Courses available in French


Il ne faut jamais avoir peur d'aller trop loin car la vérité est au-delà.


French 250A: Studies in 19th-Century Literature — Romanticisms


Readings will include works by authors such as Germaine de Stael, Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Guizot, Victor Hugo, Michelet, Saint Simon, George Sand, Pierre Leroux, Flora Tristan, Nerval and Baudelaire.

Course Description:

Although we speak of “romanticism” in the singular, many romanticisms can be said to occur in France in the course of the 19th century –  not only a “first” and a “second” literary romanticism, (represented by Hugo and Baudelaire respectively) but also romanticisms of the right (Chateaubriand the early Hugo) and of the left (later Hugo, George Sand) and non literary romanticisms.   The French Revolution – the unfinished project that haunts the entire 19th century — generates forms and ideas that cross the territories of literature, social thought, and activism, resonating with attitudes of regret, possibility, and a certain urgency.

In this seminar we will open up the term “romanticism” to include various kinds of cultural production with a focus on issues that include poetic voice, historical and cultural time, social justice, utopias and maledictions. We will follow a more or less historical trajectory, beginning with early work by Germaine de Stael and Chateaubriand and moving through a “first” romanticism of Victor Hugo and a “second” romanticism of Baudelaire, passing through figures such as Michelet, George Sand and social thinkers such as Pierre Leroux and Flora Tristan.  Time permitting, we will also consider developments in the visual arts such as lithography, the diorama and photography.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes