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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Hervé Picherit

Assistant Professor PhD, Stanford

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-6874
  • Office: HRH 3.114C
  • Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 2:15-3:45PM
  • Campus Mail Code: B7600

Interests

20th century French literature, French cinema, the novel, the avant-garde, philosophies of fiction

FR 358 • French Cinema And Memory

37335 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 105
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French Cinema and Memory 

This course will examine film’s capacity to create, transform or even falsify memory.  In particular, we will examine how this apparently “objective” medium complicates the very notion of recollection and, as such, disrupts our sense of identity.

The class is designed to help students engage critically with visual culture.  We will draw attention to the fact that film is a highly constructed medium, and that even the most “objective” images are the result of conscious or unconscious choices by its producers.  This aspect of film cuts across genre from comedy to suspense, from popular movies to art house film.  The theme of memory brings to the fore film’s capacity to influence, if not manipulate, the viewer.  What’s more, this course situates contemporary cinematic trends in the larger context of film history.  In short, this course offers students a critical gaze onto the contemporary world—one that is more and more defined by visual media.

Readings: 

Le vocabulaire du cinéma by Marie-Thérèse Journot

Précis d’analyse filmique by Anne Goliot-Lété and Francis Vanoye

Film Art: An Introduction, Ninth Edition by David Bordwell and Kristen Thompson

 

Tentative film list:

 

1.  Early Lumière brother films; early Méliès films; early Dadaist films (1895-1920's)

 

2.  J'accuse by Abel Gance (1919)

 

3.  L'année dernière à Marienbad by Alain Resnais (1961); Toute la mémoire du monde by Resnais and Marker (1956)

 

4.  La Jetée by Chris Marker (1962); Sans soleil by Chris Marker (1983)

 

5.  Le mépris by Jean-Luc Godard (1963)

 

6.  Le chagrin et la pitié by Marcel Ophuls (1969)

 

7.  Le dernier métro by François Truffaut (1980)

 

8.  Les cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma by Agnès Varda (1995)

 

9.  Se souvenir des belles choses by Zabou Breitman (2001)

 

10.  The Dreamers by Bernardo Bertolucci (2003)

 

11.  Caché by Michael Haneke (2005)

 

12.  Le scaphandre et le papillon by Julian Schnabel (2007)

 

13.  Persopolis by Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud (2007)

 

14.  Les plages d'Agnès by Agnès Varda (2008)

 

15.  L’illusionniste by Sylvain Chomet (2010)

 

The course grade will be based on the following elements:

1. Prospectus……………………………………………………………….....….5%

2. Kick-off Talks……………………………………………................10%

3. Class attendance, participation and daily work……….….15%

4. Midterm exam…………………………………………………………......15%

5. Scene Analysis 1…………………………………………………………..15%

6. Scene Analysis 2…………………………………………………………..15%

7. Final paper………………………………………………………………......25%

FR 372 • Comparative Stylistics

37355 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BEN 1.108
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This advanced language course has as its main goal broadening your sense of the action and function of language beyond expression.  In other words, the subject of this course is not what language can say, but what it can do.  In particular, we will examine the grammatical, rhetorical and stylistic demands and assets of the French language in contrast with English.  This course is designed to train you to recognize and analyze these attributes.  More importantly, however, this course sets out to teach you how to produce these varied effects in written language, first through imitation and, ultimately, in the service of your own self-expression.

The course is organized around five main units (le motla phrasele paragraphele messagel’action).  I will provide the main readings, as well as additional materials, including texts, videos and audio recordings.  The mains readings will be passages from the writings of Madame de Lafayette, Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Marguerite Duras and Julien Gracq.  These readings will provide us with “material” with which we will work in class.  The supplemental materials are designed to help you develop your language skills and, as such, are just as important as the main readings.  You will be responsible for the homework as presented on the syllabus, including the readings and viewings.  Keeping up with this work will helps us use the classroom as it should be, as our practice and workspace where we will hone your language skills. Since this course is designed to help you master a set of skills, it is geared towards helping you practice those skills.  As such, you will have various forms of in-class work, ranging from targeted exercises to practice essays.  Outside of class, your main work will be reading and writing, but you should expect and be ready for other exercises including group work.  In short, this advanced language course requires regular and sustained practice throughout the semester.

 

The course grade will be based on the following elements:

1.  Exercices de style….….……………………………………….….….…………….30%

2.  Final writing project…..……………………………………………………………25%

3.  Rhetoric and grammar exam.....………………………………………….…………20%

4.  Daily work………........………………………………………….….……………...15%

5.  In-class participation…………………………..……………………….…………...15%

FR 371L • Adv Written And Oral Compos

37170 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm JES A205A
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Course description:

The objective of this course is to hone advanced listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in French.  In addition to the textbook, this course will have us study authentic French television, radio and print publications.  Students will reprise elements from these media in their own production, which will consist of scripting and recording various genres of television and radio programs.  Students will also write articles for different types of print publications.  In particular, we will explore stylistic conventions appropriate to descriptions, critical essays, argumentative essays, narrative style and literary style.  The goal of these exercises is to help students review, expand and combine individual language skills into a new relationship with French as a living and lively language.  Finally, because of our use of authentic material, the course will also introduce you to many aspects of French and Francophone culture.

 

Texts:

A vous d'écrire: Atelier de français (Student Edition)

Workbook to accompany A vous d'écrire: Atelier de français

Contrastes: Grammaire du français courant (2nd Edition)

 

Additional readings and clips will be available on Blackboard

FR 381M • Critical Approaches To Lit

37195 • Fall 2013
Meets TH 330pm-630pm BEN 1.108
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FREN 381 M: Critical Approaches to Lit

 

Course Description:

This course is an introductory survey of the major critical approaches to literature and culture.  In this class, we will consider the fluid boundary between literature, culture, society and criticism; theory as an intellectual and emotional means of understanding the past and present; as well as theory’s capacity to present and unveil different “ways of being in the world”.  In particular, the goal of this course is to cultivate our sense of theory as a means of developing one’s own scholarly perspective.  In this light, we will begin the semester with each student presenting a “statement of critical identity” to the class.  The purpose of this exercise is to have you imagine yourself beyond your role as a student, and instead as a reader—in the most profound sense of this word—of culture.  Though this statement is not the final word on you as a scholar—indeed, this course should help you refine, if not revise it—, it will be a starting-point from which we can better understand what is at stake for us in our work.  Indeed, I encourage each student to consider the theoretical texts from the perspective of these “stakes”, with the goal of creating together a more complete picture of how different critical approaches illuminate and interact with different issues and texts.  It is in this spirit that the course is designed to provide students with a basic theoretical “tool kit” to build upon and personalize.  Finally, this survey aims to provide students with the means of engaging at a high level of critical sophistication with other scholars.

 

Course Texts:

Selections from The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

Selections posted on Blackboard

 

Course Grade:

Theory responses: 10%

1 Short paper: 15%

Participation:  15%

3 presentations: 20%

1 final paper: 40% 

FR 357 • The Worlds Out Of This World

36865 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BEN 1.108
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In this course, we will explore the relationship between fiction and reality, as well as the rules that govern each of these realms.  In particular, we will examine the status of fiction as an imaginary space governed by laws very different from those in the real world.  Indeed, how do we navigate this imaginary realm that both should, and should not influence our behavior in reality?  Why is it that we can be moved to tears at the death of a favorite character, but we do not storm the stage to stop a murder at the theater?  The readings and films for this course will challenge, cross or redraw the boundary between the real and the fictional.  We will consider each of our readings in light of Thomas Pavel’s Univers de la fiction in order to develop shared critical language.

 

Tentative Readings and Films:

Univers de la fiction, T. Pavel

Le manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse, J. Potocki

Locus solus, R. Roussel

Le passe-muraille, M. Aymé 

La vie: mode d’emploi, G. Perec 

Sans soleil, C. Marker

L’année dernière à Marienbad, A. Resnais

FR 372 • Comparative Stylistics

36890 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BEN 1.108
show description

This advanced language course has as its main goal broadening your sense of the action and function of language beyond expression.  In other words, the subject of this course is not what language can say, but what it can do.  In particular, we will examine the grammatical, rhetorical and stylistic demands and assets of the French language in contrast with English.  This course is designed to train you to recognize and analyze these attributes.  More importantly, however, this course sets out to teach you how to produce these varied effects in written language, first through imitation and, ultimately, in the service of your own self-expression.

The course is organized around five main units (le mot, la phrase, le paragraphe, le message, l’action).  I will provide the main readings, as well as additional materials, including texts, videos and audio recordings.  The mains readings will be passages from the writings of Madame de Lafayette, Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Marguerite Duras and Julien Gracq.  These readings will provide us with “material” with which we will work in class.  The supplemental materials are designed to help you develop your language skills and, as such, are just as important as the main readings.  You will be responsible for the homework as presented on the syllabus, including the readings and viewings.  Keeping up with this work will helps us use the classroom as it should be, as our practice and workspace where we will hone your language skills. Since this course is designed to help you master a set of skills, it is geared towards helping you practice those skills.  As such, you will have various forms of in-class work, ranging from targeted exercises to practice essays.  Outside of class, your main work will be reading and writing, but you should expect and be ready for other exercises including group work.  In short, this advanced language course requires regular and sustained practice throughout the semester.

 

The course grade will be based on the following elements:

1.  Exercices de style….….……………………………………….….….…………….30%

2.  Final writing project…..……………………………………………………………25%

3.  Rhetoric and grammar exam.....………………………………………….…………20%

4.  Daily work………........………………………………………….….……………...15%

5.  In-class participation…………………………..……………………….…………...15%

FR 320E • Advanced French I

36740 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.102
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Description of FR320E

 

FR 320E • Advanced French I

Prerequisites

FR 612, 312L, 312M, 312N, or the equivalent.

Course Description

This course will be taught in French.

The objective of this course is to improve all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) through a series of communicative tasks (compositions, listening comprehension activities, dictations, oral practice, etc.). Emphasis is placed on diversifying vocabulary, mastering a wider range of grammatical structures, increasing fluency, and developing appropriate rhetorical strategies for essay writing in French. And finally, participants can expect to learn about social issues in the French-speaking world (e.g. role of media in society, immigration, globalization, education, etc.)


Grading Policy

Chapter Exams (4 x 10%) 40%

Oral Exams  (3 x 5%) 15%

Compositions  (4 x 5%) 20%

Daily Assignments  15%

Final Project  10%

FINAL EXAM: NO


Texts

Oukada, Larbi. 2nd Ed. 2012. Controverses. Boston: Thomson/Cengage Heinle. (ISBN textbook 9780495797777; workbook 9781439082065): Required

Hawkins, French Grammar and Usage, (2nd edition), 2001, MCG, ISBN: 9780658017988: Recommended

Oxford, Compact Oxford Hachette French Dictionary, 3rd Ed., Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780198610717: Recommended

FR 390M • 20th-Century French Novel

36855 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 200pm-330pm HRH 2.112
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Avant-garde et arrière-garde : The Social Body in 20th-Century France

In this course, we will examine the relationship between 20th-century texts and their influence on the French social body.  In our readings of texts that attack (avant-garde) or protect (arrière-garde) the social imaginary, we will examine the role literature plays in the “life” of the emotional and symbolic organism that binds individuals into a Nous.  In particular, we will consider the ways in which literary texts canchallenge and reimagine ways of “being in the world” in reaction to the catastrophes of the 20th-century.

Alfred Jarry, Ubu roi

Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac  

André Breton, L’affaire Barrès

Roger Vitrac, Victor ou les enfants au pouvoir

Marcel Proust, Le temps retrouvé

Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Voyage au bout de la nuit

Simone de Beauvoir, Mémoires d’une fille rangée

Charles de Gaulle, L’appel

Camus, Le premier homme

Julien Gracq, Le rivage des Syrtes

Nathalie Sarraute, Vous les entendez ?

Georges Perec, W ou le souvenir d’enfance

 

Cours packet readings :

Didier Anzieu, Le moi-peau (excerpts)

Jean-Marie Apostolidès, Héroïsme et victimisation (excerpts)

Cornelius Castoriadis, L’institution imaginaire de la société (excerpts)

Martin Heidegger, « L’origine de l’œuvre d’art »

Maurice Barrès, selected political writings

Miguel Almeryda, selected political writings

Selected dadaist writings from Littérature and DADA

Selected surrealist writings

Marcel Proust, « La mort des cathédrales »

Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Bagatelles pour un massacre (excerpts)

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