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Event Details:

Please join French-Speaking Worlds: Then and Now for a talk by Jennifer Tamas-Le Mentheour (Associate Professor of French, Rutgers University-New Brunswick).

Revising the French Canon and Reading Consent through Beauty and the Beast

Everybody has heard about Beauty and the Beast. This fairy tale became part of the popular culture and inspired independent movie directors (from Jean Cocteau to Christophe Gans) as well as the entertainment industry (Disney). However, few people are aware that a “male gaze” prevailed in establishing the reception of Beauty and the Beast, which radically transformed the meaning of the story. Written by Madame de Villeneuve in 1740, Beauty and the Beast tackles the issue of sexual consent to unpack female desire, the constraint of marriage and the encounter of the other. I will examine the different "layers of consent" (personal, familial, conjugal and territorial) and highlight how a "patriarchal gaze" undervalued female agency in censoring and rewriting the works of women writers.

Bio: Jennifer Tamas-Le Menthéour is an Associate Professor of French at Rutgers University. Her teaching interests range from the Old Regime to the French Revolution and explore the boundaries between passions and politics. She is the author of Au NON des femmes. Libérer nos classiques du regard masculin (Paris, Seuil, 2023), which investigates how the “male gaze” prevailed in establishing the French canon and its reception.

Hosted by the French-Speaking Worlds: Then and Now Research Group, sponsored by the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages Research Unit and co-sponsored by the France-Stanford Center and Stanford Global Studies.

This event is part of Stanford Global Studies’ Global Research Workshop Program.