FRE 443H1S

Advanced Topics: Annie Ernaux


B. Havercroft


This advanced course will focus on the oeuvre of Annie Ernaux, one of France’s most esteemed contemporary women writers (Marguerite Yourcenar Prize, 2017), if not the most enduring and innovative French female author still alive today. Beginning with Les Armoires vides (1974), Ernaux has produced a remarkable autobiographical corpus of texts that address many current concerns: social class, gender, trauma, individual and collective memory, sexuality and issues of “consent”, the relation to the Other, the search for identity, illness, feminism, mourning, and aging. The close readings of selected texts spanning several decades of Ernaux’s literary production will focus on textual devices typical of this author’s aesthetics and will be informed by pertinent concepts drawn from various types of literary theory.

Required texts:

Ernaux, Annie: La Femme gelée (1981), « Je ne suis pas sortie de ma nuit » (1997), L’Événement (2000), L’Usage de la photo (2005; avec Marc Marie), Mémoire de fille (2016). All texts published by Gallimard (Paris).

Assignments and evaluation:

one mid-term test (30%); one short essay (20%); one longer essay (35%); participation and overall assessment (15%).


FRE 240H1/FRE 245H1, FRE 241H1/FRE 246H1, FRE 345H1.