Courses available in French


La po√©tique de la dur√©e s’efforce d’apaiser l’hier fi√©vreux, de tramer ce lointain devenir.

‚ÄĒ Glissant

French 180D: French Civilization — The Modernity of The “Everyday”


Readings will include works by authors such as  Guillaume Apolinaire,  Francis Ponge,  Raymond Queneau, Georges Pérec, Annie Ernaux, Marc Augé,  François Maspéro, Sandrine Bessora, Henri Lefèvre,   Roland Barthes, Michel de Certeau,   Michel Leiris,  Maurice Blanchot, and Georges Bataille.

Course Description:

After centuries of concern with the heroic, the tragic, the  exceptional, and of expecting art to transcend life,  the  modern period opens with a concern for  evoking the richness of  the Everyday  and an attempt to make art and life converge.  The poet Apollinaire gives us the sights and sounds of the big city. André Breton makes art of found objects.  The poet Francis Ponge tries to put ordinary objects into words. This turns out to be more challenging than one might expect.  The notion of the Everyday becomes a philosophical problem for some thinkers and a political  issue for others.  We will examine the problem of the Everyday (le quotidien) in the work of philosophers (Henri Lefèbvre, Roland Barthes, Maurice Blanchot)  historians (Michel de Certeau)   and the pleasures of the ordinary and the everyday in the work of poets, writers,  photographers (Atget in particular) and  artists (Sophie Calle).


French 102 or consent of instructor.

Additional Information:

Satisfies 1 ‚ÄúCulture‚ÄĚ or 1 ‚ÄúElective‚ÄĚ requirement in the French major.¬† Satisfies College of Letters and Science breadth¬†in Arts and Literature, or Historical Studies, or in ¬†Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes