We invite proposals for a volume in the MLA Options for Teaching series entitled Teaching French Neoclassical Tragedy. A guiding question for the volume will be, Why teach French neoclassical tragedy, and why now?
Teaching French Neoclassical Tragedy aims to help faculty members in a variety of disciplines introduce French neoclassical tragedies to students in a manner that emphasizes both the corpus’s irreducible strangeness and its piercing relevance to our own troubled and transitional times. We are keen to showcase essays that seek to move past, or at least rethink, categories that in large part were imposed on this corpus during the past three hundred years. Essays that place the theatrical texts in productive dialogue with salon culture, the rise of the novel, or developments in philosophy and science are of particular interest, as are contributions that restore women to their status as full participants—as spectators, critics, and playwrights—in the theatrical conversation. In addition, we welcome submissions by scholars attentive to the newly emergent global history who draw attention to French neoclassical theater’s engagement with ideas and works from other national traditions, including European colonial expansion and francophone spaces beyond metropolitan France. In short, we hope to establish a conversation between specialists and nonspecialists that will open this compellingly complex corpus to new perspectives and audiences.
All the essays will have primarily pedagogical aims, and the volume will also dedicate a section to nuts-and-bolts issues in the classroom, with essays that outline successful assignments and practices. We will be careful to address a range of challenges and concerns pertinent to diverse institutional settings and various pedagogical formats: early modern courses, survey courses, first-year writing courses, comparative approaches to tragedy, seminars on politics and literature, and courses in translation. Finally, we hope to present innovative work on neoclassical tragedy in a variety of digital humanities approaches.
If you are interested in contributing an essay of 3,000–5,000 words, please send a two-page CV and 500-word proposal by 1 August 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Proposals should include the name(s) of the writer(s) you intend to discuss and the argumentative thrust of the proposed essay as well as clear pedagogic implications.
Please note that any quotations from student papers will require written permission from the students.