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Department of French and Italian




Download it here as a PDF.































Download the FALL 2013/WINTER 2014 Department of French & Itlian NEWSLETTER here.



View photos from the Politics/Aesthentics Graduate Student Conference here.




NB:  All readings are available here:

Christopher Bush (French)

Christopher Bush (English)

Peter Brandes

Genevieve Amaral (French)

Genevieve Amaral (English)

Christine Froula

Fay Rosner

Peter Fenves

Lawrence Lipking

This event was sponsored by: French & Italian, German, Comparative Literary Studies and the Café francophone










The Department of French & Italian, The Cultural Services of the Consulate General of France in Chicago
Haïti 2012: Pays rêvé, Pays réel

cordially invite you to a
 Symposium- Luncheon
With Special Guests 
 Lyonel Trouillot: “La condition littéraire haïtienne”
Yanick Lahens: “Haïti n’est ni un cauchemar ni une carte postale”
Monday, March 5th 2012, 12-2:30 PM
John Evans Alumni Center, 1800 Sheridan Road, Evanston

Lyonel Trouillot is a poet, novelist, journalist and professor of literature at L’Institut français d’Haïti and L’Université Caraïbe.  He has published extensively in both French and Creole and has been one of the most publicly active and engaged voices in the rebuilding of his country. His latest novel, La belle amour humaine, was shortlisted for the prestigious Prix Goncourt as one of four finalists.  

Yanick Lahens is a novelist, scholar, public figure and former professor of  École Normale Supérieure of Haïti.  Her diverse work ranges from politics to activism for literacy to hosting a cultural radio program to the publication of short stories, novels, and scholarly articles.  In 2002, she was awarded the New Writer’s Prize of the Initiative LiBeraturpreis at the Leipzig Book Fair.

Co-sponsored by: Northwestern University's Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, The French Interdisciplinary Group; Institut Français, Paris, France and Alliance Française of Chicago.
To RSVP and for questions please contact
Open and free to the public









Paola Marrati of Johns Hopkins University 

"Belief, Agency, Loss. Cavell and Deleuze on Cinema and Modernity" 
Date of talk: May 5th, 6 pm.
Location: the Hagstrum room, University Hall 

With an additional graduate student workshop with Professor Marrati on May 6th, where she will be discussing excerpts from her book Genesis and Trace: Derrida Reading Husserl and Heidegger Students interested in participation in the graduate workshop should contact Debbie Goldgaber, at: 

Biographical information: Paola Marrati is Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Humanities Center with a secondary appointment in the Department of Philosophy. She specializes in Modern and contemporary French Philosophy, American Pragmatism and Skepticism, Phenomenology, Philosophy and Cinema, Feminist and Queer Theory.

(Co-sponsored by the Departments of French and Italian and Philosophy, and the programs of Comparative Literary Studies, Critical Theory, Rhetoric and Public Culture, Screen Cultures,  and the Alice Kaplan Institute of the Humanities.")  



2009-2010 Events

“Media Encounters: Reimagining Feminist Thought” 
October 23rd, 2009.
Speakers: Patricia White, Homay King, and Domietta Torlasco. Moderated by Nick Davis.

"Le huis-clos tragique de Comme deux frères de Maryse Condé" Sylvie Romanowski
February 9th, 2010

“Francophonie: Revisiting, Revising, Recompasing” Alison Rice (Notre Dame)
February 19th, 2010

Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference “Cultural Bankruptcy: Bail-Out or Bonus?”
April 8th-10th, 2010.

Keynote Speakers: Susan Hegeman and Phillip Wegner.

Panel: “The Reproduction of Culture”
Moderator: Charlotte Gehl Rouchouze
• “Renaissance, Revival, or Commodification? Klezmer in the New Germany” Raysh Weiss (Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota)
• “Enlightened Cultural Production: Tibetan Authenticity and the Globalization of Cultural Capital” Matthew Francis Rarey (Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
• “Walter Benjamin’s Technological Manifesto: Locating Marx in Benjamin’s ‘The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility’” Benjamin Schacht (Comparative Literary Studies, Northwestern University)

Panel: “Postmodern Histories”
Moderator: Elizabeth Berkebile McManus
• “Memory, Cultural Fronts, and Black Public History Projects in Cold War Chicago” Ian Rocksborough-Smith (African-American Studies, University of Toronto, currently at Northwestern University)
• “The Novel as Museum: Flaubert's Parrot and the Fiction of Form” Madeleine Monson-Rosen (English, University of Illinois at Chicago)
• “ ‘Douchy Vampire Kids’: Transmission and Cultural Reception of Goth Communication” Erin Smith (Musicology, Northwestern University)

Panel: “Politics and Form”
Moderator: Rachel E. Ney
• “Ricardo Piglia’s Respiración artificial as Literatura Fakta: How to Narrate a History of the Defeated” John Trevathan (Spanish & Portuguese, University of Minnesota)
• “The Triumph of Pastiche” L.M. Oliver (French, Colorado University-Boulder)
• “Let Us Now Praise What?: Documentary Form and the Containment of Financial Panic” Nathan Leahy (English, Northwestern University)

“I giorni della paura” Daniele Mastrogiacomo
April 26th, 2010

“Haiti On Screen” Film Series
April 24th, April 30th, and May 1st, 2010

“Career Options for French Speakers”
May 6th, 2010

• Roundtable Discussion: Moderated by Fay Rosner, Lecturer in French           
Stéphane Fallacker, Québec Trade Commission, Chicago.
François Blumenfeld-Kouchner, Medical Student, Midwestern University & Schweitzer Fellow.
Jeanette Jackson, French-American Chamber of Commerce.

• Recent university graduate speakers:
racie Klock (NU 2009) Patent Agent McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP.
Allison DeFelice (NU 2008) French Teacher (grades K-8), Pope John XXIII School, Evanston.
Renée Altergott, (NU 2008), Field Recruiter, AFS Intercultural Programs.
Anna Sinclair-Georges, Assistante d’Anglais en France (2008-2009).

 • Current student speakers:
Cindy Teng (NU Junior), AIESEC traineeship, Ivory Coast.
Dawoon Chung and Patrick Jiang, AIESEC representatives.

“Censorship in the French Enlightenment: Montesquieu, Rousseau and a Just Measure
of Freedom” Edoardo Tortarolo (Fulbright Teaching Fellow, Department of French and Italian):
May 12th, 2010

“What’s New About Galileo?” Thomas Mayer (Augustana College)
May 24th, 2010

“Days of Fear” Daniele Mastrogiacomo
May 26th, 2010


2008-2009 Events

Friday, October 23rd, 2009
4:30pm, Kresge 2-420

Media Encounters

This conference will not only reexamine feminist film theory in light of the development of new currents in feminist thought, but will also explore the increasingly intimate relationship of these new forms of thought to emerging forms of audiovisual practice. What is the contemporary relevance of a theoretical inquiry to the practice of film – and video – making? How are current audio-visual productions rewriting the theory of the moving image? How does the increasing intertwining of critical discourse and creative expression affect the way – and the medium – in which we write theory? The participants will include Homay King (Art History and Film Studies, Bryn Mawr), Patricia White (English and Film Studies, Swarthmore), Domietta Torlasco (French and Italian, Comparative Literature, and Screen Cultures, NU), and Nick Davis (English and Gender Studies, NU).

Presented by the Department of French & Italian. Cosponsored by the Department of Art History, the Program in Critical Theory, the Department of English, Gender Studies, the Department of German, the Department of Philosophy, the Program in Comparative Literary Studies, the Department of Radio, Television + Film, the Center for Screen Cultures, and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

4 May: Marco Baliani presented his show Corpo di Stato. Il delitto Moro. Based on the book of the same name, the show reflects on the aftermath of the violent death in 1978 of Prime Minister Aldo Moro, whose body was found in the trunk of a parked car following 55 days of captivity. Using direct testimony, Baliani gives insight into an event that still resonates in Italy today.

31 January: La Grande Dictée de la Francophonie took place on Saturday, Jan. 31st at 10 AM. This French spelling bee contest is open to everybody, all Francophones and Francophiles in Illinois.

The  4 catégories  are:
A  High School students
b. College/other till age 21
c. Seniors amateurs
d. Seniors professionnels

There were several prizes of books, dictionaries, and restaurants rewarding the winners. The best NU student will be invited to participate in the Grande Dictée des Amériques taking place in Québec City in March 2009; all expenses paid.
For any questions, email :, or come and see M.-S. Pavlovich : Crowe 2-137.

13-14 November 2008: Algerian writer Ahmed Bouguarche visited several department classes and gave a public lecture. The lecture was held on Friday, November 14th from 4-5:30pm in the FIG room (Crowe 2-130). Bouguarche's visit was made possible in part by a Simeon E. Leland Forum grant.

23 October 2008: Comedy in the Piazza is a round-table dedicated to a book project that consists of translations of plays from the Italian peninsula that are set in piazzas, since the era of the Greeks, through Roman comedy, through the Renaissance and Commedia dell'Arte, up to nineteenth century Melodrama.

29-30 October 2008: Every Fall, NU's Study Abroad Office hosts a Study Abroad Fair where prospective students can meet program representatives and returnees to help them decide what kind of study abroad experience would best fit their needs. This year's Fair was held on Thursday, November 6, 2-5. Students interested in Francophone countries got a head-start at either of two department information sessions the week before.

Wednesday, October 29, 5-6 pm (Kresge 2-420)
Thursday, October 30, 4-5 pm (Kresge 2-420)

Keep a weather eye out for future announcements.

2007-2008 Events

22 October 2007: The Mediterranean between Literature and History, a Conference Panel with Theodore J. Cachey (University of Notre Dame), Andrea Ciccarelli (Indiana University, Bloomington), Manuel Rota (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Marco Ruffini (Northwestern University)

25 October 2007: Ross Chambers, On Inventing Unknownness: The Poetry of Disenchanted Reenchantment: Leopardi, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and Justice.

10-11 November 2007: 25th Anniversary French & Italian Film Marathon!

The White Sheik (Federico Fellini, 1952) - Fellini's first film as solo director, a comedy about a provincial couple on their honeymoon in Rome. The husband wants to show off his bride to his relatives and climax their day with an audience with the pope. But the bride has other plans...

The Earrings of Madame De... (Max Ophuls, 1953) A gorgeous society drama starring the great Charles Boyer and Vittorio De Sica (the great Neorealist director). To cover secret debts, a countess sells the diamond earrings her husband gave her, leading to a spiralling sequence of passionate encounters.

Pepe le Moko (Duvivier, 1936) A gangster thriller with an atmosphere and plot that set the model for thousands of followers, from James Cagney to Pacino. Starring the great Jean Gabin.

Il Mafioso (Lattuada, 1962). Thought lost until recently, this comedy stars Alberto Sordi as an Italian dad, born in Sicily but long since emigrated to the north, who takes his family back to his hometown to banish all their stereotypes about the south. But it doesn't quite work out that way...

29-30 November 2007: A Conference on Art, Text, and Imagination

“Art/Text/Imagination” is a two-day workshop designed to explore the socio-political, art historical, and literary context of early modern imagination by focusing on the production, function, and reception of visual and textual representations of imagined images. It will privilege interdisciplinary discussion and comparative approaches between the north (German, Burgundian, Flemish, and Dutch territories) and the south (France, Spain, and the Italian peninsula), as also between media.

Internal images, dreams, and visions resist representation and shared comprehension, though their history indicates otherwise. The impulse to transform unrepresentable subjects or qualities into coherent narratives or forms is a characteristic feature of early modernity. In its search for political and cultural unity, early modern society strove to render imagined images part of the physical world, depictable and describable, and to neutralize the potentially subversive power of imagination. At the same time, imagination served as a point of departure in shaping new ways of representing and articulating that very unity. Experiences of imagination (recollections, dreams, demonic possessions, visions, ecstasies, etc.) and their contemporary modalities (art of memory, theology, theories of animation, imagination, and fantasia) provided inspiration and models for new ways of thinking and producing texts and images.

23 February: La Grande Dictée de la Francophonie will take place on at 10 AM. This French spelling bee contest is open to everybody, all Francophones and Francophiles in Illinois.

The  4 catégories  are:
A  High School students
b. College/other till age 21
c. Seniors amateurs
d. Seniors professionnels

There will be several prizes of books, dictionaries, and restaurants rewarding the winners. The best NU student will be invited to participate in the Grande Dictée des Amériques taking place in Québec City in March 2008; all expenses paid.
Last year, John Lee had a great time taking part in…both events! So make sure that you study all these challenging rules of French grammar, and that you take them with you on the day of the contest. Please do not be afraid of signing up: the participants are given a number and we do not know the names of the contestants until he/she is declared a winner. Sign up sheets and exercise sheets will be available in the Department of French&Italian office. (Kresge 2-375) from January on. For any questions, email :, or come and see M.-S. Pavlovich : Crowe 2-137. Click to Download PDF.
Refreshments will be served.

28 February - 1 March : Archives of Cinema/Memories of War

Place: Northwestern University, Block Cinema and Harris Hall 108
Organizer: Domietta Torlasco

ARCHIVES OF CINEMA/MEMORIES OF WAR was a two-day symposium comprising lectures, screenings, and a round-table discussion on the representation of war in the context of contemporary media practice. It brought together prominent American scholars and internationally recognized filmmakers who have a history of engaging the aesthetic and political possibilities of the audio-visual archive. Rethinking the boundaries between the theory and the practice of cinema, the symposium explored the tension between memory and creation, the persistence of the past and the irruption of the new in the age of transition from analog to digital media.


15 May 2008: Graduate/Faculty Colloquium featuring the work of Annica Schjött and Bill Paden.

29 May 2008: Book Release Reception for Domietta Torlasco and Doris Garraway.

6 June 2008: End of the Year Party!

20 June 2008: Reception for Graduating Seniors and their families

2006-2007 Events

21 May 07
Peter Hallward, Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex, "Dialectical Voluntarism: Towards a Theory of Determination"

April 13-15 07
Hedi Abdeljaouad, Suzanne Gauch, Nasrin Qader, Alison Rice, Ronnie Scharfman, Lucy Stone McNeece, Samuel Weber, Abdelkabir Khatibi: Khatibi's Oeuvre: Materiality and Writing (Khatibi Colloquium)

April 12-17 07
"Khatibi's Oeuvre: Materiality and Writing," a colloquium dedicated to the work of Morrocan thinker and writer Abdelkébir Khatibi. Also featuring professors Hedi Abdeljaouad, Suzanne Gauch, Nasrin Qader, Alison Rice, Ronnie Scharfman, Lucy Stone McNeece, and Samuel Weber.

24 Oct 06
Tariq Ali: "Imperial Blues: Wars in the Middle East/Axis of Hope in South America

11 Apr 07
Brigitte Weltman-Aron, University of Florida, public lecture titled, "Perjury in the Work of Hélène Cixous"