Exploring Love and Friendship

Students in Associate Professor of French Carina Yervasi's first-year seminar Love and Friendship in French Literature had a challenge for their mid-term assignment: choose from among a collection of images and write an accompanying short narrative that develops an aspect/concept of love of their choice, as long as it centers on one central idea or theme. Students had to convey this central idea not only in the short narrative they wrote, but also in their voice-over, choice of images, editing, and added music. But there was one hitch - the entire assignment had to be completed in three hours. "I had many reasons for asking students to do this assignment," Yervasi says. "But in general, I wanted them to use their skills as readers of visual culture to produce their own, especially before we started discussing literary realism and film in the course. These projects also allowed me to get to know my students better, to see how they communicate their ideas about representations of love from literary readings into their own audiovisual material." The resulting short videos ranged from personal stories about family members to meditations on romantic and true love - and "Running," a noir piece on flight from love by David Sterngold '12.