FREN-335 Contemporary Belgian Culture
Fall for 2013-2014
In this course, we will first study the most important events of Belgian history and politics since World War II. (The period of the Occupation, the Decolonization in Central Africa, the federalization of the Belgian State). We will then move to the analysis of the foremost modernist artistic movements in Belgium, with a special emphasis on both Surrealism (Magritte, Noug?, Scutenaire) and the Cobra Group (Dotremont, Alechinsky). In particular, we will stress the ongoing relationship between literary and pictorial expression for these movements. We will then read works of fiction by Michaux and Luc Sante and pay attention to the essential role played by avant-garde artist Marcel Broodthaers in the development of conceptual art in Belgium since the nineteen sixties. Our class discussions will also be illustrated by several slides projections and by the screening of two contemporary movies. Required readings: Paul Noug?, L'Exp?rience Continue; Jean-Clarence Lambert, Cobra Po?sie; Pierre Alechinsky, Lettre Suit; Henri Michaux, Passages; Luc Sante, The Factory of Things; Rosalind Krauss, A Voyage on the North Sea. Films: Lumumba (Raoul Peck); La Promesse (Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne). This course fulfills the upper-division culture requirement for the French major.
Prerequisites: FREN 151 and 1 course between FREN 161-262, or FREN 250 and FREN 251, or instructor's permission
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