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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21St Street, B7600, HRH 2.114A, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

FIGSO Working Papers Series

Thu, March 21, 2013 • 3:30 PM • HRH 2.118

Graduate students present working papers

The French and Italian Graduate Students Organization will present three talks in their Working Paper Series, Thursday, March 21, at 3:30pm in HRH 2.118 (Department Lounge).

 

Nick Spinelli

Who's Laughing Now?: Emotion, Subjectivity, and Laughter in Henri Bergon's Le Rire

Henri Bergson wrote his now seminal essay, Le Rire: Essai sur la signification du comique (1894), in response to Revue de France's call to “determine the principal ‘categories’ of [what we designate as] comic (le comique), [and] to group together the greatest number of facts as possible from which to extract”.
In the same manner as Le Rire, this paper focuses on laughter procured by art and spectacle. But, counter to Bergson's definition of comic laughter, I argue that the comique can, in fact, arouse emotion, insofar as it elicits what modern philosophers of emotion, such as  Martha Nussbaum, Jarred Levinson, and Nico Fridja, have treated as a “judgment” of values.  Moreover, I contend that, in many cases, comic laughter can be inscribed in art and literature, thus meeting the criteria for what John Dewey described as an “esthetic” and thus “emotional experience”.

 

Yasmina Fawaz

Homeless at Heart, a comparative study of Lopes' Le Lys et le Flamboyant and Ndiaye's En Famille

The theme of homelessness permeates both Henri Lopes’ Le Lys et le Flamboyant and Marie N’Diaye’s  En Famille. The novels’ narrators are both affected by what can be qualified as homelessness. While they both possess access to a private dwelling, they remain excluded from the world they live in, always conscious of a part of them that remains separate. Their homelessness is located in their identities and is manifested through their bodies, symbols of their transgression. This paper explores the ways in which both narrators become homeless heroes, communicating to the reader a new perspective with which to view the world and what it means to belong. 

 

Adam McBride

Clitics and Social Indexing: Revisiting weak object pronoun placement in the theater of 17th-century France

In earlier stages of French, weak object and adverbial pronouns (i.e. le, la, les, me, te, se, nous, vous, lui, leur, y, and en) found in two-verb sequences where the second verb is an infinitive, were generally placed in front of the first verb even if they were complements of the second verb; in modern Standard French the placement of these pronouns is in front of the second verb.  The change from favouring the conservative placement to favouring the more innovative placement took place during the 17th century.  Even after the general usage the innovative construction became predominant, both constructions co-occur in the theatre of Corneille and Molière.  The continued use of the ever-increasingly marked conservative word order makes for an interesting study in variation.  Following work by Galet (1971), Ayres-Bennett (1991, 1996), and Lodge (2004), the present study seeks to discover whether these 17th-century playwrights used variation in pronoun placement in order to socially index their plays’ characters for age, sex, and/or social class.

 

 


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