RLFR 415
Senior Seminar: Banned In France: Literature and Censorship in the Eighteenth-Century Spring 2018
Division I
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Class Details

This seminar will explore the role of censorship in eighteenth-century France, another complex period transformed in part by unprecedented access to knowledge. Students will critically assess a range of works that were, before or after publication, repressed or altered by various religious and civil authorities, editors, publishers, and, in some cases, audiences. Discussions will focus on the formal and thematic content of each work, as well as its broader place in Enlightenment and French Revolutionary literature and culture. Analysis of such historically-specific concepts as tolerance, obscenity, and public censorship will be supported by critical work and commentary from the eighteenth century and the present day. As a central feature of the course, students will conduct a semester-long research project that will draw on readings which may include Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Sade, Beaumarchais, Chénier, Gouges, Charrière, Staël, and others. Key issues include copyright and the literary market, self-censorship, public opinion and public censure, gender and canon formation, blasphemy, pornography, and the politics of incitement. Conducted in French.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3420
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, weekly online postings, semester-long research project involving an abstract and annotated bibliography at mid-term, and final research paper
Prerequisites: any 200-level RLFR course
Enrollment Preferences: senior French majors or students completing the Certificate in French, but open to advanced students of French
Distributions: Division I

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