Rutgers-Newark Fall 2008 Professor Nicky Agate

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French Literature in English Translation (21:420:311:Q1)


Fall 2008

Professor Nicky Agate

Contact Information: 407 Conklin Hall

Office Hours: Mon 1.30 – 2.30 & Wed 2.30 – 3.30

And by appointment
Course Overview
This course serves as a general introduction to the idea of love in French literature between the 17th and 19th Centuries. Attention is paid not only to the texts themselves, but also to the literary movements and forms they represent and the influence of historical and cultural events upon these forms. We will return throughout to the notion of love and the changing ways in which it is represented in these works.
There is a considerable amount of reading for this course, and a lot of writing (it is a writing intensive class, after all) so try to be organized and stay on top of it all!
Course Aims
This course is designed for a variety of students from all disciplines, as long as they have completed English 102, 104, or 122. It will help you develop skills in reading, writing, critical thinking, and research. This is a “writing intensive” course (for more information see:, which means that during the course of this semester, you will have the opportunity to work on and refine your writing skills. You will learn the difference between arguments and opinion, and how to support your arguments with carefully chosen “proof” from the text. You will work on your writing style, learning how to adapt your language to suit your audience (and your subject matter) and therefore to make more persuasive rhetorical choices. These are skills that you will need outside of the classroom and throughout your professional life.

WAC Level 4 Final Standard: Ability to produce appropriate analytical prose that demonstrates a nuanced understanding of fundamental terms and concepts of an academic discipline.

You will write four 4-page papers over the coming semester; for each, you will hand in a first draft, receive feedback from me, and then write and submit your final draft. Your grade for each paper will take into account the quality of your first draft as well as the quality of the revisions you have made. I will provide you with a choice of topics for each paper ten days before it is due.

Please follow MLA guidelines when formatting papers. For more info see:

You will have two exams this semester, a mid-term and a final. See the schedule for dates.

You will keep a reading journal over the course of the semester. At the beginning of each MONDAY class, you will hand in a one-page journal entry in which you have tried to discuss the topic and text assigned. Topics for discussion will be available on Sakai the Wednesday before your reading journal is due.

You will also have one in-class writing assignment to complete during the first twenty minutes of each WEDNESDAY class. If you are late or miss class, you will receive a 0 for that particular assignment. Together with the reading journals, these in-class assignments equal one fifth of your final grade.

Course Requirements

  1. Attendance and participation are required at all classes, since class discussion is an inherent part of the course. Every unexcused absence over two will automatically lower your grade by a percentage point.

  1. As indicated on the schedule, you will have short in-class writing assignments at the start of each Wednesday class. These cannot be done at any other time. While I do not expect paper-level quality from these in-class assignments, I do expect you to respond to the question asked and to organize your thoughts in a coherent and academic manner.

  1. You will write four papers each totaling 4 full double-spaced pages in 12-point font during the course of the term; each paper must also have a draft, and you must attach the draft (and my comments) to the final paper when you submit it. The dates for the drafts as well as the final papers are noted on the course schedule. All papers must be submitted in class on the day that they are due. Late and/or emailed papers will not be accepted or graded.

  1. If you miss one of the exams, you will automatically be rewarded a zero for that portion of your grade.

  1. Any films are an integral part of the course, and missing class the day of a film will lower your attendance and participation grade.

  1. You must purchase the correct translations and editions of all required texts for this course. Translations vary greatly and I have taken great care to choose the best ones available; different editions will have different page numbers, which will make your work much more difficult.

  1. If at any point during the semester you find yourself having trouble with the class, please either send me an email or come and see me during office hours (or make an appointment). I am here to help you, give you advice, listen to your ideas for papers, and to direct you to the Writing Center – where there are tutors and workshops available - should we agree that you could do with some extra assistance.

  1. There is a Sakai site for this course. I will also communicate with you via email, so please ensure that you have provided me with an email address that you check!

  1. All cell phones must be turned off before you come into the classroom.

Activity Percentage of final grade
Attendance & participation 20%

Reading Journals / In-class writing 20%

Exams 20%

Papers (including drafts) 40%
Grade Breakdown
Grade Definition Numerical Equivalent
A Outstanding 4.0

B+ Excellent 3.5

B Good 3.0

C+ Fair 2.5

C Satisfactory 2.0

D Poor 1.0

F Failing 0.0

Rutgers Policy on Academic Integrity
Academic freedom is a fundamental right in any institution of higher learning. Honesty and integrity are necessary preconditions of this freedom. Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Joint efforts are legitimate only when the assistance of others is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses.
Maintenance of the standards of academic honesty and the successful administration of this policy depend on the mutual cooperation of faculty and students. Dissemination of the Academic Integrity Policy to all faculty, staff, and students will ensure that all members of the community are informed about academic integrity.
Faculty cooperation is essential for successful application of the procedures defined by the Academic Integrity Policy. Faculty members can help promote academic integrity by making clear on their syllabi their expectations concerning homework assignments, collaborative student efforts, research papers, examinations, and the like. Efforts should be made to detect and to prevent cheating and plagiarism in all academic assignments. If faculty members have evidence of academic dishonesty, they are expected to report such evidence promptly.
Students must assume responsibility for maintaining honesty in all work submitted for credit and in any other work designated by the instructor of the course. Students are also expected to report incidents of academic dishonesty to the instructor or dean of the instructional unit.
This policy seeks to demonstrate the University's concern with academic dishonesty and to guarantee a fair procedure for resolving complaints of academic dishonesty.
For more information please visit:

MLA formatting & style guide:

BOOK LIST for 21:420:311 Q1 – French Literature in English Translation
You can find second-hand and discounted copies of most of these books on as well as in the Barnes & Nobles bookstore in Bradley Hall. Please be sure to order the right edition/translation…
Molière Don Juan (1665)

Translation by Richard Wilbur, Harcourt Press
Racine Phèdre (1677)

Translation by Ted Hughes, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux
Madame de Lafayette The Princesse de Clèves (1678)

Translation by Terence Cave, Oxford World’s Classics
Choderlos de Laclos Dangerous Liaisons (1782)

Translation by Helen Constantine, Penguin Classics
Benjamin Constant Adolphe (1816)

Translation by Margaret Mauldon, Oxford World’s Classics
Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary (1856)

Translation by Margaret Mauldon, Oxford World’s Classics

Date Reading Assignments
Wed 09/03 General Introduction
Mon 09/08 How to Write About Literature
Wed 09/10 Don Juan (Acts I & II) (In-class writing)
Mon 09/15 Don Juan (Acts III – V) (Reading journal due)

Wed 09/17 Phèdre (Acts I & II) (In-class writing)
Mon 09/22 Phèdre (Acts III – V) (DJ essay draft)
Wed 09/24 Phèdre (film) (Reading journal due)
Mon 09/29 Phèdre (film) (DJ essay final)
Wed 10/01 The Princesse de Clèves (Part I) (In-class writing)
Mon 10/06 The Princesse de Clèves (Part II) (Phèdre essay draft)
Wed 10/08 The Princesse de Clèves (Part III) (Reading journal due)
Mon 10/13 The Princesse de Clèves (Part IV) (Phèdre essay final)
Wed 10/15 The Princesse de Clèves – review (In-class writing)
Mon 10/20 Dangerous Liaisons - film
Wed 10/22 Dangerous Liaisons - film
Mon 10/27                            Princesse de Clèves exam exam

Wed 10/29                           Dangerous Liaisons (Part One)             (In-class writing)      

 Mon 11/03                          Dangerous Liaisons (Part Two)         (journal)      

 Wed 11/05                       Dangerous Liaisons (Part Three)             (In-class writing)      

 Mon 11/10                          Dangerous Liaisons (Part Four)               (journal)

Wed 11/12                           Madame Bovary (film)                                                                      

 Mon 11/17                          Madame Bovary (p.1-63)                       (DL first draft due)                 

 Wed 11/19                          Madame Bovary (pp.64-137)                  (journal)

Mon 11/24                          Madame Bovary (pp.138-203)               (DL final draft due)

Wed 11/26 no class

 Mon 12/01                             Madame Bovary (pp.204-262)          (in-class writing)                

 Wed 12/03                            Adolphe (chapters 1-6)                       (Madame Bovary essay draft)

Mon 12/08                             Adolphe (chapters 7-10)                     (journal)

Wed 12/10                              Review                                             (Madame Bovary final draft)

 Mon 12/15                            Final exam on Adolphe


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