The Department of French and Italian

Marc Bizer


ProfessorPhD, Princeton University

Professor, French Studies
Marc Bizer

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-7780
  • Office: HRH 3.112B
  • Office Hours: Tu Th 11-12 and by appt.
  • Campus Mail Code: B7600

Interests


Early Modern French identities: national, social, religious, authorial, gendered; gastronomy; tragedy and the tragic

Biography


Marc Bizer, originally from Amherst, Massachusetts, has taught at UT since 1992. He holds an A.B. in Comparative Literature from Brown University, a Maîtrise ès lettres modernes from the Université de Paris-Sorbonne, and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University. He is the author of three books, as well as of numerous articles: Homer and the Politics of Authority in Renaissance France (Oxford University Press, 2011), Les Lettres Romaines de Du Bellay: Les Regrets et la Tradition Epistolaire (University of Montreal Press, 2001), and La Poésie au Miroir: Imitation et Conscience de soi dans la Poésie Latine de la Pléiade (Champion, 1995). He is the recipient of sabbatical fellowships from the Fulbright Scholar Program, the American Philosophical Society, and the Loeb Classical Library Foundation. He won a silver award for innovative instructional technology for his Reading Between the Lines web site (2008).

Book cover

Courses


FR 326K • Intro Fr Lit I: Mid Ages-18c

36600 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 0.120

Fall 2016

FR 326K : Introduction to French Literature I

 

Course Description

This course will be taught in French and carries a Global Cultures flag

This course is designed not only to familiarize you with the important texts, literary traditions, and genres of French literature from its beginnings to the 18th century, but teach you the techniques of close literary analysis through historical and cultural contextualization, in particular the practice of the explication de texte. Much learning in the course will take place through group work.

Readings

Littérature française: Textes et contextes, Tome I, R.-J. Berg

Racine, Phèdre

Course packet

 

Grading Policy

Class Participation                               15%

Quizzes                                              10%

Discussions/exercises on Canvas          10%

Two 4-5 page papers   (2 x 15%)         30%

Exams  (10%, 10%, 15%)                   35%

T C 302 • Hunger

42785 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CRD 007B

Description:

Eating is recognized as an integral, and sometimes problematic, part of national and individual identity. This seminar will focus on the relationship between eating, hunger, and identity by looking at modern journalistic as well as literary and filmic accounts of eating, fasting, and starving. The course will be divided into three sections: politics, poetics, and culture. In the politics section of the course, we will study the physiological, political, and ethical dimensions of hunger: first how hunger affects the body, and then how starvation can be a result of marginalization, exploitation, and victimization. In the poetics part, we will read works where eating, hunger and fasting are acts of self-definition and revolt. The last portion of the course, devoted to cultural questions, will use filmic representations of eating and hunger to generate discussion about the ways in which they are conditioned by cultural and national identities. This discussion will be enriched by students’ hands-on experience of the politics and economics of hunger by a volunteer experience at the Capitol Area Food Bank, a local soup kitchen, sustainable farm, etc.

  

Texts/Readings (subject to change):

Sharman Russell, Hunger: An Unnatural History

Packet of readings pertaining to "Politics" section of course

Knut Hamsun, Hunger

Franz Kafka, “A Hunger Artist” and “The Metamorphosis”

Amélie Nothomb, The Life of Hunger

 

Assignments:

Participation:  40%

First Paper:     15%

Second Paper: 20%

Journal:           25%

 

About the Professor:

Marc Bizer, originally from Amherst, Massachusetts, has taught at UT since 1992. He holds an A.B. in Comparative Literature from Brown University, a Master’s in French Literature from the Sorbonne, and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University. He is the author of three books, as well as of numerous articles: the just-published Homer and the Politics of Authority in Renaissance France (Oxford University Press, 2011), Les Lettres Romaines de Du Bellay: Les Regrets et la Tradition Epistolaire (University of Montreal Press, 2001), and La Poésie au Miroir: Imitation et Conscience de soi dans la Poésie Latine de la Pléiade (Champion, 1995). He is the recipient of sabbatical fellowships from the Fulbright Scholar Program, the American Philosophical Society, and the Loeb Classical Library Foundation. He won a silver award for innovative instructional technology for his Reading Between the Lines web site (2008). He has 6-year-old boy/girl twins who are frequently hungry.

FR 326K • Intro Fr Lit I: Mid Ages-18c

35925 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.210

FR 326K : Introduction to French Literature I

 

Course Description

This course will be taught in French and carries the Global Cultures flag

This course is designed not only to familiarize you with the important texts, literary traditions, and genres of French literature from its beginnings to the 18th century, but teach you the techniques of close literary analysis through historical and cultural contextualization, in particular the practice of the explication de texte. Much learning in the course will take place through group work.

 

Readings

Littérature française: Textes et contextes, Tome I, R.-J. Berg

Racine, Phèdre

Course packet

 

Grading Policy

Class Participation                               15%

Quizzes                                               10%

Discussions/exercises on Canvas        10%

Two 4-5 page papers   (2 x 15%)        30%

Exams  (10%, 10%, 15%)                   35%

FR 391K • Deconstructing Tragedy

35985 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM HRH 2.106C

FR 391K / CL 382 : Deconstructing tragedy

 

In this seminar we will attempt to grasp key features of “tragedy” and the tragic in the West by reading not only plays, but epics, romances, novellas, and histoires tragiques across Greek, Latin, Italian, French, and English literature from earlier periods in order to gain a sense of the original possibilities of the genre. In this seminar we will examine how tragedies represent various types of conflict involving gender, the resistance to authority, free will vs. determinism, clemency and revenge, and how these representations mediate history. The goal will be to see whether and in what form tragedy is possible in the modern era.

This course will be taught in English and all readings will be made available in English.

 

Readings (subject to change):

Aristotle, Poetics

Sophocles, Antigone

Euripides, Medea

Virgil, Aeneid (Book 4)

Boccaccio, Decameron (selections from Day 4)

La Châtelaine de Vergi

Jean de Coras, Arrest Memorable & Natalie Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre

Théodore de Bèze, Abraham Sacrifiant

Robert Garnier, La Troade

Corneille, Le Cid, Cinna

Racine, Britannicus, Phèdre

Shakespeare, Hamlet

Kierkegaard, “Ancient Tragedy’s Reflection in the Modern”

 

Grading:

Participation:                                       20%

Presentation and short paper               30%

Final Paper                                          50%

FR 358 • French Literature & Gastronomy

35815 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 2.122

Eating is commonly recognized as an integral (and problematic) part of national and individual identity. This course will focus on the evolving relationship between eating and identity by looking at cultural, literary, and filmic manifestations accounts of eating (including cannibalism), and gastronomy from the medieval period to the present, in literature, cultural criticism, and film. Our understanding of this relationship will be enlightened and enlivened by various historical, psychoanalytic, and philosophical readings.  

Readings:

Medieval

Lai d’Ignauré

Roman du chatelaine de Couci et de la dame de Fayel

La Châtelaine de Vergi

Renaissance

Rabelais, Œuvres (extraits)

Montaigne, “Des cannibales”

17e siècle

La Fontaine, Fables

Madame de Sévigné: Lettre sur la mort de Vatel

18e siècle

L’Encyclopédie (extraits photocopiés)

Brillat-Savarin, Physiologie du gout

Grimod de la Reynière

19e siècle

Baudelaire, Les paradis artificiels

Gautier, divers poems sur le haschisch et l’opium

Balzac, “Traité des excitants modernes”

Zola, Le Ventre de Paris et Germinal

Charles Monselet, critique gastronomique

20e siècle

poems de Valéry, Ponge

Proust, extraits de A la recherché du temps perdu

Roland Barthes, Mythologies et L’Empire des signes (extraits)

 

films:

Le Festin de Babette

Vatel

Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie

La Grande Bouffe

 

Grading:

Participation                           20%

Commentaires de lecture         10%

Presentation                            10%

Short paper                             25%

EUS 347 • Intro Fr Lit I: Mid Ages-18c

36770 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 2.122

Please check back for updates.

FR 180P • Intro To Studies In Lit & Cul

37185 • Fall 2013
Meets W 5:00PM-6:00PM HRH 2.112
(also listed as ITL 180P)

Required of all first-year graduate students in the Department of French and Italian.  

FR 326L • Intro Fr Lit II: Fr Rev-Pres

36850 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM HRH 2.112

FLAGS:   GC

FR 180P • Intro To Studies In Lit & Cul

36840 • Fall 2012
Meets W 5:00PM-6:00PM HRH 2.112
(also listed as ITL 180P)

Required of all first-year graduate students in the Department of French and Italian.  

FR 326L • Intro Fr Lit II: Fr Rev-Pres

36705 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 1.208

FLAGS:   GC

FR 326L • Intro Fr Lit II: Fr Rev-Pres

36895 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 1.126

FLAGS:   GC

C L 385 • Theories Of Literary Criticism

32725 • Spring 2007
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 8A

Course Description

This course will aim to provide a reasonably representative introduction to literary theory from Socratic texts through Augustine’s important contributions into the late nineteenth century.  Throughout the course we shall have a double emphasis:  grappling with the original historical goals of these works and detecting the way in which the problems they address continue to define the terms of modern theoretical debates so as to remain pressing today.  Particular attention will be paid both to the Platonic attack upon poetry and rhetoric, particularly in the course of his remarks about tragedy, and to Aristotle’s complex and multiple responses.  The Roman revisers of the Greek inheritance will be viewed as a first reception, to be followed by several examples drawn from the Renaissance and from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  The later texts will draw out implications from the classical material of India, Japan, Greece and the Hebrew tradition in ways which inflect the material for particular aesthetic and ideological purposes.  We shall be especially interested in the flurry of theoretical activity throughout the nineteenth century as the aesthetic and philosophical apparatus attempts to cope with the very real implications of the century: industrialism, empire, the decline of metaphysics, etc.  A final gesture will be made towards the implications of this historical trajectory for the twentieth century.

 

Readings

Required Texts:

Hazard Adams, Critical Theory Since Plato (HBJ, 1992)

Reader, available from Speedway, Dobie Mall, 2nd Level (469-5653)

 

All texts will be available in the original languages as well as in suitable English translations.  Students are encouraged to read texts in the original where possible. Selections will be drawn primarily from Hazard Adams, Critical Theory Since Plato with additional texts such as selections from the Natyasastra; Midrash, Tacitus, Dialogus, Giraldi Cinthio, Internal Discourse; Du Bellay, Defense and Illustration; Diderot, Rameau’s Nephew; Schiller, Naïve and Sentimental Poetry; Kleist, “On the Marionette Theater;” Shleiermacher, “1819 Lectures on Hermeneutics;” Derrida, Dissemination; Baudrillard, Simlulations.

FR 320E • Adv French I: Written Emphasis

34883 • Fall 2005
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BEN 1.106

Description of FR320E

 

FR 320E • Advanced French I

Prerequisites

FR 612, 312L, 312M, 312N, or the equivalent.

Course Description

This course will be taught in French.

The objective of this course is to improve all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) through a series of communicative tasks (compositions, listening comprehension activities, dictations, oral practice, etc.). Emphasis is placed on diversifying vocabulary, mastering a wider range of grammatical structures, increasing fluency, and developing appropriate rhetorical strategies for essay writing in French. And finally, participants can expect to learn about social issues in the French-speaking world (e.g. role of media in society, immigration, globalization, education, etc.)


Grading Policy

Chapter Exams (4 x 10%) 40%

Oral Exams  (3 x 5%) 15%

Compositions  (4 x 5%) 20%

Daily Assignments  15%

Final Project  10%

FINAL EXAM: NO


Texts

Oukada, Larbi. 2nd Ed. 2012. Controverses. Boston: Thomson/Cengage Heinle. (ISBN textbook 9780495797777; workbook 9781439082065): Required

Hawkins, French Grammar and Usage, (2nd edition), 2001, MCG, ISBN: 9780658017988: Recommended

Oxford, Compact Oxford Hachette French Dictionary, 3rd Ed., Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780198610717: Recommended

FR 358 • Travel In French Literature-W

32335 • Spring 2002
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CAL 419

Topics in literature or culture, with a focus on study in depth or on synthesis.

FR 506 • First-Year French I

32820 • Fall 2001
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:00AM BAT 105

test 2 from add/edi course first screen

FR 506 • First-Year French I

32830 • Fall 2001
Meets MTWTHF 11:00AM-12:00PM BAT 105

test 2 from add/edi course first screen

FR 322E • Adv French II: Oral Emphasis

32205 • Spring 2000
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BAT 302

Description of FR322E

 

FR 322E • Advanced French II

Prerequisites

FR 320E with a grade of at least a C

Course Description

This course will be taught in French.

The objective of this course is to improve all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) through a series of communicative tasks (compositions, listening comprehension activities, dictations, oral practice, etc.). Emphasis is placed on diversifying vocabulary, mastering a wider range of grammatical structures, increasing fluency, and developing appropriate rhetorical strategies for essay writing in French. And finally, participants can expect to learn about social issues in the French-speaking world (e.g. role of media in society, immigration, globalization, education, etc.)

Grading Policy

Chapter Exams (4 x 10%) 40%

Oral Exams  (3 x 5%) 15%


Compositions  (4 x 5%) 20%

Daily Assignments  15%

Final Project  10%

FINAL EXAM: NO

Texts

Oukada, Larbi. 2nd Ed. 2012. Controverses. Boston: Thomson/Cengage Heinle. (ISBN textbook 9780495797777; workbook 9781439082065): Required

Hawkins, French Grammar and Usage, (2nd edition), 2001, MCG, ISBN: 9780658017988: Recommended

Oxford, Compact Oxford Hachette French Dictionary, 3rd Ed., Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780198610717: Recommended

External Grants


Fellowships

 

  • 2007-8  Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship (year); Renaissance Society of America Senior Scholar Research Grant for research in Paris (one month).
  • 2002-3  Sabbatical Fellowship, American Philosophical Society.
  • 2001 Marandon Fellowship, Society of American Professors of French, 6 mos.
  • 1996-97 Fulbright-Hays senior research fellowship (Paris, France), 6 mos.

 

Publications


Bizer, M. (2016). “Poetry and Modernity,” The Cambridge Companion to French Literature, ed. John Lyons. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 34-41.

Bizer, M. (2011)Homer and the Politics of Authority in Renaissance France. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 272pp. Oxford Scholarship Online. Oxford University Press. January 2012.

http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/ClassicalStudies/?view=usa&ci=9780199731565

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731565.001.0001

Bizer, M. (2010). "From Lyric to Epic and Back: Joachim Du Bellay's Epic Regrets." Modern Language Quarterly 71.2. 107-127.

Bizer, M. (2008). “Homer, La Boétie, Montaigne, and the Question of Sovereignty.” In Zahi Zalloua and Reinier Leushuis (Eds.), “Esprit généreux, esprit pantagruélicque”: Essays by His Students In Honor of François Rigolot. Geneva: Droz, 259-277.

Bizer, M. (2006). “Men are from Mars: Jean de Sponde’s Homeric Heroes and Vision of Just French Leaders.” In Philip Ford and Paul White (Eds.), Masculinities in Sixteenth-Century France. Cambridge: Cambridge French Colloquia, 167-179.

Bizer, M. (2006). “Garnier’s La Troade between Homeric Fiction and French History: the Question of Moral Authority.” Romance Notes 46.3 (2006). 331-39.

Bizer, M. (2004, September). What’s in a Name? Biography vs. Wordplay in Du Bellay’s Regrets. Early Modern France, 9, 99-109.

Bizer, M. (2002). ‘Qui a païs n'a que faire de patrie’: Joachim Du Bellay’s Resistance to a French Identity. Romanic Review 91.4, 375-395.

Bizer, M. (2002). A Source of Du Bellay’s Most Famous Sonnet: ‘Heureux qui comme Ulysse’. Romance Notes, 42.3, 371-375.

Bizer, M. (2001). Les Lettres Romaines de Du Bellay: Les Regrets et la Tradition Epistolaire. Montreal: University of Montreal Press. 302pp.

Bizer, M. (1999). “Letters from Home: The Epistolary Aspects of Joachim Du Bellay’s Regrets.” Renaissance Quarterly 52.1, 140-79.

Bizer, M. (1996). “The Reflection of the Other in One’s Own Mirror: The Idea of the Portrait in Renaissance imitatio.”Romance Notes 36.2, 191-9.

Bizer, M. (1995). “Ronsard the poet, Belleau the Translator: The Difficulties of Writing in the Laureate’s Shadow”. In K. Lloyd-Jones & J. Beer (Eds.), Humanist Translators and their Craft. Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University, 175-226.

Bizer, M. (1995). La Poésie au Miroir: Imitation et Conscience de Soi dans la Poésie Latine de la Pléiade. Paris: Honoré Champion. 227pp.

Bizer, M. (1995). “Salammbô, Polybe et la rhétorique de la violence.” Revue d’Histoire Littéraire de la France 6, 974-88.

Bizer, M. (1994). “The Genealogy of Poetry According to Ronsard and Julius Cesar Scaliger.” Humanistica Lovaniensia 43, 304-318.

Curriculum Vitae


Profile Pages


External Links



  • Department of French and Italian

    University of Texas at Austin
    201 W 21st Street STOP B7600
    HRH 2.114A
    Austin, TX 78712-1800
    512-471-5531