School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Theses
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ItemScripting love and gender in fairy tales by French women writers, 1690–1709Reddan, Bronwyn Kate ( 2016)Between 1690 and 1709, more than one hundred fairy tales were written by French authors. Women writers created two-thirds of this corpus, and their tales developed emotion scripts that challenged the patriarchal politics of courtship and marriage in seventeenth-century France. This thesis focuses on the scripts for love in tales by Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, Marie-Jeanne Lhéritier, Catherine Bernard, Henriette-Julie de Murat, Charlotte-Rose de La Force, Catherine Durand, and Louise d’Auneuil. Love is the central theme in the conteuses’ tales, but they do not develop a single perspective on love, nor do they offer a definitive answer to the question of whether love has a positive effect on the lives of women. Their complex, literary tales question the idealisation of love as the ultimate fairy tale happy ending by presenting it as a destructive, irrational force as well as a source of fulfilment and joy. Each author develops different scripts for the performance of love in courtship and marriage, and these scripts articulate a series of different perspectives on the gender politics of love in seventeenth-century France. This variation in the representation of love reflects the social realities faced by the conteuses and their contemporary female audiences, as well as seventeenth-century debate about the nature of love. The methodology in this thesis draws on history of emotion scholarship in order to analyse how the emotion scripts in the conteuses’ tales were used to negotiate and challenge gender relationships in France at the turn of the eighteenth century. I argue that these scripts provide evidence of the formation of a literary emotional community engaged in a conversation about the effects of love on the lives of seventeenth-century women. This conversation developed a shared vocabulary of emotion to articulate a poetics of love that reinterpreted conventional scripts for love in seventeenth-century literary and philosophical texts. Each author used this vocabulary to present her own interpretation of the consequences of love, and proposed different strategies for negotiating power imbalances in early modern gender relationships between men and women. While some of their heroines use love to justify their choice of spouse, others are disappointed in their choice, or fail to achieve the union they desire. These different perspectives illustrate the nature of love as a complex emotion with a history that reflects the political and social context in which it is felt and expressed.
ItemArab Paris: Arab lives and Arab identities in France 1801-1831Coller, Ian Bruce ( 2006)'Deux nations s'etaient confondues ... ' In 1821 Joseph Agoub wrote these words to a patron in an attempt to explain the “confusions” of a Franco-Arab life which he had lived for two decades in Marseille. Joseph, along with many hundreds of other Egyptians and Syrians, came to France in 1801 accompanying the French evacuation of Egypt. Two decades later, this heterogeneous population had formed a relatively cohesive community in Marseille, and many had moved on to Paris, the heart of France and French life. This thesis investigates the reasons for this unexplored emigration, analysing its roots in the impact of the French occupation of Egypt from 1798 to 1801. It follows the struggles for a common identity within a community divided by religious, regional and economic differences, as well as the complex negotiations with the wider society and the state. The thesis argues that the experience of Franco-Arab community in Marseille became, over three decades in Paris, a struggle to articulate an Arab identity within a cosmopolitan network of social, cultural and intellectual exchange. In the 1820s, this struggle reconnected with the Arab world in surprising ways, most notably through the establishment of the Ecole Egyptienne in Paris. This school brought Franco-Arab intellectuals such as Joseph Agoub and Joanny Pharaon into close connection with Rifa'a al-Tahtawi, a central figure in the nineteenth-century modernization of Egyptian institutions and Arabic thought. Their encounter made possible new ways of imagining an Arab identity beyond the limits of religious, national or social categories, long in advance of the Arabist movements later in the century. But this encounter also took place in a rapidly shrinking space of cosmopolitanism as new limits of national identity were articulated in France, which excluded “foreigners” from the national consensus. The hardening of identities was particularly severe in relation to those from outside the limits of Europe, whose identities were increasingly represented according to a more exclusivist racial segregation of “Man”. After 1830, these racial identities became the basis for legitimating the continued military occupation of Algiers, and extending French aggression in North Africa and elsewhere in the Arab world. This radical division between “French” and “Arab” made impossible the kind of Franco-Arab identity for which two generations had struggled, and left French Arabs with a stark choice: to join the “indigenes” and lose their status as French citizens, or to use their knowledge and experience in the service of French imperialism. The “Arab Paris” which Agoub had imagined was no longer possible, and passed unrecorded by history. This thesis seeks to re-imagine that lost dimension of French history in the early nineteenth century: a much earlier “Arab Paris” than the one we know today.
ItemThe identity of the École de Paris in painting and criticism, 1939-1964Adamson, Natalie Ann ( 2002)The Identity of the École de Paris in Painting and Criticism, 1939-1964 reconstructs and analyses the history of the group of painters presented in exhibitions and discussed in the contemporary press as the "École de Paris". The Ecole de Paris was a "phantom" school which had neither enrolled students nor official teachers. This dissertation examines the manner in which this phantom school was discursively produced. Through a close analysis of the art criticism which sought to establish and define the identity of the school, the dissertation shows that the École de Paris dominated the production and reception of painting in postwar France. Such a project had powerful historical and ideological motivations. The dissertation establishes that the resuscitation of the École de Paris upon the Liberation of the city in 1944 was driven by the urge to reconstruct a harmonious artistic community and a powerful national tradition in the wake of the war. Indeed, the École de Paris became the most important site for the debates over the validity of foreign contributions to the national tradition of painting, the resurgence of the avant-garde, the role of abstract painting in comparison to traditional realism, and the imbrication of Cold War politics with culture. It was a complex and contradictory discourse involving art critics, painters, curators, and art dealers, each of whom fought to establish a different version of the École de Paris. Charting the critical arguments and the mutations of painting style which constitute the Ecole de Paris reveals that the school performed a dual role: it was both the motor for a new avant-garde in the form of lyrical abstraction, and a reactionary force, fighting for figuration as the foundation of an unchanging national tradition. The dissertation establishes that the style known as non-figuration became the preferred strategy or mediation in Ecole de Paris painting. Non-figuration sought to reconcile the extremes of modernity and tradition, abstraction and realism. The prevailing opinion has been highly critical of the Ecole de Paris for its repetition or pre-war avant-garde innovations and a "middle-of-the-road" ideology. However, the Ecole de Paris is most constructively understood as a zone of conflict, which catalysed the passionate dissection of the most difficult artistic and political issues or the period. The dissertation traces the history of the postwar Ecole de Paris from its Liberation rebirth until the early 1960s, by which time reconciliation was no longer an option and the primacy of painting was being challenged. The hegemony of Ecole de Paris painting came to an end as the tensions between the emphasis on individual originality and the conservative desire to reconstitute a collectivity, fragmented the Ecole de Paris beyond repair. This dissertation finds that the conflicts which swirled around the paintings, artists and critical writing of the Ecole de Paris provide exemplary representations of the crisis between nationalism and cosmopolitanism in French postwar history.