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FRENCH 254: Was Deconstruction an Illusion?

A both systematic and historical presentation of "Deconstruction" as a philosophical and intellectual movement that dominated academic and general culture in many western societies during the final decades of the twentieth century, with special focus on the writings of Jacques Derrida and Paul de Man. Deconstruction's specific reception history obliges us to ask the question of whether the extremely high esteem that it enjoyed over two decades was intellectually justified – or the result of a misunderstanding. Participation through English translations is possible.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2014 | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

FRENCH 266: Food, Text, Music: A Multidisciplinary Lab on the Art of Feasting (FRENCH 166, FRENCH 366, MUSIC 133, MUSIC 333)

Students cook a collection of unfamiliar recipes each week while learning about the cultural milieus in which they originated. The course focuses on the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, a time of great banquets that brought together chefs, visual artists, poets, musicians, and dancers. Students read late-medieval cookbooks under the guidance of professional chefs, learn songs and poetry with the help of visiting performers, and delve into a burgeoning scholarly literature on food history and sensory experience. We will also study trade routes and food networks, the environmental impact of large-scale banquets, the science of food, and the politics of plenty. This course may count towards the Medieval component of the French major, and corresponds to DLCL 121, a course requirement for the Medieval Studies Minor. Students interested in applying for course must email both professors (mgalvez@stanford.edu, jrodin@stanford.edu) by 30 November with a statement of up to 350 words that includes: (a) reasons for wanting to take the class; (b) relevant background in cooking/medieval studies/etc.; (c) stated commitment to attend all ten course meetings; and (d) any dietary restrictions/preferences.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

FRENCH 270: Les Misérables (FRENCH 370)

Les Misérables is a true monument to XIXth century France. Yet, though everyone has heard of it, few have actually read it. In this seminar, we will correct this by reading the whole tome and by discussing its relevance to both its historical context and our current world. A monstrous novel spanning about 1800 pages, Les Misérables also spans a whole century of political conflict, social strife, cultural transformations, a personal drama. During the course of the quarter, we will go slowly through the novel, by turning our attention during each session to a specific topic present in the reading for the day. Those topics will include, among others, religion, the role of women in society, romanticism, war, Paris in the XIXth century, revolution, and justice. Taught in French.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2018 | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

FRENCH 287: Sex, Gender, and Violence: French Women Writers Today (FEMGEN 187X, FEMGEN 287X, FRENCH 187, FRENCH 387)

Long before the 2017 #Metoo campaign, French women writers have explored through powerful fictions and autobiographies the different shades of economic, social, psychological, physical, or sexual violence that is exerted against, but also by and between, women. How does literature - the power of words - address, deconstruct or comfort power dynamics (during sex and between the sexes) that are usually silenced, taboo or unspeakable? Themes explored: sex and gender, sex and power, rape culture, sexual and moral taboos (incest, abortion, pornography, infanticide, lesbianism), the body as social stigma or source of meaning. Special attention given to narrative and descriptive strategies designed to avert, expose, deconstruct or account for specifically feminine experiences (rape, orgasm, pregnancy). Authors include Marie Darrieusecq, Christine Angot, Annie Ernaux, Marie NDiaye, Virginie Despentes, Leila Slimani, Ivan Jablonka along with feminist theory.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Alduy, C. (PI)

GERMAN 75N: Famous Last Words

What would you say if you knew it would be the last thing you would ever say? Who would you want to hear your words? Would you want to inspire somebody? Terrify them? Shout your defiance or your love in their direction?nThis is a course about last words the final utterances left as legacies for the world in the face of revolution, war, betrayal, heartbreak, or that simplest of endings, death. We will look at a wide variety of last words, including last words codified as genres¿quotations, suicide notes, epitaphs, dying declarations, Japanese death poems, confessions, and the like as literary devices (last sentences, envois, punch lines, epilogues), and as forms of social or cultural practice (the making of heroes, idols, and martyrs in religious, political, and popular culture). We will look at fictional last words, real last words, last words spoken by heroes, gods, and ordinary people. And we will end the course, each of us, by writing out our own last words imagining what we each would write, if we had to sum up what mattered most to us, and if we wanted some small selection of signs to stand in, as it has for many of the authors we will read, for our life and the legacy of it.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Pao, L. (PI)

GERMAN 88: Germany in 5 Words (GERMAN 101)

This course explores German history, culture and politics by tracing five (largely untranslatable) words and exploring the debates they have engendered in Germany over the past 200 years. This course is intended as preparation for students wishing to spend a quarter at the Bing Overseas Studies campus in Berlin, but is open to everyone. Taught in English.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Daub, A. (PI)

GERMAN 97: 10 Poems That Will Change Your Life

This course is for anyone who has ever been afraid of poetry, anyone who has ever thought that poems are too difficult to understand, a course for anyone who has fallen in love with poetry before, and for anyone who has used a poem to make a difference in someone's life. You will learn how to read, understand, and if you don't already like poetry. We will read poems from different centuries, different kinds of writers, and different media (paper, computer screens, and even DNA); they will be about loss and love and war and loyalty and bacteria. Some of them will be about you. You will develop interpretive skills that come with this range of poetic forms and structures and will learn how to think about what it means for something to be poetic, whether it is a poem, a Leonard Cohen song, a last minute field goal, or a toilet. Can the poems in this class really change your life? (What would that even mean? We'll discuss.) Maybe; maybe not. But they're certainly going to try.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Pao, L. (PI)

GERMAN 101: Germany in 5 Words (GERMAN 88)

This course explores German history, culture and politics by tracing five (largely untranslatable) words and exploring the debates they have engendered in Germany over the past 200 years. This course is intended as preparation for students wishing to spend a quarter at the Bing Overseas Studies campus in Berlin, but is open to everyone. Taught in English.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Daub, A. (PI)

GERMAN 131: What is German Literature?

"What do the words "German" and "Germany" signify, and how have they changed since the first text in German was written down in the 8th century? What has it meant to read and write in German in the Middle Ages, the Early Modern period, 18th century Weimar, the Napoleonic Wars, Nazi Germany, or the GDR? How can ideas, stories, and poetry from the past be made meaningful for our understanding of our present? This course will approach these questions by giving a brief survey of the evolution, forms, genres, and periods of German literature. Students will read and discuss short literary masterpieces from the "Hildebrandslied" to the poetry of Bertolt Brecht. nThe course follows the chronology of German literature. The single sessions will focus on the ideas most characteristic for the period in question: What is "German"?; Courtly Love and Christian Culture; Reformation and Innovation; Enlightenment and Reason; The Notion of the "Classic"; Exploring Emotion; Nationhood and Revolution; The Aesthetics of Modernism; War and Exile; Division and Reunification. Taught in German.nPrerequisite: One year of German language at Stanford or equivalent.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

GERMAN 132: History and Politics of the Future in Germany, 1900-Present

The twentieth century brought profound changes to Germany, including two World Wars, changing borders, and the division between competing Cold War ideological blocs. At the same time, the necessity to build and reshape Germany also inspired politicians, writers, and filmmakers to think about how society could be made anew. The century especially ushered in a new era for thoughts about the future. Thinkers imagined new technologies, social structures, and political orders as they dreamed about a German future that could be different from its recent past. Furthermore, this period represented a golden age of German science fiction, as authors thought about what the future could and should be.nThis class considers the possibilities that Germans imagined for the future in the face of ambiguous promises of peace and warfare, democracy and totalitarianism, and capitalism and communism. Regardless of whether these hopes, dreams, and fears came to fruition, historical visions of the future illu more »
The twentieth century brought profound changes to Germany, including two World Wars, changing borders, and the division between competing Cold War ideological blocs. At the same time, the necessity to build and reshape Germany also inspired politicians, writers, and filmmakers to think about how society could be made anew. The century especially ushered in a new era for thoughts about the future. Thinkers imagined new technologies, social structures, and political orders as they dreamed about a German future that could be different from its recent past. Furthermore, this period represented a golden age of German science fiction, as authors thought about what the future could and should be.nThis class considers the possibilities that Germans imagined for the future in the face of ambiguous promises of peace and warfare, democracy and totalitarianism, and capitalism and communism. Regardless of whether these hopes, dreams, and fears came to fruition, historical visions of the future illuminate the lives of Germans during the twentieth century.nThis course will use close readings of several types of primary sources, including films, television shows, short stories, political posters, art, and newspaper articles. We will consider what different thinkers anticipated as the possibilities for the development of the country and what they saw as the driving forces of change, such as mechanics and computers, political parties, and social movements. We will discuss which advancements they thought seemed likely and which seemed fantastical. Finally, this class will investigate how the future offered a space for dissident thinkers to articulate their frustrations with state and society.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Anderson, C. (PI)
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