment of French élégance, the novel often dramatized tensions between one’s class and one’s feelings about that class. As the sentiment of the private grew with the rise of the bourgeoisie, the novel also increasingly dramatized the tensions between public and private, between displays and concealments of emotions, between involuntary faux pas and calculated blunders. We will look at a few manuels de politesse from the period as well as caricatures and parodies of these manuals. We will then focus mainly on novels, including texts by Chateaubriand, Balzac, Stendhal, Maupassant and Zola.
Intermediate French I, Gettysburg College, Fall 2011 (see students' evaluations)
This tentative syllabus is inspired by a class that I taught at Gettysburg College in the Fall of 2011. I had created the original syllabus with my colleague Jack Murphy, and found that the book Face à face worked very well throughout the semester. If I had to teach that class again, I would use more primary materials in addition to the book: what follows is a syllabus that includes the changes that I would make. It incorporates work on Le Petit Nicolas (book and films) as well as the reading of an entire play, Yasmina Reza's Le Dieu du carnage.