SPOILER ALERT -- The Text as Object of Study
Writing Analytically by David Rosenwasser and Jill Stephen, 7th Edition
Letters from a Peruvian Woman by Françoise de Graffigny, trans. David Kornacker (MLA Texts & Translations, ISBN 978-0873527781
We will begin this course with the question of what it means to read a text analytically – how does reading “critically” differ from reading “for pleasure”? In this R1B, the second of the Reading and Composition requirements, you will develop your skills in research-based literary analysis through seminar-style class discussions, one-on-one meetings with your instructor, and peer workshops.
The selection of French texts in translation we will read come from a range of historical periods, from the medieval to the modern, and all take an interesting variety of forms, from lyric poetry to epistolary novel; in general, these texts discuss romantic love and (spoiler alert!) there aren’t many truly happy endings. But our work won’t be focused on plot: instead, you’ll be reading in order to practice developing observations into clear, persuasive interpretive claims, making arguments using well-chosen textual evidence, conducting research, and using academic conventions to bring your work into conversation with other scholars.
French R1B satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH