Upcoming Events

French Table:

Beginning February 15, 2022, French Table will meet on Tuesdays from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. on the Mezzanine (2nd floor) in Valentine Dining Hall. Join your French Language Assistants for casual conversation in French. French speakers of all levels are welcome!

French Karaoke

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022, at 8:00 PM in the Powerhouse

Join your French Language Assistants and French House Residents for a night of fun and music! Come sing your favorite French song, or listen to your friend's performance! We'll have bilingual duet as well. Perrier, the French sparkling water, will be provided for the singers, but there will be donuts for everyone. À bientôt !

French Film Screenings:

TBA 

 

Past Lectures:

“Perspectives on Race and Blackness in the Francophone World”

Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 4:00 PM, via Zoom

After a year-long hiatus, we were delighted to resume our annual lecture series in honor of our colleagues, Professor Emerita Leah Hewitt and Professor Emeritus Jay Caplan. This year’s event, “Perspectives on Race and Blackness in the Francophone World,” was held on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 4:00 pm EST.

Professors Lydie Moudileno (Marion Frances Chevalier Professor of French and Professor of French and American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California Dornsife) and Andrew S. Curran (William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Wesleyan University)  delivered talks that brought the modern and the early modern periods into conversation.

Sponsored by: The Georges S. Lurcy Lecture Fund, the Turgeon Lecture Fund, and the Center for Humanistic Inquiry

 

“We All Wear the Crown: Longing for African Royalty in the Diasporic Imagination” (Prof. Moudileno)

This talk revisited a trope most notably deployed in late seventeenth and eighteenth century slave narratives and abolitionist literature: The “Royal African.” Tracking new iterations of this figure in post-1990s Francophone Caribbean fiction as well as in American popular culture, it considered some of the ways in which forms of African nobility and claims to royal genealogies continue to seed and reinvent transnational discourses of blackness, modernity, and distinction.

“The Bordeaux Academy of Sciences and the Great Race contest of 1741” (Prof. Curran)

In August of 1739, Bordeaux’s Royal Academy of Sciences publicized a “prize puzzle” in Europe’s best-known scientific journal. The subject was a riddle that had long perplexed Europeans: “what is the cause of the Sub-Saharan Africans’ peculiar hair texture and dark skin?” While this query theoretically limited itself to discussion of African physical features, what really preoccupied the Academy were three hidden questions: the first two were who is Black? and why? The third was an even bigger concern, namely, what did being black signify? In this talk, Curran explained both the genesis of this competition and its wider relationship to the Enlightenment quest to define the human species.