Fatal Attractions: A Brief History of Passion in the French Tradition
Why is French culture so often associated with love and romance? This course examines romantic love--from the earliest romances written in French in the Middle Ages to its cinematic representations in the 21st century. We'll focus on the most passionate and controversial stories, exploring the problems posed by religion, class, race, and sexual orientation. We'll also look at the ways in which romantic love can be a trope in French culture, or a rhetorical instrument used to re-imagine personal awakenings, political situations, or one's relationship to the spiritual or to art. The approach is inter disciplinary, and students will study novels, theater, opera, and cinema. As this course is a gateway for French studies, special emphasis will be placed on oral proficiency. Taught in French.