Recent and Forthcoming Courses
Illness Narratives—or, Life Writing in the Age of Biomedicine. This seminar seeks to assess both the emergence of illness narratives as genre, archive, mode of expression, form of ethics of the self, and the reliance of health humanities on illness narratives. Moving from devotional practices to Montaigne, from early modern anatomical writings to contemporary diagnostic practices, the course's focus on biomedicine and its impact on life writing give us an opportunity to revisit the history of bioethics, biography, and autobiography,
Michel de Certeau
This seminar introduces students to Michel de Certeau’s experiments and explorations in critical historiography, places his concepts in dialogue with recent developments in cultural studies and human geography, and reflects on the historical stakes of the notion of interdisciplinarity.
Languages of Distress
How do you speak and read language in which distress becomes legible, visible, or audible? This course invites students to examine issues of occupational health, cancer culture, and environmental illness through the lens of French and Francophone studies, focusing on major literary texts, films, and lesser known documents from the modern and contemporary periods.
Fictions of the Body (FREN341/HLTH385/CPLT389)
[Undergraduate 300 Level]
What is a fiction, if it is not a lie? What is a body, if it is not solely a biological given? What is a fiction of the body? The objective of this class is to come to terms with these questions through a series of case studies in clinical medicine, visual culture, disability activism, and literature across centuries.
Fabulous Bodies: Disability in a Culture of Norms
This freshman seminar in French and Human Health proposes an introduction to disability studies and health humanities from the perspective of visual culture. From early modern literature on birth defects to Down syndrome advocacy, from the origins of orthopedics to life writing in the context of rehabilitation medicine, I invite you to consider representations of the body as evidence: as anatomical, physiological, and pathological evidence, but also as evidence of the normative power of culture, evidence of silent forms of violence and control, and evidence that travel between disciplines to shape the way we relate to human variations and bodily diversity.
[Undergraduate 300 Level]
This class proposes an introduction to French literary studies with a focus on close reading. Selected texts cover six centuries of dark fables and tales of social emancipation, poems of entrapment, cinematic and theatrical meditations on aging, desire, guilt, and sustainability. All have in common a relationship to subversive practices and aspirations.