19-20 FR3126: Redefining the Erotic in Contemporary French Literature and Film

Since the rise of the feminist and gay movements in France in the early 1970s, many new writers and filmmakers have sought to address the changing erotic relations between the sexes. This has led them to explore the links between gender, sexuality and textuality, particularly from the double perspective of the narrator and reader/spectator. This course will examine key works by some of the most exciting contemporary French writers and filmmakers. It will include formal analysis of literary and cinematographic style, an engagement with important theoretical work on gender, psychoanalysis, autobiography and ’autofiction’, and film spectatorship, as well as a general discussion of social and political themes such as AIDS, queer politics, pornography and censorship. The course aims ultimately to determine whether, as some critics are now arguing, French literature and cinema have entered the era of the ‘post-erotic’.