L. Cassandra Hamrick
Saint Louis University
Recently Taught Offerings
Poets and Artists energized 19th-century France by their power to move and transform the hearts and minds of people. The effect of this energy is ever present to the promeneur strolling the boulevards, museums and countryside in France today. In this course, we encounter some of the best-known writers of poetry and poetic prose and the interconnections between their work and different modes of artistic expression: Mme de Staël, Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Vigny, Hugo, Gautier, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore.
This course examines how one of France's best-known poets and art critics captures the dynamic of an ever-more complex world not unlike our own. To read Baudelaire is to discover not only a poet, but the entire human condition, a universe in which thought, art, passion, spirituality and perversity intertwine. In the course, we explore the multiple dimensions of this complex world that have been grippingly conveyed in the poetry, prose poems, and art writings of an author whose legacy can be traced throughout the world and across languages.
Inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann (author of “The Nutcracker”), the “fantastic” short stories became all the rage in 19th-century France. Their legacy is seen today in multiple forms, from literature to cinema to psychology. Besides their entertaining appeal, these contes offer a unique insight into the French psyche at a time of social upheaval following the Revolution. In this course, we investigate what lies below the surface in these seemingly innocent texts and the fundamental questions of identity, art and the unconscious that they pose.
French for the Professional broadens students’ proficiency in French for working in an international environment. The course is organized by theme. For each topic, students expand their ability to function in French, while acquiring practical knowledge of different professional settings. Topics include: understanding and communicating in professional circumstances, types of businesses and jobs; applying for a job and preparing a c-v; letter writing and professional e-mail; cultural differences and communicating with the public; the interrelationship of professions and cultural trends in the European Union. Students may opt to take the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry's exams leading to the Diplômes de français des affaires (CCIP).
In this course, students explore different areas of the French-speaking world while raising their fluency in French. Course objectives include broadening vocabulary, improving accuracy, expanding ability to report, and building comprehension through diverse activities including contact with French speakers, interviews, discussion of French film, poems, immigration, and projects on Francophone areas.
Studies in 19th-Century French Novel: FREN 435-01 / FREN 535-01
The novel was one of great literary inventions to come out of 19th-century France. Unencumbered by the rules and models of other literary genres such as theatre and poetry, the novel was a perfect vehicle for conveying to a growing and very avid middle-class readership all the complexities and drama of the rapidly emerging modern world. In this course, we explore the dynamism of this era as seen in some of the great masterpieces of all time by authors such as Stendhal, Balzac, Hugo and Flaubert, among others.