William Poulin-Deltour
Office
Le Chateau 102
Tel
(802) 443-5248
Email
wpoulind@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Fall 2022: Tues & Thurs 9:00-11:30 & by appointment

William Poulin-Deltour holds a D.E.A. from the École normale supérieure des hautes études en sciences sociales, an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. from New York University.

His teaching and research interests include the anthropology of France, sex and gender in contemporary France, multiculturalism,and the French educational system.

Courses Taught

Course Description

Senior Thesis
A senior thesis is normally completed over two semesters. During Fall and Winter terms, or Winter and Spring terms, students will write a 35-page (article length) comparative essay, firmly situated in literary analysis. Students are responsible for identifying and arranging to work with their primary language and secondary language readers, and consulting with the program director before completing the CMLT Thesis Declaration form. (Approval required.)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Intermediate French II
An active and intensive review of French grammar for students having had good beginning-level training in French. We will work not only to perfect mastery of the structures of the language with practice of writing and reading, but also to develop oral comprehension and production skills. (FREN 0103 or FREN 0105 or placement) 5 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Toward Liberated Expression
A course designed to increase and perfect the ability to express oneself in spoken and written French. Emphasis on precision, variety, and vocabulary acquisition. Sections limited to 15 students. (FREN 0201, 0203 or placement) This requirement for the major and the minor may be satisfied by placement at a higher level. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Self and Society: Effective Writing in French
In this course, students will deepen their knowledge of the French language and French-speaking cultures while developing their reading and writing skills through examination of a variety of texts and media. This course facilitates the transition from language-oriented courses (FREN 0205) to content-oriented courses (such as FREN 0220 and FREN 0230) by introducing students to strategies for interpretation and discussion, with a focus on effective writing. Course materials may include essays/articles, theater, fiction, poetry, videos, and films. (FREN 0205 or by placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

CW, EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Introduction to Contemporary France
In this interdisciplinary course we will examine the evolving social and political landscape of France in the 21st century. How is French society reconciling contemporary challenges with deeply entrenched institutions and values? How does everyday life reflect the evolution of long-term trends? How are immigration, growing inequalities, and membership in the European Union challenging French identity and the notion of “Frenchness”? We will focus our attention on demography and the family, the educational system, politics, and the French social model or welfare state. Emphasis will be on oral expression and the acquisition of specialized vocabulary. Sources will include articles from the French and American press, documents, and film. This course is recommended for all students planning to study in France. (FREN 0209, 0210 or placement); open to first-semester first-year students with permission.)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

France: A Multicultural Society?
The debates over "national identity" and the "niqab affair" (2009-2010) demonstrated once again just how controversial the notion of cultural pluralism remains in France. Using an historical and sociological approach, we will examine the sources of French unease over such public displays of "private" difference. We will explore France's colonial past and immigration; different forms of socio-political mobilization around ethnic, religious, and sexual "identities"; measures adopted by the French to combat ethno-racial discrimination. Sources will include sociological texts, articles from French press, websites, and films. (FREN 0221 or FREN 0230 or by waiver). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

From Citizenship to Social Mobility: The Shifting Role of Public Education in France
Since the establishment of a free, compulsory, and secular school system in the early 1880s, the position of public education in French society has evolved significantly. Designed originally to create an "educated" citizenry, its function has increasingly been interpreted as one of promoting social mobility and "equal opportunity" within that citizenry. Over the course of this shift, education has become a site of fierce debate in France. We will take a historical and sociological approach to explore the contours of this debate, covering such topics as: primary school teachers' role in forging national identity during the Third Republic; efforts after World War II to democratize the system; and current attempts to diversify elite institutions of higher education. Authors will include Baudelot, Bourdieu, Dubet, Ozouf, and Prost. (FREN 0220-0230 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

French Sexual Politics
Reaction to the recent Dominic Strauss-Kahn scandal and deliberations over same-sex marriage are but two illustrations of the important role sex and gender differences continue to play in contemporary French society. In this course we will examine the political responses such phenomena have elicited. Topics will include: the evolution of gender roles within French family structure, including homoparentalité; attempts to increase women's participation in French national politics, especially via the parité initiative; the question of Muslim women's integration in-or exclusion from-French society; and the attention given to sex and gender differences in anti-discrimination policies. We will critically assess French media and writings from sociology and political philosophy. (This course will be taught in French; FREN 0230 or by waiver) 3 hrs.lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Independent Project
Qualified students may be permitted to undertake a special project in reading and research under the direction of a member of the department. Students should seek an advisor and submit a proposal to the department well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be undertaken. (Approval required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Senior Honors Essay
For this one-term course, qualified senior majors who wish to be considered for Honors in French must submit a proposal well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be undertaken. (Approval required; see requirements.)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Senior Honors Thesis
Qualified senior majors who wish to be considered for Honors in French must submit a proposal well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be undertaken. (Approval required; see requirements above.)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

The Paradox of French Multiculturalism

When presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron was asked if France was multicultural in 2017, he responded, “There is not one French culture; France is diverse and multiple.” He quickly added, however, “France has never been, and will never be, a multicultural nation.” In this course, we will explore this seeming paradox through an historical and sociological approach. We will start with the ancien régime’s exceptional cultural diversity after which we will analyze the Republic’s attempt to construct a national culture around which to unify its citizens at the end of the 19th century through 1940. We will end with an examination of the challenges postcolonial immigration pose for today’s France. Short papers weekly, choice of final project (podcast, reportage, video in consultation with professor).

Terms Taught

Summer 2020 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

Requirements

Civ Cul & Soc

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Course Description

European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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Publications

“Community, Communauté : The Gay 90s in France and the United States” (forthcoming)

“France’s Gais retraités: Questioning the ‘Image of the Closet’ ” Modern and Contemporary France, Vol.16, No. 3, August 2008, pp. 313-328.

“Gender Studies. Sont-elles toujours au goût du jour sur les campus américains?” Travail Genre et Sociétés  31 (April 2014): 35-49.

“Should Sam Rap or Play the Violin? The Ambiguities of Prepping the Underprivileged for Paris’s Sciences Po.” Contemporary French Civilization 38, 3 (Winter, 2013): 305-322.

“The Prépa de Proximité: A French Attempt at Affirmative Action in Higher Education?” French Politics, Culture and Society 31, 3 (Winter 2013): 114-134.

Review of David Caron’s The Nearness of Others. Searching for Tact and Contact in the Age of HIV ((Minneapolis: U. of Minnesota Press, 2014) in H-France, 15,2 (January 2015).

“Il ne s’agit pas de promouvoir une ‘idéologie’ prônant la fin de la différence sexuelle” in l’Humanité, January 22, 2015, page 14.