This course is designed to fit both undergraduate and graduate students and will look at the period 1950-1975 in France that corresponds to an extraordinary production of films and literature in a period of complex cultural change in France. The innovations in film (The New Wave) will be compared to the innovations in literature (The New Novel) and will also look closely at changes in French society (the role of women, consumerism, the de Gaulle presidency, the student revolt of May/June 1968 among others). We will look also at post- war intellectual history, the existential generation of Saint-Germain-des- Prés, the influence of the United States and even the importance of the crime novel and film noir in the 1950s. The course will present some traditional French films of the 1950s in order to contrast them with the innovations of the New Wave. In the first part we will look at films by René Clément and Jean-Pierre Melville, then a film by Jacques Tati and finally a series of films by New Wave directors (Louis Malle, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Bresson, Agnès Varda, Eric Rohmer).

Literary works to be read include novels by Boris Vian, Marguerite Duras, Georges Perec, Claire Etcherelli, Christiane Rochefort, Françoise Sagan, Simone de Beauvoir, etc..

The course will be conducted in a seminar format, with some lectures. Final grades will be based on three papers (the subjects of the papers will be generated by each student to suit her/his interests) and student participation in the discussions. The course will be taught in French with all readings, papers and discussions in French.