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Jennifer Tamas

Professor of French

Office: AB 4178, CAC

Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Phone: (848) 932-3794

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Tamas2

Education:

Licence, Maîtrise, DEA, Université Paris IV Sorbonne
Agrégation de Lettres Modernes
Doctorat, Paris IV Sorbonne
PhD at Stanford University

Fields of Research:

Performance Theory
Speech Act Theory
Eloquence of silence
Early Modern Theater
Rhetoric of Human Rights

I left France in 2006 when I was granted a Fulbright fellowship to study in the USA. I now hold a PhD from Stanford University. My dissertation [A Revolution in Rhetoric: Claiming the Authority to Speak in Early Modern France (1643-1793)], explores the intersection between politic, religious and theatrical texts through the lens of "declaration." I also hold a PhD in Literature and Stylistics from Paris IV Sorbonne [Dire et ne pas dire. Du silence éloquent à l'énonciation tragique des déclarations d'amour chez Racine]. This study focuses on the implications of the unsaid in Racine's dramaturgy.

My teaching interests range from the Old Regime to the French Revolution and explore the boundaries between passions and politics. I published numerous articles on passions and theater. I am also interested in the linguistic power of silence. I recently co-directed with Hélène Bilis a volume entitled L'Éloquence du silence: dramaturgie du non-dit sur la scène théâtrale des 17e et 18e siècles (Classiques Garnier, 2014). This volume investigates the paradoxical question of how silence makes itself heard on the theatrical stage. I am currently finishing an essay on love declaration as a problematic speech act (En amour, que déclare-t-on?). In addition, my main book project explores Racine's dramaturgy of silence (tentative title: La scène interdite. Racine et la rhétorique du silence). This study draws on seventeenth-century rhetorical treatises, as well as on codes of civility and theater practice, to argue that Racine's plays depict the struggle against the unspoken. Each play stages the revelation of something unacceptable and impossible to articulate: Phèdre has to reveal an incestuous love; Agamemnon has to tell his daughter he must sacrifice her; Titus has to leave Bérénice, despite loving her. But how does one express the unspeakable? Above all, how does one avoid terrifying the listener? Silence, whether through a pure absence of words or murmuring voices that inhibit an answer, rests at the core of these discursive exchanges. Racine jeopardizes Aristotle's conception of mimesis by inaugurating a new form of theater that relies on speech rather than on action. Racine's theater questions the following paradox: speech is impossible, but the reticence to speak, once overcome, induces an irreversible process.

Books (click on image for details):

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BOOK

Le Silence trahi. Racine ou la déclaration tragique, Genève, Droz, 2018 (book under contract)

CO-AUTHORED AND CO-EDITED VOLUMES

L’Éloquence du silence: dramaturgie du non-dit sur la scène théâtrale des XVIIe et XVIIIesiècles, Hélène Bilis and Jennifer Tamas (eds.), (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014)

Madame de Sévigné: les Lettres de 1671, Frédéric Calas, Nathalie Freidel, Cécile Lignereux, Jennifer Tamas (Paris: Nathan, 2012)

BOOK CHAPTERS

“Dire et ne pas dire l’amour: formes discursives et effets pragmatiques des aveux dans Mithridate de Racine,” in Mathilde Vallespir and Roselyne de Villeneuve (eds.), (Paris: Presses Universitaires Paris-Sorbonne, 2010), 119-142

“La déclaration d’amour chez Racine: un discours emphatique qui oscille entre épanchement et brièveté,” in Mathilde Levesque and Olivier Pédeflous (eds.), L’Emphase: entre copia et brevitas, XVIe et XVIIe siècles, (Paris: Presses Universitaires Paris-Sorbonne, 2010), 85-98

ARTICLES

‘‘Cœur de renard: la politique incestueuse de Créon dans La Thébaïde”, Papers on French Seventeenth Century Studies, (Forthcoming)

‘‘‘Je demeurai longtemps errant dans Césarée’. Méandres du moi et fixité du lieu dans Bérénice de Racine,” Papers on French Seventeenth Century Studies, vol. 216, (Forthcoming)

“The Racinian Tragedy: a School of Life,” in “Teaching Neoclassical Tragedy,” Hélène Bilis and Ellen McClure (eds.), MLA Options for Teaching (Forthcoming)

‘‘‘Est-ce un malheur si grand que de cesser de vivre?’ Le spectacle du suicide dans la tragédie racinienne,” European Drama and Performance Studies, n°7, 2016-2, 89-103

“La mort orpheline: le suicide des mères chez Racine,” Papers on French Seventeenth Century Studies, vol. XLII, n°83, 2015, 301-312

“De l’alcôve à la tribune: Olympe de Gouges ou le désir d’agir,” Lumières, n°23, 2014, 151-166

“Racine: une dramaturgie de l’indicible,” European Drama and Performance Studies, n°2, 2014, 77-100

‘‘Valmont ou la sémiotique du corps au service d’une séditieuse séduction,’’ in Christian Delporte and Audrey Hermel (eds.), Corps et séduction, (Paris: Éditions et Librairie ancienne Nicolas Malais, 2014), 151-162

“L’imaginaire de la clôture à travers le cloître et la maison close au XVIIe siècle: la femme et la mise au ban de la société française,” La Licorne, n°94, 2010, 85-99

“La Médée d’Anouilh: entre drame intime et vision mythique d’une France blessée,” Revue du Paon d’Héra, n°5, 2009, 187-194

 

Undergraduate Courses: 

Aspects of French Literature

Faire sa cour: splendeur et misère des courtisan(e)s du   Moyen-Âge à la Révolution française

We Need to Talk ! Theater and Polemics in Early-Modern   France

Dangerous   Liaisons. Love and Death Before the French Revolution   (Middlebury College)

"Le Style à la lettre" (Institut d'Études   Françaises d'Avignon): http://style204.wordpress.com

The Only Way Out: From the Past to the Stage

 

 

Graduate Course:

Indicible Racine

 

Program Connections:

Program in Early Modern Studies

 

 

Contact Us


Academic Building, 4th floor
15 Seminary Place
College Avenue Campus
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
french1@rci.rutgers.edu