Modern Languages & Literatures - French

Aaron R Prevots

Associate Professor of French

Areas of expertise

All levels of French language, literature and culture. French feminisms; poetry; novels; music; film; translation.



Aaron Prevots, Associate Professor of French, holds a PhD in French Studies from Brown University. He specializes in 19th-21st century French literature and culture and has published articles on Arthur Rimbaud, Walt Whitman, Eugène Guillevic, Jacques Réda, Philippe Jaccottet, Yves Bonnefoy, and Jean-Paul Michel. He has translated three volumes of Jacques Réda’s poetry and prose—Return to Calm (Host, 2007), Thirteen Songs of Dark Love (VVV, 2008) and Europes (Host, 2009)—as well as Bernard Vargaftig’s poetry collection As Breathing (VVV, 2010). His scholarly research, which focuses on how writers reflect and shape identity, emphasizes poets who connect readers to each other and to the outside world. As an invited writer for The French Review, published by the American Association of Teachers of French, he evaluates poetry, prose, and scholarly volumes. His research also addresses musical forms (pop, jazz, chanson), translation, and feminist perspectives. Currently, he is preparing studies of postwar French authors and the 21st-century avant-garde.


Teaching Philosophy

1. To create an energetic, active, student-centered classroom environment
2. To foster empathy, awareness of cultural differences, and strong methodological skills
3. To empower students to act as agents of social change within and across communities

What I enjoy about teaching at Southwestern University is inspiring students to challenge themselves and learn more than they expected to learn. I design courses where they expand their interdisciplinary knowledge, discover other cultures in depth, and intensively practice their speaking and writing skills. Seeing them make new connections within and across disciplines encourages me to vary classroom activities and make new materials.

As a teacher and mentor, I balance academic rigor with a relaxed atmosphere. I sharpen students’ intercultural knowledge, ensure graduate school placements and scholarships, and instill global citizenship skills including the ability to recognize different worldviews and methodologies. Supervising Capstone projects is especially interesting, since it gives me the chance to update what I know on art, culture, and literature, while also seeing students grow as thinkers and writers looking back on what they have discovered as undergraduates and forward to their careers.

Southwestern’s “Representing Gender” and “Situating Place” Paideia clusters, initiatives for intentional, integrative, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, also facilitate my goal of empowering students. They build on my already close attention to the progress of each individual student, as a lifelong learner able to reflect purposefully and productively on changing contexts at home and abroad. In discussing interdisciplinary readings and team-teaching for the Paideia clusters, I continually develop and adapt. I get to keep moving forward in terms of what, how, and why I teach, as a scholar understanding practical and theoretical responses to a rapidly changing world. Alumni apply what they learn in their French coursework toward helping others, in fields such as art, environmental policy, healthcare, law, marketing, psychology, social media, and teaching.


Courses: Fall 2014

Paris, Cities, Parisians

Previous Courses

French I-II-III-IV. Courses on literature, culture and film including Contemporary Women: Writing, Identity, Difference (French 604); Paris, Cities, Parisians (French 604); Contemporary French Culture (French 354); Composition and Culture: French Film (French 334). Capstones on 19th-21st century art, culture, and literature. Independent Studies on gender, theory, philosophy, and contemporary novels, short stories, and films, as well as teaching. Most courses cross-list with the Paideia "Representing Gender" or "Situating Place" clusters.


Publications

PEER-REVIEWED BOOKS

Comme respirer, précédé de Sinon aimer / As Breathing, with If Not Loving. By Bernard Vargaftig. Trans. and postface Aaron Prevots. Halifax: VVV, 2010.

Europes. By Jacques Réda. Trans. and intro. Aaron Prevots. Austin: Host, 2009.

Treize chansons de l'amour noir / Thirteen Songs of Dark Love. By Jacques Réda. Trans. Aaron Prevots. Halifax: VVV, 2008.

Return to Calm
. By Jacques Réda. Trans. and intro. Aaron Prevots. Preface Jacques Réda. Austin: Host, 2007.

PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS

"Trains and Circulation in Jacques Réda's Prose and Poetry: Movement as Amplified 'Phenomenal Flow.'" Pacific Coast Philology Special Issue, Migration, Immigration, and Movement in Literature, Film, and Culture (Fall 2014, forthcoming).

"Jean-Paul Michel: L'extrême lucidité." Jean-Paul Michel. Nu(e) 54 (Fall 2014, forthcoming).

"The Year in Poetry 2013: Transformations." The French Review 88:1 (October 2014, forthcoming).

"Langue et création chez Jacques Réda: Le chant rythmique de la dépossession." Dalhousie French Studies, selected papers of the "Colloque Poésie et Langue" (Fall 2014, forthcoming).

"The Year in Poetry 2012: Shifts and Folds of Consciousness." The French Review 87:1 (October 2013): 29-46.

"Guillevic and Jacques Réda as ‘Sauvages.’ Notes Guillevic Notes 2:1 (Fall 2012): 55-78.

"The Year in Poetry 2011: Exemplary Trajectories." The French Review 86:1 (October 2012): 44-59.

"Accepting the World's Exuberance: Jacques Réda's Trajectory in Poetry and Prose." JAISA 11:1 (2012): 5-16. 

"Culture beyond Borders: Jazz as a Realm of Memory in Jacques Réda's L'Improviste." Resounding Pasts: Essays in Literature, Popular Music, and Cultural Memory. Ed. Drago Momcilovic. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011. 177-201.

"Gender Criticism and Popular Music Studies: Envisioning Women Artists and Why France Begs to Differ." Women in French Studies 19 (2011): 108-119.
 
"The Year in Poetry 2010: From Bonnefoy to the Blues." The French Review 85:1 (October 2011): 42-56.

"Jacques Réda and Jazz: Poetic Improvisations from France." Brilliant Corners 15:1 (Winter 2010): 18-29.

"Entretien avec Jacques Réda." The French Review 84:2 (December 2010): 358-369.  
 
 "Une certaine façon d'être Suisse romand: Philippe Jaccottet et la justesse de vie et de voix." La Francophonie en Europe: le cas de la Suisse et de la Communauté française de Belgique. Dialogues et Cultures 56 (2010): 76-83.

"En avant la Belgique: Diversité et richesse de l'actualité musicale en Communauté française." La Francophonie en Europe: le cas de la Suisse et de la Communauté française de Belgique. Dialogues et Cultures 56 (2010): 97-106.

"Philippe Jaccottet." 3,000-word entry. The Literary Encyclopedia. 28 July 2010. The Literary Dictionary Company. <http://www.litencyc.com/>.

"Jacques Réda." 3,000-word entry. The Literary Encyclopedia. 7 April 2009. The Literary Dictionary Company. <http://www.litencyc.com/>.

"Yves Bonnefoy." 3,000-word entry. The Literary Encyclopedia. 18 June 2008. The Literary Dictionary Company. <http://www.litencyc.com/>.

"Teaching French through Music." Preface to Instructor's Annotated Edition and Instructor's Resource Manual. Horizons Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Editions. Manley, Joan H. et al. Boston: Heinle Cengage Learning, 2009, 2012, and 2015. AIE13-15.

"Fragile Signs of Hope in Yves Bonnefoy, Philippe Jaccottet and Jacques Réda." Pacific Coast Philology 42 (2007): 54-72.

"Poésie, swing et Jacques Réda." Archipel: Cahier international de littérature 25 (2007): 60-69. 

"French through Songs and Singing: Language and Culture through Music Online." Academic Commons. The Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts. Wabash College. <http://www.academiccommons.org/>. February 2007.

"Poetry as Act: Yves Bonnefoy's 'The Torches.'" The Image of the Twentieth Century in Literature, Media, and Society: Selected Papers, 2000 Conference, Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery. Pueblo, Colorado: University of Southern Colorado, 2000. 502-506.

"'Crossing Brooklyn Ferry' et 'Promontoire': Whitman, Rimbaud, et la vision poétique-prophétique." Lire Rimbaud: approches critiques. Ed. Paul Perron et Sergio Villani. Préface Yves Bonnefoy. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press, 2000. 307-323.

REVIEWS

Scholarly studies, creative works, and translations reviewed for:

AATF French Review

ALTA National Translation Award

Dalhousie French Studies

Modern & Contemporary France

Notes Guillevic Notes

Translation Review

Women in French Studies


Honors & Awards

Mellon Environmental Studies Faculty Development Grant, French 354 “Contemporary French Culture,” Southwestern University, 2014

Teaching Award Nomination, Southwestern University, 2014

Competitive Faculty Development Grants, Southwestern University, 2006-Present

Elected Representative, Modern Language Association Delegate Assembly, 2008-2011

Tournées Grants for community-wide French Film Festival, sponsored by the French American Cultural Exchange and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 2007, 2008 and 2009

Finalist, Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation of a Book, Texas Institute of Letters, Return to Calm (Host, 2007), 2009

Sam Taylor Fellowship, General Board of Higher Education & Ministry, 2008

American Association of Teachers of French Summer Scholarship, Seminar in Switzerland and Belgium, sponsored by the AATF, Présence Suisse, and the Communauté française de Belgique Wallonie-Bruxelles, 2008

ACS-Mellon Teaching with Technology Fellowship, Southwestern University, July 2006
 
ACS Summer Teaching and Learning Workshop Fellowship, Rollins College, June 2005

École Normale Supérieure Exchange Fellowship, Paris, France, 1998-1999

Mellon Project 2001 Technology Certificate Program, Middlebury College, 1998

Kiel University Exchange Fellowship, Kiel, Germany, 1997

Fulbright Teaching Assistantship, Grenoble, France, 1993-1994


Groups & Affiliations

American Association of Teachers of French (AATF)

American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)

Modern Language Association (MLA)

Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA)

South Central Modern Language Association (SCMLA)

Women in French (WIF)