Course type: Hybrid

A hybrid course may involve a combination of synchronous activities (done in “real time”) and asynchronous activities (done in one’s own time). The course will be delivered online.

L’individu face aux normes sociales

This year’s FREN 220 focuses on pariahs and outcasts, loners and wanderers, individuals who pit themselves against social norms or who question them in order to imagine a better society. The protagonist of Marie de France’s Lai de Lanval must hide the existence of his otherworldly lover, and is subsequently shunned by the court. Christine de Pizan’s poetry sings of despair and resilience in the face of insurmountable loss. Joachim Du Bellay writes about nostalgia and yearns for a place to belong to. Rabelais and Montaigne dream of an educational system that could teach freedom and self-discovery. Phèdre, the eponymous heroin of Racine’s tragedy, rages against the norms that pit passion against duty.

FREN 220 offers a survey of medieval and early modern French literature, from 12th century courtly aesthetics to 17th century classicism, while offering an introduction to several fundamental genres: narrative fiction, poetry, non-fiction and theatre. By focusing on a variety of exercises, including close reading and essay writing, this course (conjointly with FREN 221) offers the perfect introduction to literary studies and textual analysis.

Required readings:

  • Marie de France, Le Lai de Lanval, Paris, Le Livre de Poche, 1995, ISBN 978-2-253-13813-6
  • Anthologie de la poésie française de Villon à Verlaine, Paris, Le Livre de Poche, 1998, ISBN 978-2-253-14501-1
  • Jean Racine, Phèdre, Paris, Le Livre de Poche, 2016, ISBN 978-2-253-18315-0

Prerequisite: FREN 123 or assignment based on placement test.

Language of Instruction: French

Note: To be taken by all students intending to proceed to the Minor, Major or Honours program in French.

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