Listed in: French, as FREN-346
Formerly listed as: FREN-46
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Laure A. Katsaros (Section 01)
Images of childhood have become omnipresent in our culture. We fetishize childhood as an idyllic time, preserved from the difficulties and compromises of adult life; but the notion that children’s individual lives are worth recording is a relatively modern one. Drawing from literature, children's literature, anthropology, philosophy, art, and film, we will try to map out the journey from the idea of childhood as a phase to be outgrown to the modern conception of childhood as a crucial moment of self-definition. We will pay particular attention to the issues of nature against nurture through the example of the "wild child" Victor. We will also discuss theories of child-rearing, the emergence of children’s literature, and the importance of childhood in avant-garde movements. Readings will include selections from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s treatise on education, L’Emile; Victor de l'Aveyron by Dr. Jean Itard; Les Malheurs de Sophie by the Comtesse de Ségur; stories by Guy de Maupassant; selected poems Baudelaire and Rimbaud; Jules Vallès, L'Enfant; and the Surrealist play Victor ou les enfants au pouvoir by Roger Vitrac. We will examine nineteenth-century artists' visions of childhood, with a particular emphasis on female artists such as Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun and Berthe Morisot. We will also discuss classic films by René Clément and François Truffaut as well as contemporary French films about childhood. Conducted in French. Requisite: One of the following--FREN 207, 208, 311 or equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Katsaros.