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April 19, 2018

Cinema Francophone: Masculin Féminin (1966, Jean-Luc Godard), April 25th at 5:30 p.m.

Join us for a mini-film series, en français! Wednesday evenings at 5:30 p.m., Willamette 110. All francophiles and cinephiles are welcome!

April 25th: Masculin Féminin (1966, Jean-Luc Godard, France, 110 minutes).


With Masculin féminin, ruthless stylist and iconoclast Jean-Luc Godard introduces the world to “the children of Marx and Coca-Cola,” through a gang of restless youths engaged in hopeless love affairs with music, revolution, and each other. French new wave icon Jean-Pierre Léaud stars as Paul, an idealistic would-be intellectual struggling to forge a relationship with the adorable pop star Madeleine (real-life yé-yé girl Chantal Goya). Through their tempestuous affair, Godard fashions a candid and wildly funny free-form examination of youth culture in throbbing 1960s Paris, mixing satire and tragedy as only Godard can. Based loosely on two short stories by 19th century French author Guy de Maupassant: “La femme de Paul” and “Le signe”.

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April 11, 2018

RL Orientation Session on April 17th

Want to declare a minor or major? Have questions on our different tracks or some of our requirements? Come meet us, have some coffee and cookies!

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April 10, 2018

Cinema Francophone: Bienvenue à Marly-Gomon (2016, Rambaldi), April 11th at 5:30 p.m.

Join us for a mini-film series, en français! Wednesday evenings at 5:30 p.m., Willamette 110. All francophiles and cinephiles are welcome!

April 11th: Bienvenue à Marly-Gomon (2016, Rambaldi).

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*All films will be in French with English Subtitles. Questions? Contact Natalie Brenner at

October 1, 2017

Prof. Djiffack publishes a two-volume book entitled ‘Mongo Beti and his Critic”

“Mongo Beti and his Critic” derives from Djiffack’s three-volume edition published by Gallimard, ‘Mongo Beti: Le Rebelle I, II and III (2007, 2008), an anthology of Beti’s non-fiction writing. This two-volume book involves the compilation, annotation and editing of texts responding to Mongo Beti. This publication aims to serve as reference book for scholars interested in more comprehensive and contrasted views on colonial and postcolonial studies, gender issues and democracy, African studies and ethnicity, third-world problems and international studies, cultural identities and poverty in Africa.”Mongo Beti and his Critic” is a unique data base for a sound analysis of Mongo Beti, both as a writer and an activist. Thanks to Editions CLE (Yaounde), this sum of responses to Beti’s provocative ideas is currently available as a whole body of texts, and, Djiffack hopes, will stimulate new thinking in the field of colonial and postcolonial studies.


January 30, 2017

Moore on the invention of graphic rhetoric

Associate Professor of French Fabienne Moore was awarded a 2017 College of Arts Summer Stipend fellowship for the Humanities and Creative Arts to work on a new project, titled “Gustave Doré’s Histoire de la Sainte Russie (1854): The Invention of Graphic Rhetoric or the Artist At War.”

Back in 2012, Moore had received an Oregon Humanity Center Teaching fellowship and a Sherl K. Coleman and Margaret E. Guitteau Teaching Professorship in the Humanities to develop an experimental course in French on War in French Comics. After teaching the course every other year, Moore wanted to contribute to the scholarship on the emergence of comics (bande dessinée) in Europe and study one of its pioneers, Gustave Doré (1832-1883). While Doré is famous for his spectacular illustrations of masterpieces of world literature (Rabelais, Dante, Tasso, Cervantes etc.), his early “comic strips” are hardly known. “I view his Histoire pittoresque, dramatique et caricaturale de la Sainte Russie (1854) as a tour de force of what I call ‘graphic rhetoric.’ Borrowing from Rabelais’s supersized characters and humor, from Jacques Callot’s minute illustrations of war miseries in the XVIIth century, from Töpffer and Cham’s recent innovative comic strips and albums, and from his contemporary Honoré Daumier, a brilliant, twenty-two year-old Doré pioneered a new telling of history to appeal to a broad audience: it caricatured both the form and the substance of traditional historical discourse, and it offered a humorous, subjective interpretation of the enemy Russian Empire, all the while exposing the fundamental absurdity of war—its politics and its violence. With the phrase “graphic rhetoric” I wish to capture Doré’s invention of a large, complex rhetorical system imbricating text and image, in other words a language meant to persuade via a playful exchange between figures of speech and visual figures: metaphors, comparisons, hyperboles, synecdoques, ellipses, etc., are translated into images where from figurative they often become literal.”

Moore will conduct her research in Paris and in The Doré collection of the Bibliothèque des Musées in Strasbourg, which houses all of the original editions of Doré’s works, as well as hundreds of engravings of XVIIth century artist Jacques Callot, one of Doré’s source of inspiration. She will present her work this fall at the “Bibliography Among the Disciplines” conference in Philadelphia, PA in a panel on “Graphic Representation.”

February 24, 2016

Sheela Hadjivassiliou wins scholarship to spend a semester in Lyon, France

In August of 2015, I was selected as the Graduate Teaching Fellow that would spend a semester in Lyon, France. I was awarded the Beall Scholarship which enabled me to undertake this fantastic experience. I am grateful to the Romance Language department and to the faculty that supported my candidacy for this position. I was aware of this unique program for graduate students studying French at the University of Oregon, but I had no idea that I would be able to profit from this opportunity so early on in my PhD program. I completed a Masters in Romance Languages (French and Spanish) in June of 2015, and I embarked upon my adventure in Lyon for the first term of my doctoral studies.

Sheela Hadjivassiliou in Lyon, France.

Sheela Hadjivassiliou in Lyon, France.

While in Lyon, I lived five minutes from the Rhone River and would often walk along the river path in the evening. My studio was centrally located and I took full advantage of Lyon’s excellent public transportation system to explore the city. My job was twofold: similarly to being a GTF at the University of Oregon, in Lyon, I was both a student and an employee. As an employee, I worked as the graduate assistant for the Centre Oregon. I assisted the undergraduate students with practical details—getting cell phones, calling utility companies, etc.—and I helped the students navigate the French university system and create their class schedules. I also planned cultural events that we attended as a group. I met amazing people, saw incredible museums, gazed at fantastic architecture, shopped at open air markets, and scoured the city trying to find the best boulangerie. I was in Lyon with a remarkable group of undergraduates, and together we went to the theater, film festivals and museums. We saw plays that ranged from the Geneva Ballet’s futuristic interpretation of the Nutcracker to a modern playwright’s interpretation of classical Indian epic mythology.

Sheela in Lyon with students

Sheela in Lyon with students

As a student, I pursued my own research interests while taking classes. I study India’s French colonial past; specifically, the history of the French colonization in southern India. My research interests include: Indian diaspora and migration studies, Indian identity in Caribbean and Mauritian Literature and dramatic stagings of “India” in contemporary French theater. I attended two plays that portrayed “India”—one at the Lyon Opera and the other at a small experimental repertory theater— and my current project involves analyzing the manner in which both of these productions choose to represent “India”. I examine temporal and spatial factors in conjunction with other formal theatrical elements, and I consider structures of meaning in both plays to interrogate the ways in which “India” becomes homogenized and exoticized.

Although I had many positive and wonderful experiences in Lyon, I was also there during the November 13th Paris attacks. I felt somewhat removed geographically—Lyon is two hours south of Paris—yet the attacks impacted my time in France and marked a change in my experience as an American student studying abroad. The attacks themselves were horrific. They seemed to provoke reactions that were divisive and unifying—bringing out both the best and the worst among the people I encountered in both Lyon and Paris. On one hand, I witnessed disturbing and violently racist reactions to the attacks—fear inspired Islamophobia that I found more terrifying than the attacks themselves. On the other hand, I was able to witness extraordinary unity in the face of extreme violence. For example, I attended a vigil at the Lyon 2 campus at which the university president called for tolerance and peace. He condemned the senseless violence of the attacks while at the same time stressing the diverse and vibrant nature of the university’s student body. I travelled to Paris two days after the attacks and was struck by the surreal sense of normalcy superimposed upon a city in mourning.

Memorial for the Paris attacks in Lyon

Memorial for the Paris attacks in Lyon

Despite the attacks and subsequent state of national emergency that prohibited large public gatherings, I was able to experience Lyon’s famous festival of lights, if in a much more subdued form. Instead of four days of music and festivities, the 2015 Fête des Lumières was observed just the night of the 8th of December. Thousands of candles were placed in window sills, they were carried through the streets and then many were placed in front of a memorial to the victims of the attacks.

I am now adjusting to life back on campus at the University of Oregon and pursuing my first year of coursework as a doctoral student. I am currently the secretary of the Romance Language Graduate Student Association (RLGSA), and together with my colleagues, we are planning our annual Works in Progress event and various other professionalization workshops for the graduate student body. It is only now that I have returned to Eugene that I can fully appreciate the wealth of both cultural and linguistic experience that I gained in Lyon.

lyon beaujolais 1

December 1, 2015

Global Perspectives on the November 13 Terrorist Attacks in Paris

Our Department Co-sponsored an open discussion on global terror networks, imperialism, states of exception and increased militarization with a selected group of experts and a lively participation from the public.

image image image image imageThursday, December 3, EMU Ballroom, 12-2pm

Speakers: Cory Browning (RL), Angela Joya (IS), Matthias Mathijs (IS, Johns Hopkins), Fabienne Moore (RL), Sebastián Urioste (RL), Anita Weiss (International Studies).

Here is what some Romance Languages students had to say about the event:

“The panel discussion of the terrorist attacks in Paris was a well-planned and a thoughtful event. The professors […] that were giving their lectures brought up some well thought-out insights that I did not know or even realize were being taken into factor when discussing the terror attacks in Paris.”
Moriah Frazier

“I found the discussion to be a great learning experience and I hope I can attend more events like this in the future.”
Abby Hauth

“It was refreshing to be able to get the perspectives of people who weren’t the media and weren’t overly biased in their comments.”
Meaghan Donovan

“After hearing everything people had to say in this seminar I believe our best weapon against incidents like this is education. […] People need to be able to see the humanity of the situation in the world and examine it so that they can come to an educated conclusion.”
Hank Manilla

And Romance Languages Professor Leah Middlebrook wrote:

“The discussion was powerful and moving, and the audience engagement and response demonstrates how much we need these types of events right now […] The thoughtful conversation that took place in the second half of the program did much to counteract the sense of helplessness and frustration that has been building over the past months.”

Sponsored by the Program in European Studies, the Department of Romance Languages, the Department of International Studies, and UO International AffairsParis

October 27, 2015

Learning la science politique in Paris, Lyon and Washington, D.C

Lisa Smith in front Le Louvre

Lisa Smith in front Le Louvre

“Will you bring this amendment to the Senate floor?” This request came repeatedly to Lisa Smith over the summer. C-SPAN captured the moments when Lisa would approach Senator Jeff Merkley on the Senate floor to hand in documents. A double major in French and Political Science, Lisa secured a two-month internship in the Washington, D.C. office of the Oregon Senator. Her work involved researching various bills under consideration, screening phone calls for Senator Merkley, and lots of writing to different constituents. Running into Elizabeth Warren, attending a talk by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Lisa simply said “I was just star-struck…” Associate Professor of French Fabienne Moore, who has known Lisa since she took her FR 301 course on “La France contemporaine” in winter 2014, recently sat down with her for a conversation on her combined passion for politics and French.

Lisa was actually in Lyon when she was interviewed via Skype from D.C. about her internship application. She was spending the year studying in France, but hers was a most unusual experience: Lisa had been selected as one of two UO students to attend for the first time the prestigious Institut d’Études Politiques, better know as “Sciences Po.”

In Fall 2014 she was enrolled in Sciences Po Paris, the flagship institution, then in Winter and Spring 2015, she moved to Lyon to continue her studies in the local Sciences Po. Why this geographical split? Professor Moore, who served on the selection committee, remembers how faculty agonized over the one and only seat available for the first time to a UO student and eventually compromised by awarding two equally qualified students one term each: Eugenia Lollini (double major French/Anthropology) went off to Sciences Po in Menton, while Lisa Smith embraced the challenges of settling into Paris.

Because the airline lost her luggage, the beginnings were rocky, but Lisa had managed to rent a typical “chambre de bonne,” perched on the seventh floor (also typically without elevator) in the 7th arrondissement neighborhood, from where she would walk daily to her classes, passing on her way the Invalides—Napoleon’s tomb under its gilded dome—and the Ministry of Education.

The focus of her seminars were the European Union, European and International Politics, a fascinating comparative course on Social Services in Europe, and a “cours magistral” in English on International Law with a discussion section (no less than 10 credits!) Lisa explained that the main challenge was less French proficiency than the format expected for writing assignments, which took a while to master. One class on the French Political System was taught by Marc Foucault, who was Chief of Staff for the mayor (then President) of Amiens Métropole; it included a tour of the French senate and interviewing a senator’s right-hand assistant—a unique opportunity.

Lisa Smith, accomplished dancer

Lisa Smith, accomplished dancer

Comparing the two cities, Lisa found Paris more expensive than Lyon (where students get a subsidized transportation pass). But she felt Sciences Po Paris was more organized and all course schedules and expectations clear. In Lyon, Lisa commuted to three different campuses to take 8 courses, one of which disappointed her as the professor went missing for 5 weeks (!) though the final grade relied on a single final exam. Fortunately Laurie Wilson at the Centre Oregon in Lyon was a great help in figuring out confusing credit issues. In Lyon, Lisa reconnected with a Franco-American friend from elementary school, and spent lots of interesting time with her and her French friends, “a nice difference with Paris” Lisa explained, where it had been more difficult to connect with French students. But living and learning in Paris won her over, as she recalled fond memories from Christmas markets to Eurodisney, interspersed by trips to Nice and Colmar (in Alsace). A globetrotter, Lisa also travelled to some gorgeous European cities: Dublin, Geneva, Barcelona, Milan and Cinque Terre. A Russian-American fluent in Russian, Lisa (short for Vasilisa) also had a chance to practice her Russian during a family visit in Moscow: “when I speak in French, words sometimes come in Russian and sometimes vice versa…” This exceptional year abroad was transformative: “now I have a lot more confidence. When I leave the UO, I’ll know how to do so many things after this real word experience!”

Back at UO this fall, Lisa is already dreaming about an internship at the State Department in the capital, her top choices being the Office of International Affairs and the Office of Education and Culture. Her experience last summer in the very masculine world of politics confirmed to her how much women are needed to bring positive change. Go Lisa! We wish you a great year back on campus!

May 19, 2014

Cory Browning to Join UO RL Fall 14

Cory Browning is completing his PhD in Romance Studies at Cornell University. Cory’s research focuses primarily on nineteenth-century French literature, but he also works on eighteenth and twentieth century French and Francophone literature, aesthetics and politics, and the fledgling field of terrorism studies. His dissertation analyzes the French Revolutionary Terror and its “restagings” in French Romanticism, the advent of avant-garde theater and anarcho-terrorism in the wake of the Paris Commune, and the Algerian War. Recasting Marx’s observation that humanity makes its own history but under conditions handed down from the past, his research strives to apprehend the multiple ways the Terror has shaped how we think and practice both literature and democracy. He has also completed a Masters and done research at the Université de Paris 8, working extensively on Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane Mallarmé. His next projects include investigations into terrorism and contemporary critical theory and a study into the aesthetics of the cliché in Gustave Flaubert.

April 7, 2014

Gould speaks on teaching Zola and public school curriculum

́́Émile Zola 1840-1902

́́Émile Zola 1840-1902

Professor of French and Distinguished Professor in the Humanities Evlyn Gould delivered a paper at AIZEN in New Orleans, LA, called “Naturalism’s New Novel: Experiments in Teaching in Zola and Barrès.” AIZEN, the Association Internationale pour Zola et le Naturalisme, ranks as the premiere international conference venue for study of Emile Zola and Naturalism in a Global Context. As Gould’s recently authored Dreyfus and the Literature of the Third Republic features debates surrounding the establishment of free national public education in France at the time of the Dreyfus Affair, it poses enduring questions about public school curriculum. In New Orleans, this topic spawned a good deal of controversial response as professors and teachers struggled to reconcile the forces of political correctness and tradition, of technology and mass testing versus writing and the encouraging of critical thinking in today’s many cultured curriculum. The French Creole sights, smells and sounds of New Orleans’s famed French Quarter proved the perfect setting in which to debate the ongoing cultural legacies of France throughout the world.

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