Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Louisa Mackenzie
FRENCH 592
Seattle Campus

Literary Problems: Renaissance

Class description

Approaches to 16th-century French literature. Primary and secondary texts vary each year: past years have included Rabelais and Montaigne, Lyric Poetry.

WINTER 2011 Course description:

Gender and Queer Theories, French Renaissance Texts.

This course will present selected texts from 16th-century France in dialogue with some major tendencies in contemporary literary/critical theory and practice. The critical approaches that will be most examined will be gender studies (including feminism and masculinity studies), and queer theory. We will be considering the strengths and weaknesses of particular critical approaches to the texts as much as we will consider the texts themselves. Thus, the course is designed both to introduce some key 16th-century French texts and to explicitly work on the ability to position ourselves with respect to queer theory and gender studies. For example, we will read Louise Labe as touchstone for feminist theory and practice, particularly in light of recent scholarship suggesting she did not exist: what does this do, if anything, to the strengths and insights of feminist oriented criticism? Since no critical approach happens in a vacuum, others will be mentioned and discussed as appropriate, including New Historicism, structuralism and post-structuralism, interdisciplinarity and cultural studies. Primary texts, including Marguerite de Navarre, Rabelais, Ronsard, Montaigne, and some minor authors, will be presented in extracted form. All readings will be available in course readers. Readings are in French and English; discussion in English; papers should be written in French if students are in the French graduate programme. Since all primary texts and some secondary texts are in French, often with no available English translation, all students must have advanced reading skills in French. This class will not be suitable for students who do not have these language skills."

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Small, seminar-style.

Recommended preparation

Open only to graduate students. Not suitable for students unable to read fluently in French.

Class assignments and grading

Class presentations; bibliography; abstract of final paper; final paper. Continuing participation and contribution.

Bibliography: 10% Presentations: 15% Participation: 25% Final paper abstract: 5% Final paper: 45%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Louisa Mackenzie
Date: 10/28/2010