French studies / understanding languages and culture
Write an essay of c. 1,500 words on ONE of the following topics.
You should not write on the same topic area more than once.
1. With reference to some of the theorists and theories you have studied in class, give an account of the understanding of language which underpins post-structuralist thinking.
2. a?It is language which speaks not the author.a What are the implications of Roland Barthesas statement for our understanding of literature? Answer with reference to the structuralist and post-structuralist theories with which you are familiar.
3. It has been claimed that deconstruction involves a?the careful teasing out of warring forces of signification within the texta. Explain what this might mean with particular reference to Kafkaas story a?The Judgementa.
Feminism and Gender Theory
1. a?How can [art] give insight into humanity and its relationships, ennoble and refresh the reader if the speakers can only come from half of the human race? How can it teach us about a past period when only half the human race is reflected in it and is allowed to explain its point of view?a Explain the consequences of this statement for our perception of literary history and the literary canon.
2. According to Judith Butler there is no such thing as an authentic female (or male) experience prior to discourse, which language then can repress or fail to represent. Compare and contrast this approach to questions of sex and gender with earlier feminist literary criticism.
3. How can the theoretical approaches of Queer Studies inform a reading of Jeanette WintersonasWritten on the Body (1992)?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.a To what extent do texts such as Baudelaireas poem a?The Haira AND/OR NDiayeas short story a?The Sistersa force us to reconsider this maxim in the light of racialized experience?