The Department of French and Italian

Italian Placement Testing on 08/28 in HRH 2.106B @ 1:30 pm

FIGSO Working Papers Series

Matt Rabatin, Sarah Lube, and Nick Spinelli to present

Fri, November 2, 2012 | HRH 2.118

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

FIGSO Working Papers Series

Working Papers Series


Matt Rabatin
Il volo de La Libellula: Masculinity, lo sguardo obliquo, and the Italian Resistance
This presentation will take into consideration Bert D’Arragon’s La libellula, the story of a homosexual couple active in the Italian Resistance from itsinitial phases in the 1920s to its culmination in the armed combat of the Second World War. I argue that the narrative’s use of the sguardo obliquo,described by the Italian writing collective Wu Ming as the “fusion of ethics and style”, takes on an ambivalent nature. Narrating a historical moment from a marginal point of view, La libellula suggests a revaluation of the Italian Resistance in light of queer participation. At the same time, the novel’s main characters are unable to subvert gendered ideologies of dominance and submission.

Sarah Lube
Secondary Characters and Conversion in Rotrou’s Le Véritable Saint Genest,and Molière’s Dom Juan
This paper proposes a new approach to reading conversion in Jean Rotrou’s Le Véritable Saint Genest (1646). I contrast the perspective of secondary characters (fellow actors and Romanspectators) and their unbelien Genest’s true religious conversion, with the perspectives of secondary characters (Sganarelle, Dom Louis, and Elvire) in Molière’s Dom Juan (1665), who all believe in a false religious conversion. I conclude that understanding this reversal in receptions ofconversion reects the importance of individual perspective and changing ideas about the pleasure of theatre.


Nick Spinelli
This paper examines how modern historical lms whose setting revolvesaround Franceunder the reign of Louis XVI (Marie Antonette, Ridicule, The Aair of the Necklace, etc.) have represented male and femalehomoeroticism. The depictions of queeranity within these lms is compared and contrasted with popular eighteenth-century texts that address men’s and women’s sexuality, such as Denis Diderot’s La Réligieuse, Gabriel Mirabeau’s Le Libertin de qualité, and Restif de la Bretonne’s Les Nuits de paris. Modern lm reimagines the last days of the Ancien Régime as a time of eusive decadence, portraying the court as a hermetic universe whose politics were motivated by the conspicuous and hedonistic pursuit of pleasure. Within this libertine framework, directors such as Charles Shyer and Benoît Jacqout include eeting scenes of homoerotic attraction among the numerous acts of uninhibited consumption associated with Versailles. The scope of this project considers both the modernlmic vision of homoeroticism
in Louis XVI’s France and the portrayal of queer eroticism in French literature of the era. Thus, this paper seeks to articulate the facets of eighteenth-century fiction that have been exploited, exaggerated, and reconstructed to realize a hedonism with which the twenty-first century spectator can identify. Lastly, this paper analyzes the recombinant narrative which these lms construct as they reimagine European history and posit the existence of queer anity in eighteenth century France, whose presence has otherwise been neglected in and excised from the literary archive.


Friday, November 2 | 3:30-5:00 pm
French & Italian Lounge| HRH 2.118

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Tavola Italiana

Informal Italian conversation practice Fridays 3-4pm at the Texas Union's Cactus Café. Open to all students of Italian. Contact Antonella Olson for more information.

Le Cercle français

Informal French conversation practice Fridays in the Texas Union's Cactus Café from 3-4pm. Open to all students of French. Contact Nancy Guilloteau for more information.


Italian Placement Testing 

Professor Antonella will be administering placement exams on Monday, August 28th in HRH 2.106B at 1:30 pm. If you are seeking to take an Italian Language Placement Test, please attend this session. Due to time constraints makeups are not guranteed.

Cineforum Italiano

Hosting Italian films with English subtitles every Thursdays at 8:00 pm in Mezes B0.306. 

  • Department of French and Italian

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