Nothing seems more counterintuitive than to turn to the society of the Ancien Régime in order to to understand female resistance. Called upon by civility treatises to demonstrate reserve, or to feign resistance by codes of seduction, one might conclude that the heroines of classical literature have nothing to teach us, and certainly not the capacity to say ‘no’. Jennifer Tamas proposes otherwise. In Au NON des femmes, she demonstrates how the women of the Grand Siècle resisted, disobeyed, and left traces of combat against a patriarchal society. From the Princesse de Clèves to Bérénice, Tamas uncovers a lineage of powerful, subversive refusals on the part of heroines, obfuscated by centuries of patriarchal interpretations. Offering a new way of reading classical texts, Tamas liberates the women of literature from the masculine gaze which has falsely rendered them submissive.
About the speaker:
Jennifer Tamas is Associate Professor of French at Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA). Her teaching interests range from the Old Regime to the French Revolution and explore the boundaries between passions and politics. She received her Agrégation de Lettres in 2006 and her PhD from Stanford University in 2013. She holds a further PhD in Literature and Stylistics from Paris IV Sorbonne, which she received in 2012.
Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Tamas will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.
This event requires advance registration.
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