With the dual aim of contributing to the promotion of French culture and equal opportunities, the Baudelaire programme provides some twenty students per year with interdisciplinary and experimental training in literature, combining the demands of a theoretical academic approach with the practical exploration of writing, the visual arts, and stage direction in order to bring students right into the world of literary texts and works.
The courses take place at the Hôtel de Vogüé, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, a setting for a dialogue between students, teachers, and guest artists comprising three hours of teaching per week, from October to June, as a complement to the students’ university curriculum.
The constant interaction with different cultural and educational institutions (theatres, the Maison de la Poésie, Maison des écrivains, publishing houses, the French American International High School of San Francisco) provides students with an opening to different professions involved in promoting access to literature.
The lectures lay the foundations for theoretical teaching on the specificity of the literary text, its writing, and its reading. The major literary genres (novel, poetry, drama, essay) are studied diachronically and in relation to literary history and the history of arts.
1. Reading. What is a literary work? Literarity of the text and aesthetics of reception.
2. Writing. A singular experience. Genetics of the text. Writers’ views on creation.
3. The Novel. Reality and fiction. Theories of the novel. Deconstruction of a genre.
4. Poetry. A language in itself. The poet in the city. How to read a poem? The poet’s function.
5. Theatre. Ancient theatre. Classical theatre. Staging. Theatrical mimesis.
6. Function of literature.
Art for art’s sake/the writer in situation.
Tutorials are an essential extension of the lectures. Students gain practical experience of the theoretical points covered through writing workshops, dialogues with contemporary authors, publications, stage experience, and reading aloud. The visual arts workshop offers students the possibility of translating the subject matter of the courses into works exhibited at the Hôtel de Vogüé.
1. Literary history from the Middle Ages to the 21st century
Reading aloud selected texts, with a view to the preparation of a literary anthology, commented and published.
2. History of the arts and creation of works
in connection with the themes studied in the Baudelaire programme courses.
3. Writing workshops
in partnership with the Maison de la Poésie. Themes: literary myths and self-writing. Reading of the texts on the stage of the Maison de la Poésie. Publication of the texts by the Maison de la Poésie.
4. Theatre and representation, from the baroque period to the 21st century
Partnerships with the theatre La Reine Blanche, the French American Internatioal High School of San Francisco, the publishing house Les Belles Lettres for the French translations of Shakespeare’s works by contemporary authors. Introduction to translation and dramatic art. Cultural exchange between the students and the French American High School of San Francisco.
5. Literature from the Middle Ages to the 21st century
Partnership with the theatre La Reine Blanche, in the context of its literary meetings. Dialogue between the students and guest authors whose works are part of the general programme.
6. Literary theory. Aesthetic
Partnership with the magazine NRP. Writing of cultural columns by students, published on the Robert de Sorbon Foundation’s website and in the magazine NRP.
7. Literature and society
Partnership with the Dialogues in the presence of Cécile Ladjali and Murielle Magellan.
Writers, philosophers, filmmakers, visual artists, scientists, politicians, publishers, and journalists regularly speak to students to explore the link between their work and literature.
Cécile Ladjali is a writer and professor of literature. She is the author of novels, essays, and plays. She has published interviews with the philosopher George Steiner, Éloge de la transmission (Albin Michel, 2003), and in 2007, her essay Mauvaise langue (Le Seuil) was awarded the Prix Femina for her defence of the French language. In her teachings, she is committed to combine academic requirements with a writer’s sensitivity.
Florient Azoulay is a playwright, he has founded the Compagnie KGA with Xavier Gallais. His works include plays, essays, and art books. As a translator of theatre pieces, he directs together with Yan Brailowsky a new edition of Shakespeare’s works, published by Les Belles Lettres. Since 2019, he is the artistic and pedagogical co-director of La Salle Blanche, the actor-researcher’s laboratory in Paris.
Marco Castilla is a visual artist and art teacher at the Cours Morvan in Paris. He regularly teaches at the Fémis, a renowned French film school, where he passes on his mastery of painting, sculpture, photography, and video to students. At the Baudelaire Programme, he is in charge of practical teaching, where he accompanies the students in the creation of works related to the content of their courses.
Ismini Vlavianou has a degree in classics (University of Athens), and a doctorate in comparative literature (Paris IV-Sorbonne). Holder of an Agrégation in modern literature, she teaches literature and theatre in Seine-Saint-Denis, and has an active partnership with the MC93 in Bobigny. She initiates European artistic projects on ancient drama and participates in international conferences on the pedagogy of Greek theatre.
Michelle Alison Haner
Michelle Haner is a graduate of Harvard University, of the École Jacques le Coq, of the University of Paris, and of the University of Los Angeles. In the United States, she has worked as an actor and director with numerous theatre companies, as well as for film and television. She has translated plays and organised co-creations with French artists. She is also a teacher at the French American International High School, where she teaches theatre and directs the “Back à dos” company.
The Baudelaire programme at the Maison de la Poésie
The Baudelaire programme at the Quartier du Livre Festival
The Baudelaire catalogue
The sum of the texts and works imagined by the students with their teachers, the memory of the encounters with the artists, writers, and partners who supported them throughout the year, the catalogue of the Baudelaire programme illustrates a unique way of teaching arts and literature by mixing the diversity of cultures with the richness of artistic expressions.