FRENCH 274 - French and Francophone Societies and Culture
Fall 2021, Section 003 - La Grande Bouffe? Food in French Film and Fiction
Instruction Mode: Section 003 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: French (FRENCH)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
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Details

Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Consent:
With permission of instructor.
Enforced Prerequisites:
FRENCH 235 or RCLANG 320 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better).
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Description

When Marco Ferreri’s French-Italian movie La Grande Bouffe was presented to the Cannes Film Festival in 1973, its plot revolving around a group of Parisian friends deciding to commit suicide by overeating triggered a nationwide scandal. It divided the public and the critique between those who praised Ferreri’s attack on consumerism, and those who resented the film as an obscene parody of French lifestyle and culinary traditions.

In this class, we will study how food and eating have come to occupy a pivotal position in French culture(s) and society – as illustrated by the recent controversy when a senior French minister proposed to remove “ethnic” food from supermarkets in the name of national unity after a terrorist attack. The idea was widely denounced, mocked even, but why would anyone consider halal food an existential threat to France in the first place? What does “eating together” mean in France? How did the necessary act of eating become a sensual pleasure? How did this pleasure then come to define an exclusionary vision of France as a nation? Can this pleasure also serve as a means of destabilizing a certain “high culture” that represses bodies– as La Grande Bouffe suggests?

Through film and literature, we will explore cultural representations of food from the Middles Ages to the present day and address the following topics: the construction of a so-called “national gastronomy”; the social significance of food for Caribbean and North African communities in France; the link between food and collective memory; women’s writings’ relationship with food in colonial and postcolonial masculinist contexts; and contemporary ethical issues, such as the rise of veganism and animal rights activism.

Class Format:

Fall 2021: In-person.

Schedule

FRENCH 274 - French and Francophone Societies and Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
  Hybrid
29201
Open
9
 
-
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Note: Fall 2021: This course will be a mixture of in-person and remote/Zoom interactions, collaborations, discussions and small-group activities. Students are expected to be available during all scheduled class times, in both settings.
002 (REC)
  Hybrid
31798
Open
9
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Note: Fall 2021: This course will be a mixture of in-person and remote/Zoom interactions, collaborations, discussions and small-group activities. Students are expected to be available during all scheduled class times, in both settings.
003 (REC)
 In Person
31783
Open
5
 
-
MWF 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Note: Fall 2021: In-person.

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi

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