FRE 304H1F

Contemporary French Women's Prose Fiction

Instructor:

B. Havercroft

Description:

This course will examine French prose fiction by women written in the latter quarter of the twentieth century, during which an unprecedented number of texts by women writers were published. Texts representing different women’s issues in contemporary society will be analyzed. The selection of texts reflects the heterogeneity of the various tendencies that form the vast mosaic of women’s prose at the end of the last century : écriture féminine (feminine writing) of the 1970s (Cixous), the recycling of fantastic and baroque motifs (Germain), the creation of a dreamlike and apocalyptic universe (Redonnet), autobiographical writing (Ernaux), and the exploration of female eroticism (Reyes). Particular attention will be paid to the treatment of specific issues such as the representation of sexuality, identity, feminisms, the female body, solitude, the relationship between the personal and the socio-political spheres, sexual difference, and gender roles, as well as to the multiple textual strategies and formal features pertinent to the construction of the female subject.

Required Texts : Hélène Cixous, La; Annie Ernaux, Passion simple; Sylvie Germain, Le Livre des nuits; Marie Redonnet, Splendid Hôtel; Alina Reyes, Au corset qui tue.

Assignments and Evaluation : One mid-term test (30%); one short essay (20%); one longer essay (40%); participation and overall assessment (10%).

The Department takes into account the quality of students' French as one of the criteria in the evaluation of assignments and examinations. A minimum of 20% of the grade will be allocated to this aspect of written assignments.

Prerequisite: FRE 240H1/FRE245H

Recommended preparation: FRE241H1/FRE246H1