Scholarly Works, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

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  • Lettres de Juan Gris à Maurice Raynal
    Shryock, Richard L. (2023-12-27)
  • Louise Michel and "Le Symbole"
    Shryock, Richard L. (2022-11-03)
  • A Failure of Vision: Diachronic Failure and the Rhetoric of Rupture in the Taiheiki
    Sather, Jeremy A. (University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, 2022-04)
    Japan reached an epistemological crossroad during the fourteenth century. The Wars of the Northern and Southern Courts (1336-1392) were fought between two power enters with vastly different visions for the future: The Southern Court aimed to restore the sacerdotal monarchy of the past and its epistemic framework, what this article calls the ōbō-buppō episteme; the Ashikaga-led Northern Court, conversely, represented a shift toward the secular and the sublimation of royal authority heralding the advent of a new episteme, or the jitsuri episteme. The war chronicle Taiheiki is in large part responsible for our understanding of the conflict far beyond its official end in 1392. This paper argues that Taiheiki is unique among war chronicles in concluding without the restoration of royal authority or the ōbō-buppō episteme, and this failure made it a signifier of epistemic change as well as a source of inspiration for samurai of subsequent generations who wished to affect such change themselves.
  • Moving Beyond the Native-Speaker Bias in the Analysis of Variable Gender Marking
    Gudmestad, Aarnes; Edmonds, Amanda; Metzger, Thomas (2021-08-09)
    In the current study, we respond to calls for reform in second language acquisition that center on the field's preoccupation with native-speaker and prescriptive targets as a benchmark for additional-language learning. In order to address these concerns, we examine the use and development of grammatical gender marking in additional-language Spanish in a prescriptive-independent manner. Specifically, we depart from previous analyses that have centered on accuracy and targetlikeness and we shift the object of analysis to the linguistic forms (i.e., feminine and masculine modifiers) that additional-language participants use. We adopt a variationist approach to explain how participants vary their use of modifier gender and how this use changes longitudinally. We argue that such an approach to studying additional languages allows us to offer new insights about the acquisition of grammatical gender marking in additional-language Spanish. We end by critically reflecting on some of the challenges that we encountered in trying to integrate this paradigm shift into the examination of a well-studied grammatical structure.
  • The Medical Gaze of Rape: Pedagogy, Power, and Blindness
    Johnson, Sharon P. (2021-10-30)
    Luce Irigaray asks in Speculum de l’autre femme “What if the ‘object’ started to speak? Which also means beginning to ‘see,’ etc. What disaggregation of the subject would that entail?” (135). Irigaray’s question elucidates the theoretical framework of this paper when analyzing eight medical reports (1836-1893) that represent an essential, unstudied source for documenting the crime of rape as they furnish important definitions and statistics about viol, attentats à la pudeur or attentats aux moeurs. In his Human Remains, Jonathan Strauss demonstrates that from the late eighteenth through the nineteenth centuries, medicine gained unprecedented credibility as a discipline. It redefined and asserted its legitimacy in respect to other institutions, notably the courts and the church, while its theories and approaches gained a broader truth-value, extending their reach beyond the domain of health to issues of fundamental social interest (6). Those reports’ facts and narrativization contributed to an already booming field accumulating data on other crimes and criminal acts. Moreover, those reports pedagogically (in)formed contemporary and future practicing doctors with a protocol for reading and presenting evidence of violated bodies to magistrates and presiding judges who determined whether a rape had occurred or not. While analyzing the efforts to narrate rape what remains absent are the patients’ voices and points of view. What if the object began to speak? Certainly, she would articulate a resistance to the method, the medicalization of her body and the practice’s blindness to women’s truths about the violence they have lived.
  • La Loi, les narrations juridiques et la Violence : Le Procès du Prêtre Contrafatto
    Johnson, Sharon P. (2021-06-01)
    Law through narrative seeks to maintain a world of right and wrong, of lawful and unlawful of valid and void. Violence in the case of Contrafatto represents not only the violent acts he committed, but the ramifications of legal acts: interpretations in law constitute justifications for violence which has already occurred or which is about to occur. Contrafatto’s crime and 1827 trial underscore these concomitant themes. This paper analyzes the rhetorical strategies used by the prosecution and the defense. For the prosecution, the 5-year old Hortense LeBon’s painful, “naïve” account respire la vérité in all of its “sincerity.” Her attorney argues that she is a victim of des attentes à la pudeur avec violence, having suffered physical violence and “de la violence morale.” The King’s attorney adeptly introduces the idea that a lack of consent represents violence, intertwining law with morality. These positions challenge the traditional interpretations of the Penal Code’s Articles 331 and 332 on rape. Law restores order through narrative. The prosecution questioned a narrow judicial understanding of how Article 332 defined violence on a child younger than 13. This is a perfect example of moral and legal innovation that Robert Cover advances in Justice Accused. Hence, the law did not inflict additional violence to Hortense le Bon by exculpating her rapist. Contrafatto was found guilty of rape and sentenced to a life of hard labor (Travaux à Perpétuité), a justified end to his freedom.
  • L’Affaire Contrafatto: Law and Narrative
    Johnson, Sharon P. (2021)
    On October 15 1827, a 28-year old priest, Joseph Contrafatto, was sentenced for raping five-year old Hortense Le Bon. My article analyses the trial of this cause célèbre, especially the rhetorical strategies used by the prosecution and defense. This is the first study that interprets Contrafatto’s 58-page trial within Robert Cover’s legal framework. Applying Cover’s analyses of “innovative legal arguments” to the Contrafatto case illuminates how the prosecution’s closing arguments were the precursor to new legal definitions of especially article 332 of the Code Pénal. Moreover, omissions and unclear language in the Code contributed to judges and lawyers’ ability to modify rape penal code over time. French jurisprudence would come to include la violence morale (a type of coercion or abuse of an individual’s trust or naivety) and the requirement of consent as constitutive parts of the rape statues concerning children and adults in 1857. This paper considers how narrative shapes law to reflect social mores. For Cover, when a dynamic model of law and judicial processes occur, legal statutes are not static; they are always “becoming” (6). Contrafatto’s trial, analyzed within the context of 19th-century rape penal law, laid the foundation for the evolution of France’s 1810 Penal Code as differing interpretations and social understandings of rape entered into French jurisprudence throughout the century.
  • Le Code en toutes lettres: Écritures et réécritures du Code Civil au XIXe siècle [Book review]
    Johnson, Sharon P. (American Association of Teachers of French, 2021)
    A book review of MAS, MARION et FRANÇOIS KERLOUÉGAN, éd. Le Code en toutes lettres: Écritures et réécritures du Code Civil au XIXe siècle. Classiques Garnier, 2020. ISBN 978-2-406-10046-1. Pp. 309.
  • Consumption, Domesticity and the Female Body in Emile Zola’s Fiction [Book review]
    Johnson, Sharon P. (University of Nebraska, 2016-04-02)
    A book review of Hennessy, Susan S. Consumption, Domesticity and the Female Body in Emile Zola’s Fiction. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2015. Pp. 185. ISBN-13: 978-4955-0361-0
  • Legacies of the Rue Morgue: Science, Space, and Crime Fiction in France [Book review]
    Johnson, Sharon P. (2016-10-01)
    A book review of Andrea Goulet, Legacies of the Rue Morgue: Science, Space, and Crime Fiction in France. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. viii + 295 pp. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, and index. $65.00 U.S. (cl). ISBN 978-0-8122-4779-4.
  • Sexual Crime, Religion and Masculinity in fin-de-siècle France: The Flamidien Affair [Book review]
    Johnson, Sharon P. (Oxford University Press, 2019-04-19)
    A book review of Sexual Crime, Religion and Masculinity in fin-de-siècle France: The Flamidien Affair. By Timothy Verhoeven. (Palgrave Pivot.) Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 122 pp.
  • Afterword
    Johnson, Sharon P. (Virginia Tech Publishing, 2019-12-18)
  • Book review: "Shryock on Forrest (2020)"
    Shryock, Richard L. (University of Nebraska Press, 2021)
    Review of Decadent Aesthetics and the Acrobat in Fin-de-Siècle France, by Jennifer Forrest, Routledge, 2020.
  • Countering Anthropos with Trans-Corporeal Assemblages in Rita Indiana’s Tentacle
    Sierra, Sarah (Il Sileno Edizione, 2021)
    Rita Indiana’s 2015 novel La Mucama de Omicunlé, translated in English as Tentacle in 2018, portrays an attempt to intercede in the events leading to an ecological disaster in the year 2024 by appealing to the agent of the Anthropocene, Anthropos, to restrain from world-destroying behaviors. Characterized by an exceedingly autonomous and individualistic nature, Anthropos is compelled by an incessant and singular focus to fulfill personal desires. Seemingly isolated from the environing world, Anthropos – as an embodiment of human exceptionalism – fails to comprehend that every subject lives entangled with diverse agents at any given moment. The character of Anthropos emerges, then, as a destructive force that interprets the powerless human and more-than-human entities as expendable objects reserved for the improvement of its privileged position in the world. In contradistinction to the self-perceived exceptionalism of Anthropos, Indiana’s novel also generates trans-corporeal assemblages. Successful aversion of the apocalyptic ecological event depends upon these assemblages created by the dispersed consciousness of a prophesied savior, Olokun. This figure’s power emerges from the ability to exist simultaneously in distinct moments of time, what Walter Mignolo characterizes as ‘pluriversal’ that counters the Western hegemonic idea of unilineal temporality and hierarchical classification of subjectivity. However, avoiding the catastrophe that decimates all oceanic life will depend upon a decisive moment when Olokun is forced to choose between his individualistic pleasures to live in the present or to sacrifice himself and his avatars by altering the timeline that would prevent his emergence. In spite of Olokun’s doomed human struggle between self-preservation and the collective good, he engenders multi-temporal and intersubjective assemblages capable of altering the disembodied perspective that guides the Anthropos. These diverse entities that he creates - or actants to use Jane Bennet’s terminology - unite and display the dynamic and productive experience of converging with the richly populated disenfranchised human and more-than-human inhabitants of the planet. The constellation of actants generates potent connections across temporal and spatial boundaries and produces an alternative ontology that resists conceiving of humanity as removed or above a vibrant and diversely inhabited world.