Audrey Lasserre, a faculty member in French literature at Middlebury College School in France since 2003, brilliantly defended her doctoral thesis in French Literature at Civilization at the l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 on December 3rd. Please click here for her dissertation defense details : http://www.univ-paris3.fr/soutenance-de-these-mme-audrey-lasserre-296151.kjsp?RH=1233068248160
We wish to congratulate her and wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors, which we hope will still include Middlebury in France. Her successful defense represents the culminating point of years of research and writing (the results of which take the form of a 711 page document) and are proud to share the fact the she already has a publisher interested in the manuscript.
Below you’ll find a short summary of her dissertation :
The Women’s Liberation Movement (MLF) was not only a political and social movement, but one of the last, if not the very last, literary avant-garde that France has experienced. From an international perspective, the activity of the literary women within the movement represents one of the fundamental principles of the fight for women’s rights in France. The demonstrators, who publicly placed a bouquet of flowers for the unknown wife of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe on August 26th 1970, are for some, and are soon to become for others, women writers. Ten years later, the MLF, a recently registered trademark with the National Institute for Intellectual Property Rights, belongs to the editor, Antoinette Fouque, promotor of female writing. Within the space determined by these two fixed points, there exists a collection of texts that adhere to two major trends – although antagonistic – of the movement, Feminism on one hand and Neofeminity, or the praise for “difference”, on the other hand. Mirroring each other, a dual editorial form develops, sharing publishers and scholarly journals, into two distinct literary and militant factions. For ten years, literature served the purpose of the Women’s Liberation Movement as much as the latter promoted literature, each influencing and informing the other by practice and thought. It is precisely this coexistence between literature and the Women’s Liberation Movement that the present dissertation proposes to examine, in order to trace the political movement that was and made itself literary, and, by the same token, a literature that was and made itself political. At the same time, the dissertation continues the question asked of literature by an entire women’s movement, challenging its assigned definitions and pushing back its boundaries.