WGSS 224
Sexuality and Seduction in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century France Spring 2019
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed WGSS 224 / RLFR 224
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In 1857, both Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal were put on trial for sexual indecency and “crimes against public morality.” In 1868, Le Figaro attacked Zola’s novel Thérèse Raquin as “putrid literature” for its depiction of adultery, murder, and scandalous sexuality in nineteenth-century Paris. A century later, Gide, Proust, Colette, and Duras continued to shock French readers with their extraordinary novels on male and female homosexuality, intergenerational lovers, and biracial relationships. In this course, we will examine a broad range of issues on sexuality and seduction in nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature, including eroticism and desire, love and betrayal, marriage and adultery, prostitution and fetishism, gay and lesbian identities, cross-dressing and gender representation, exoticism and colonial (s)exploitation. Readings to include novels, shorts stories, and poems by Chateaubriand, Constant, Duras, Balzac, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Zola, Maupassant, Barbey d’Aurevilly, Gide, Proust, Colette, Duras, and Guibert.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 18
Expected: 18
Class#: 3847
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, two shorter papers, a midterm, and a longer final paper
Prerequisites: exceptional performance in RLFR 105, successful performance in RLFR 106 or 107, or by French placement exam, or by permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: French majors and certificate students, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies majors, and those with compelling justification for admission; if the course is overenrolled, students will submit an online form
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 224 Division I RLFR 224 Division I
WS Notes: As the course description explains, this course centers on a critical examination of difference, power, and equity in a broad range of debates on sexuality in France, from 1800-2000. The content examines the effects of class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality on social inequality; and the course employs critical tools to teach students how to articulate and interrogate the complexities of gender and sexuality, from reading and discussion, to critical analysis and writing.
DPE Notes: As the course description explains, this course centers on a critical examination of difference, power, and equity in a broad range of debates on sexuality in France, from 1800-2000. The content examines the effects of class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality on social inequality; and the course employs critical tools to teach students how to articulate and interrogate the complexities of gender and sexuality, from reading and discussion, to critical analysis and writing.

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