FRENCH 350 - Special Topics in French and Francophone Studies
Section: 003 The Trial: Literature and Art before the Law in 19th-Century France
Term: WN 2018
Subject: French (FRENCH)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Enforced Prerequisites:
Two courses in FRENCH numbered 250-299; or FRENCH 235 and two RCLANG 320; or FRENCH 235, one course in FRENCH numbered 250-299 and one RCLANG 320.
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Nineteenth-century France had some of the most famous trials of art-works, both of literature and the visual arts, in history. Beyond their social and historical interest, such trials provide a unique occasion to observe a society’s practices of interpretation and criteria of judgment in action. For the social issues in these trials — political seditiousness, blasphemy, obscenity — are fundamentally related to questions of interpretation, which account for the different readings of the prosecution, defense, witnesses, judges and jury, and on which the conviction or acquittal will depend.

In this course, we will study art-works and literary texts which were taken to trial in nineteenth-century France. We will read both the works themselves and the materials from the trials, examining the arguments presented in the prosecution and defense. Through the study of Flaubert’s "Madame Bovary," Baudelaire’s "Les Fleurs du mal," Barbey d’Aurevilly’s "Les Diaboliques," and, in the visual arts, Daumier and other caricaturists, we will seek to determine how the trials relate to the expectations, presuppositions, and conventions which their society brought to the act of reading and viewing. We will also address questions such as the historical reasons — social, political, religious, cultural — for a work's censure; the ritualistic and theatrical aspects of the trial; the role of contemporary media; and the effects of the trial on the afterlife of the work, and on the personal life and professional status of the writer or artist.

FRENCH 350 - Special Topics in French and Francophone Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MWF 10:00AM - 11:00AM
003 (REC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9782070413119
Madame Bovary : m?urs de province, Author: Gustave Flaubert. Ed. pres., etablie et annotee par Thierry Laget, Publisher: Gallimard Texte inte 2003
ISBN: 9782070409044
Les fleurs du mal : edition de 1861, Author: Charles Baudelaire ; texte presente, etabli et annote par Claude Pichois., Publisher: Gallimard Ed. de 186 1996
ISBN: 9782070302758
Les diaboliques, Author: Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly. Ed. presentee, etablie et annotee par Jacques Petit, Publisher: Gallimard 2005
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