The Pedagogical Imagination


The Pedagogical Imagination

The Republican Legacy in Twenty-First-Century French Literature and Film

Leon Sachs

240 pages
11 illustrations


May 2014


$70.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2014


$70.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2014


$70.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

French school debates of recent years, which are simultaneously debates about the French Republic’s identity and values, have generated a spate of internationally successful literature and film on the topic of education. While mainstream media and scholarly essays tend to treat these works as faithful representations of classroom reality, The Pedagogical Imagination takes a different approach.
In this study of French education and republicanism as represented in twenty-first-century French literature and film, Leon Sachs shifts our attention from “what” literature and film say about education to “how” they say it. He argues that the most important literary and filmic treatments of French education in recent years—the works of Agnès Varda, Érik Orsenna, Abdellatif Kechiche, François Bégaudeau—do more than merely depict the present-day school crisis. They explore questions of education through experiments with form.

The Pedagogical Imagination shows how such techniques engage present-day readers and viewers in acts of interpretation that reproduce pedagogical principles of active, experiential learning—principles at the core of late nineteenth-century educational reform that became vehicles for the diffusion of republican ideology.



Author Bio

Leon Sachs is an associate professor of French and francophone studies at the University of Kentucky.


"The Pedagogical Imagination showcases Sachs' own fine pedagogical skills."—Lisa Connell, French Forum

“Sachs weaves together disciplines that have traditionally been distinct (literature, literary theory, reading pedagogy, film studies, history), and he does so in a way that is strikingly original and provocative.”—Mortimer Martin Guiney, author of Teaching the Cult of Literature in the French Third Republic

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations                                      
Introduction: Reading the Republican Legacy          
1. A New Language of Learning: Object Lesson Pedagogy  and the Modern Reader       
2. Visualizing Literacy: From Pierre Larousse to Agnès Varda’s Les glaneurs et la glaneuse          
3. Teaching Suspicion: Erik Orsenna’s La grammaire est une chanson douceas a Modern Tour de la France par deux enfants                                                  
4. A Classic Dodge: Republican Conflict and Islamic Solutions in Abdellatif Kechiche’s L’esquive           
5. Writing on Walls: Laïcité and Literary Form in François Bégaudeau’s Entre les murs      
Conclusion: The Strangeness of Republican Culture  

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