Sara Kippur

French House Virtual Lecture Series: Sara Kippur

Not just a Manuel de grammaire: Selling French Literature to American Students
May 6, 2021, 2:30 PM
Free and open to the public

Join Wellesley's French House in welcoming Trinity College professor Sara Kippur for her lecture Not just a Manuel de grammaire: Selling French Literature to American Students.

This talk focuses on three discrete moments—in the 1940s, 1960s, and 1980s—when we see, through the textbooks that were used in French-language classrooms, how college students of French in the U.S. had a tangible effect on how French literature was created, imagined, and produced. The textbooks we will examine include La République du silence, by the New Yorker writer A.J. Liebling, which sought to counter American ideas of French collaboration in the Vichy period; the playwright Eugène Ionesco’s Mise en train, which aimed to defamiliarize the experience of language-learning; and the experimental Le Rendez-vous by the famed New Novelist, Alain Robbe-Grillet, which became his most commercially successful novel of all time, when it was later published in France. All three projects exemplify a spirit of collaboration between writers and French university professors, and they demonstrate, as this talk will argue, the ways in which French-language students in the U.S. have been a crucual market for supporting and sustaining the production of French literature.

Please register in advance.

For more information, please contact:

Abi Sandy (; Marie-Cécile Ganne-Schiermeir (