René Girard circa 1962 – A Student’s Perspective

The Imitatio website has recently posted a fascinating window into the classroom of then Johns Hopkins University professor René Girard who was offering a class on “The French Novel of the 19th and 20th Centuries”. In the second semester of 1962 Andrew Feenberg, a freshman, was granted permission by Professor Girard to audit the class which was given in French. I suspect Mr. Feenberg may have been a native French speaker from Canada. In any case, he took careful and detailed notes, almost transcribing the lectures into English. Here is an excerpt from Feenberg’s introduction:

I believe this to be an interesting document. It reveals  something about Girard’s early teaching, his focus not only on literary interpretation but on what he called the “truth” transmitted by literature which he (and we) considered nothing less than a guide to life.


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