Rebelles: French Literature and Media in the 1950s
In this course, we will analyze coming-of-age novels that explore gender and sexuality in the decade after the publication of Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe and before the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s. Studying three novels, students will think critically about gender and sexuality. How did notions of the masculine and the feminine evolve over the twentieth century? How did films, books, television, magazines, and advertisements represent gender? The class lectures and discussions will examine the historical context of the 1950s. We will look at the decade in terms of cultural productions, politics, technology, fashion, and ideologies. The course will also include a media studies component. At the end of the semester, students will choose a media source from this decade to research and present relating it to course content. The final paper will provide students an opportunity to perform an in-depth analysis of one or more of the novels studied.