RLFR 212
Scandalous News: Media and Transgression in Pre-Revolutionary France Spring 2020
Division I
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Today’s twenty-four-hour news cycle bombards us with scandalous stories. On our smartphones, tablets, and screens, personal transgressions and their political consequences loom large. In this constant state of media immersion, scandal and its communication have come to define our time. Yet centuries ago in Pre-Revolutionary France, scandalous news played an even more crucial role, in a society centered on obedience to monarchy and monolithic institutions. In this course, we will consider how institutionalized codes of gender, social class, and religion shaped individual identity, how those who broke from these codes created individual autonomy, and how the scandals they caused were communicated to others. To pursue these questions, we will analyze literature, journalism, and legal texts that document scandalous figures and compare these early modern scandals with those of the twenty-first century.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 3792
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, written reflections, quizzes, mid-semester presentation, and final paper
Prerequisites: strong performance in RLFR 105; RLFR 106; another RLFR 200-level course; placement exam; or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: French Majors and certificate students
Distributions: Division I

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