Diderot: An Encyclopedic Mind|
Fall 2021 not offered
In this class we will come to know the most progressive and often radical thinker of the French Enlightenment, Denis Diderot (1713-1784). We will begin this seminar with an examination of how this country abbot grew into the most well known atheist of his generation. We will then move onto his famous 74,000 article Encyclopédie, a book that not only dragged sacrilege and freethinking out into the open, but triggered a decades-long scandal that involved the Sorbonne, the Paris Parliament, the King, and the Pope. (During this portion of the class, students will undertake translations of select entries [from French to English] of the "dictionnaire" for possible publication.) In the second half of the semester, we will also study the writer's freewheeling art criticism. Finally, we will read two groundbreaking novels. The first of these, "La Religieuse", is a gripping pseudo-memoir of a nun who suffers unspeakably cruel abuse after she announces that she wants to leave her convent. The second, "Jacques le Fataliste", is a freewheeling anti-novel where Diderot used fiction to take up the problem of free will. In the final portion of the class, we will also read selections from his anticolonial and antislavery writings.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA)(CGST-MN)(COL)(FRST-MN)(FRST)(RMST)
Jacques le Fataliste
Le Neveu de Rameau
Le Rêve de d'Alembert
Le Supplément au voyage de Bougainville
La Lettre sur les aveugles
Histoire des deux Indes (selections)
|Examinations and Assignments: |
There will be several papers as well as a significant translation assignment in this class. Students will also be responsible for oral presentations.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Any student who has completed FREN 215 (with a minimum grade of B) or has placed out of FREN 215 through the placement test may sign up for this course. Though conceived of as an "advanced" French literature and culture class, grading will take experience into consideration. In other words, if you are coming from 215, you will not be graded in the same fashion as someone returning from term abroad. Readings, written assignments and class discussions will be in French.
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