This year, aside from all her courses taught in French, Alina ’21 also took one taught in English: a literature class called “Modernism and Theory” [courses taught in English are available only for students majoring in English Literature]. She tells us about this academic experience.
I am a Creative Writing major at Hamilton College, so I’d already taken plenty of literature courses before moving to France, but it was still a very interesting experience to take a graduate-level comparative literature course at Sorbonne-Nouvelle (Paris 3). My specific course was called Modernism & Theory, and we explored the different definitions of the modernist movement through a plethora of novels and theoretical texts, from Foucault to Virginia Woolf. I was used to a much heavier workload from Hamilton, so the amount of readings we had for the class was not challenging, but some of the denser critical readings definitely required two or three more read-throughs before I fully comprehended them. The professor, Caroline Pollentier, was wonderful and really encouraged us to think about the texts with more depth.
In addition to the graduate course, I also took a Figure Drawing class at the Villa Bastille art studio and two courses with Reid Hall, one that explored francophone documentaries throughout the decades and one called “L’émancipation des femmes,” in which we studied the representation of women in art and history. In the end, I was caught off-guard by how much my classes connected with each other, despite it not being my intention when I picked them. My readings for Modernism & Theory were often applicable to my other classes and led to some interesting discussions.