Eric Leveau

Graduate of École Normale Supérieure, Fontenay-Saint Cloud, France. Agrégation in French Literature and Classics, Doctorate in French literature, Paris-Sorbonne. Special interest in early modern French literature, with emphasis on theories and poetics of theatre, comedy and satire, rhetoric, and the evolution of notions of writer and style during the period. SLC, 2003-2006; 2008–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

French

Beginning French: Language and Culture

Open , Seminar—Year

This course is conducted in French.

This class will allow students to develop an active command of the fundamentals of spoken and written French. In class and in group conferences, emphasis will be placed on activities relating to students’ daily lives and to French and francophone culture, using a variety of French songs, cinema, newspaper articles, poems, and short stories. Group conferences replace individual conference meetings for this level, and a weekly conversation session with a French language assistant(e) is required. Attendance at the weekly French lunch table and French film screenings are both highly encouraged. Students who successfully complete a beginning- and an intermediate-level French course may be eligible to study in Paris with Sarah Lawrence College during their junior year.

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Literature

First-Year Studies: What We Do With Words: Literature and Theory, 19th-21st Centuries

Open , FYS—Year

In this class, we will study major works of modern and contemporary Western literature in relation to theoretical and philosophical texts that helped shape the way we think today. We will try to better understand how writers felt compelled to invent new ways of speaking and how this fundamental change to how we relate to language also affected the way we think. At the same time, literary texts have become a crucial source of inspiration for philosophy and other disciplines such as linguistics and psychoanalysis. We will study this dialogue between creators and theorists, trying to better understand how they inspire and illuminate each others. Plato and Homer, Benjamin and Baudelaire, Heidegger and Hölderlin, Barthes and Balzac, Deleuze and Proust, Derrida and Poe, Judith Butler and Simone de Beauvoir are some examples of the dialogues that we will discuss. Other authors studied will include Walt Whitman, Gustave Flaubert, Emily Dickinson, James Joyce, James Baldwin, and Tony Morrison. Over the course of the year, we will focus on the art of essay writing and acquire a better understanding of major literary and philosophical concepts in order to become more keen readers of all texts. Although the focus of this class is primarily on literature, our seminar discussions will also allow us to have conversations on important issues related to feminism and women studies, race, and gender.

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Previous Courses

Intermediate French II: Romanticism and Revolutions

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 completion of Intermediate I French. The Intermediate I and II French courses are specially designed to help prepare students for studying in Paris with Sarah Lawrence College during their junior year.

Political but also aesthetic and literary revolutions will be the focus of this class, in which we will study how French literature and culture were dramatically transformed by the double earthquake that the 1789 political upheaval and the development of the Romantic movement represented. From the height of the Enlightenment in the 1750s to the establishment of the Third Republic in France in the 1870s, we will study a variety of themes such as: the question of war on religion (Voltaire), colonization and the other (Diderot), the birth of a new sensibility (Rousseau), the aftermath of 1789 and Napoleon (Balzac, Stendhal), and the challenges of industrialization and modernity (Baudelaire, Flaubert, Rimbaud). The Intermediate II French course is designed for students who already have a strong understanding of the major aspects of French grammar and language but wish to develop their vocabulary and their grasp of more complex aspects of the language.

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First-Year Studies: What We Do With Words: Literature and Theory (19th-21st Centuries)

Open , FYS

In this class, we will study major works of modern and contemporary Western literature in order to better understand how writers felt compelled to invent new ways of speaking and fundamentally change how we all relate to language. During this same period, literary texts have become a crucial source of inspiration for philosophy—but also for other disciplines such as linguistics and psychoanalysis. We will study this dialog between creators and theorists, trying to better understand how they inspire and illuminate each other. Benjamin and Baudelaire, Heidegger and Hölderlin, Barthes and Balzac, Deleuze and Proust, Derrida and Poe are some examples of the dialogues that we will discuss. Other authors studied will include Gustave Flaubert, Emily Dickinson, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, any Toni Morrison. Over the course of the year, we will focus heavily on the art of essay writing but also learn how to better express ourselves in public. We will acquire a better understanding of major literary and philosophical concepts in order to become more keen readers of all texts.

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