Fiber Optics: Textile Practice in French Literature and Art

R1A (section 1) :  English Composition through French Literature in Translation
Fall 2020
Class No: 34431
remote, synchronous
V. Bergstrom


To be announced in course syllabus.

Course Description:

In this course, we will be investigating the place of textile practice in (predominantly French) literature and art. In the first half of the course, we will read texts in which practices of weaving, stitching, knitting and knotting feature prominently. In the visual arts, we will focus on how textile work gets situated within and in exclusion from fine art contexts. Taking full account of the gendered and often racially-charged intersection of “arts and crafts” and fine art (domestic sphere vs. worldly sphere, indigenous practices as aesthetic objects), we will trace the relevance of the fiber arts to representations of female simplicity/complexity and to the material horizons for expression and recognition for women and racialized Others. In addition to this thematic work, the second half of the course will transform our awareness of textile practices into reading strategies that will help us analyze texts and films whose complex structures can be productively approached through ideas of weaving, patching, pleating, etc.

This course is designed to fulfill the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement. The primary goal of this course is to develop students’ reading and writing skills through a series of assignments that will provide them with the opportunity to formulate observations made in class discussions into coherent argumentative essays. Emphasis will be placed on the refinement of effective sentence, paragraph, and thesis formation, keeping in mind the idea of writing as a process.

Additional information: 

French R1A fulfills the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement in the College of Letters and Science. Classes conducted in ENGLISH.