Liza Gabaston

Graduate, École Normale Supérieure (rue d’Ulm), Paris. Agrégation in French Literature, Doctorate in French Literature, Paris-Sorbonne. Dissertation on “Body Language in Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu” (Honoré Champion, 2011). Beyond Proust and the narrative representation of the body, interests include 19th- and early 20th-century literature, history and theory of the novel, and relationships between literature and the visual arts. SLC 2010–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

French

Intermediate French I: French Language and Culture Through Film

Open , Seminar—Year

Admission by placement test to be taken during interview week at the beginning of the fall semester or by completion of Beginning French.

This course will offer a systematic review of French grammar and is designed to strengthen and deepen the student’s mastery of grammatical structures and vocabulary. Students will also begin to use linguistic concepts as tools for developing their analytic writing. Through a variety of French films, we will combine the study of language with the investigation of aspects of contemporary French culture, including social, political, and economic issues. We will review the history of French cinema and draw upon other media—including newspapers and literary texts—to enable students to develop their language proficiency, cultural awareness, and appreciation of 20th- and 21st-century France. The Intermediate French I and II courses are specially designed to help prepare students for studying in Paris with Sarah Lawrence College during their junior year.

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Related Disciplines

Previous Courses

Intermediate French III/Advanced French: Fictions of the Self: Writing in the First Person From Montaigne to Modiano

Intermediate , Seminar—Year

Course conducted entirely in French.

As contemporary French fiction is often seen as overly centered on the “moi,” a thinly veiled account of the author’s personal obsessions—and as Patrick Modiano (winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize for literature) was recently acknowledged for his unique blend of first-person memoir, fictionalized family narrative, and ruminative historical enquiry—this course will offer an opportunity to go back to the origins of what appears to be a uniquely French way of approaching fiction. While narratives in the English-speaking world are generally divided between fiction and nonfiction, this distinction is not as relevant in the French tradition, allowing for more blurry lines between truth and invention. Questioning this division will be the main purpose of this course, which will explore various forms of first-person writing across a spectrum ranging from traditional autobiography to first-person novels casting the author’s life in a fictional mold—what the French call “auto-fiction.” Starting with Montaigne, Rousseau, and Stendhal, we will move to more challenging first-person narratives, including works by Proust and Céline, and new forms of “auto-fiction” in postwar France with authors such as Nathalie Sarraute, Jean Genet, and Samuel Beckett. Beyond our main discussion on the frontiers between fiction and nonfiction and the fictionalization of the self that can be observed in autobiography, we will address the frontiers between autobiography and other forms of first-person writing such as memoirs, letters, and the journal. Students will read excerpts, as well as complete works (for shorter works only). The course will include a review of the finer points of French grammar based on the texts that will be read in class. Students will improve their writing skills through regular assignments. They will also develop tools for literary analysis and will be introduced to the French essay format.

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Intermediate French I: Writing the Self: Autobiography, Memoir and “Auto-Fiction” from Rousseau to Ernaux, Section I

Intermediate , Seminar—Year

Course conducted in French. Admission by placement test to be taken during interview week at the beginning of the fall semester or by completion of Beginning/Advanced Beginning French.

This course will offer a systematic review of French grammar and is designed to strengthen and deepen students’ mastery of grammatical structures and vocabulary. Students will develop their analytical and creative writing skills in French through essays and rewrites. We will also be reading autobiographic works (excerpts only) by major French writers from the 1800s through the 2010s and will explore other forms of self-representation in French cinema, painting, and photography. We will discuss, among other topics, the borders between autobiography and memoir and between autobiography and fiction, and students will be invited to submit and discuss their own work (in the form of creative writing workshops). The Intermediate French I and II courses are specially designed to help prepare students for studying in Paris with Sarah Lawrence College during their junior year.

Faculty