Assistant Professor of French
Areas of expertise
All periods and aspects of French language, literature and culture.
The ethics of food.
Dr. Francis Mathieu joined the Southwestern University faculty in 2007 upon graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
PhD, University of California at Santa Barbara 2007
Courses: Spring 2013
Studies in French Literature
Moralist Writers: Spectators of Society, Philosophers of the Human Condition (French 604):
Spanning the 16th and 17th centuries, this course explores the most essential themes that moralists voice in their works, such as the human condition, the place of women in society, education, social and moral behavior. In addition to canonical male authors, this course examines lesser known works by female writers to understand how they differ or agree with those of the male canon; to see how women engage in a dialogue with their male counterparts; and to grasp the impact they had on literary, philosophical, cultural and social developments.
Studies in French Literature II (French 514):
This course is designed as an introduction to the intellectual history of the modern French tradition. Spanning the 19th and 20th-Centuries, it focuses on such aesthetic movements as Romanticism, Surrealism, or Existentialism, to name just a few. The course aims at developing writing skills in French and fostering advanced discussions of selected literary texts and art works.
French Culture - History of French Civilization (French 354):
This course is a survey of the shaping of French civilization and nationhood from Classical Antiquity to the 20th-Century. Interdisciplinary in nature, the course uses French history as a medium to study politics, religion, culture, civility, architecture, art history, music, class/cast relations, and the evolution of the French language. Each chronological or thematic segment is illustrated by art, films and literary texts, among other types of materials.
Plural France: Immigration, Integration, and Multicultural Identities (French 334):
Revolving around sociological and press articles, French rap music, films and literature, this course deals with issues of immigration, multiculturalism, ghettoes, racism, religion, and political rhetoric in contemporary France. This context provides a rich thematic background in which students develop their writing and analytical skills, while improving their knowledge of French society.
Passion, Love, and the Couple in French literature, Film, and Culture (French 314):
This course focuses on the theme of romantic love in French literature, culture and film. Topics include the various forms of romantic love; the influence of physiology on love; the theory of evolution; adultery; the French alternative to marriage (PACS); queer love; the internet and virtual love; and much more. The material for this course is comprised of literary texts, sociological and psychological articles, and films.
As a scholar, Dr. Mathieu's research and publications focus on Seventeenth-Century French; and more specifically on the early modern novel and on rhetoric.
"Mme de Clèves modèle de bienséances: Lecture de La Princesse de Clèves à la lumière d'un traité de civilité." Submitted for publication in Cahiers du dix-septième.
"Early Modern Women Writers in a History of Ideas Survey Course." Teaching Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century French Women Writers. Ed. Faith Beasley. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2011.
"Panégyrique, sacré et exemplarité dans Bérénice de Racine." French Review. Vol. 82, 4 (2009): 788-99.
"Mme de Lafayette et la condition humaine: Lecture pascalienne de La Princesse de Clèves." Cahiers du dix-septième: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Vol. XII, 1 (2008): 61-85.
"Le Pacte rhétorique et moral: l'exemplarité et le roman à l'âge classique." Cincinnati Romance Review 27 (2008): 99-112.
Seminars & Presentations
"Voir et savoir: Rhétorique et didactique de l'image dans le roman classique." Paper presented at the 30th annual conference of the Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies, University of Kentucky, Lexington, November 2011.
"Mme de Clèves modèle de bienséances: Lecture de La Princesse de Clèves à la lumière d?un traité de civilité." Paper presented at the 29th annual conference of the Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, October 2010.
Chair of the session entitled "Unmasking Aesthetics" at the 16thannual Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, March 2010.
"Subversion libertine et parodie de l'esthétique classique dans Les Lettres de la marquise de Crébillon Fils." Paper presented at the 16thannual Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, March 2010.
"La Rhétorique de l'exemplum dans le roman : L'harmonie discordante du « plaire » et de l'« instruire »." Paper presented at the 41st annual conference of the North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature, New York University, New York, May 2009.
"Staging Louis XIV?s Power of Divine Right: Legitimizing Absolutist Monarchy in Racine?' Bérénice". Paper presented at the regional conference on "Power and its Influences", James Madison University, April 2009.
Chair of the session entitled "Appetites and Desires" at the 40thannual conference of the North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature, Lafayette College, Easton, April 2008.
"Mme de Lafayette et le triomphe de la raison au féminin: Le Refus et la retraite dans La Princesse de Clèves." Paper presented at the 2008 Women in French conference, University of north Texas, Fort Worth, April 2008.
"Variations sur le même « t'aime »: Mme de Villedieu rhétoricienne de l'exemple dans Les Désordres de l'amour." Paper presented at the international colloquium on "Femmes, rhétorique et éloquence sous l'Ancien Régime", University of Québec at Rimouski, September 2007.
"Exemplarité et déterminisme anthropologique contre « lumière naturelle » dans Le Discours de la méthode de Descartes." Paper presented at the 39th annual conference of the North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, May 2007.
"La Passion corps et âme: lecture pascalienne de La Princesse de Clèves." Paper presented at the 25th annual conference of the Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies, University of Iowa, Iowa City, October 2006.
"Alchimie rhétorique et morale: l'exemplarité et les genres romanesques à l'âge classique." Paper presented at the 26thCincinnati Conference on Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, May 2006.
Honors & Awards
- Junior Faculty Sabbatical leave, Southwestern University, spring 2011.
- Competitive Faculty Development grants, Southwestern University, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
- French American Cultural Exchange's Tournées Film Festival grant for the organization of on-campus French film festival, UCSB, 2006.
- Consortium for Literature, Theory and Culture Stipend Award for promising research, UCSB, 2002.
Groups & Affiliations
North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature.
Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies.
Women in French.
American Association of Teachers of French.
Modern Languages Association.