Harvard University Class Focuses on “Ubiquitous” Feces in French Literature


Harvard University has a class that focuses solely on feces.

The Ivy League teacher who teaches the class was not available for comment, but the Description of the course is clear: “This course proposes to take this fecal presence seriously and to be attentive to the things it has to say to us …”

Annabel Kim, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages ​​and Literatures at Harvard, teaches the four-credit course “Cacaphonies: Towards an Excremental Poetics” which presents “a wide range of scatological texts” from the 20th and 21st centuries.

“French literature, from the Middle Ages to the present day, has been systematically and remarkably scatological,” reads the description of the class. “Fecal matter is omnipresent in the works and authors that we consider canonical (e.g. the fabliaux, Rabelais, de Sade, Beckett, Céline) and yet its presence has been remarkably overwhelmed or ignored in the reading and critical reception of the modern and contemporary French literature. “

The course description for "Cacaphonies: towards an excremental poetics."

The description of the course “Cacaphonies: towards an excremental poetics”.

The aim of the course is to help graduate students from America’s oldest university “to articulate and realize an original approach to literature which, rather than seeing feces as a site of disgust, sees it as a creation site ”, indicates the description.

The course catalog compares writing to digestion: “The task of excretion – we excrete what we take in, transform it and give it a new form – is also the task of literature. “

Criticizing the works in class “will hide, contain, cleanse and force the culture”.

The course will also examine how feces affect women in French literature, including “the gender of constipation as a female condition”.

Finally, they will examine Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosexual development involving “the importance of feces for the dominant” as an example.

Kim also teaches “Queer Fictions” among other literature courses.


“I’m interested in feminist writing and theory, the novel… and the ethical and political implications of writing and reading fiction,” Kim says. biography page. “Although I specialize in 20th and 21st century French literature, I have a soft spot for 18th and 19th century literature, despite the multiple ways it kills its wives.

While the reading assignments will be in French, the course will be taught in English.

Harvard University declined to comment when contacted by Fox News.

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