Spectacles of Violence in Early Modern French Tragedy
Spring 2021 not offered
COL 306, THEA 292
The French Kingdom endured decades of socio-political unrest and religious wars during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The tragedies that emerged from these bloody conflicts--many of which staged physical violence--not only reflected but also actively participated in the debates surrounding the 'troubles civils.' In this advanced seminar, we will study such tragedies in order to examine the uses, functions, and ethics of spectacular violence, in plays that adapt mythological stories (e.g., Medea), religious narratives (e.g. David and Goliath, Saint Cecilia), and current events (e.g., executions, assassinations, and regicides) for the stage. We will read the plays alongside and against the competing theoretical frameworks of violence found in various poetic treatises of the time period, yet we will also keep in mind the practical constraints and conditions of performance in early modern France. Finally, we will reflect on why we should read these plays today and how they inform our contemporary moment. Readings, written assignments, and discussion will be in French.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA)(CGST-MN)(COL)(FRST-MN)(FRST)(THEA)
Plays and theoretical writings by the abbé d'Aubignac, Jean Chapelain, Pierre Corneille, Denis Diderot, Robert Garnier, Pierre de Marivaux, Molière, Jean Racine, and Voltaire.
|Examinations and Assignments:
Students will post/share weekly reaction papers on Moodle, write several short papers followed by one-on-one tutorials, give an oral presentation, and complete a final research paper. Besides the assigned primary and secondary readings, we will also visit Olin's Special Collections and the Davison Art Center. The course will culminate in the performance of the students' work at the end of the semester.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
The course will be divided intro two components: the first two-thirds will be devoted to studying the core texts; the last third will be devoted to rehearsal. Students may be required to attend extra rehearsal outside of class. Students will be graded on their active class participation, their progress and artistic growth, their performance and scene study work, and on their writing assignments.
While any student who has completed FREN215 (with a minimum grade of B) or has placed out of FREN215 through the placement test may sign up for this course, it is an advanced course intended for students who have already taken two courses in French beyond 215 or already studied abroad in a French-speaking country. Readings, written assignments and class discussions will be in French.
Only COL students may take this course CR/U. All others must take it for a letter grade. Students who are not admitted to the course through pre-registration are strongly encouraged to submit an enrollment request and attend the first class.
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