On Friday, June 12th, 2015, Dr. Stacey Weber-Fève (Associate Professor of French) reconnected with ISU French major alumna Ms. Breanna Melville (December 2010) in Paris, France. Weber-Fève had been attending the 15th Anniversary of the Association for Studies in French Cinema Annual Conference where she presented new research at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle/ Paris 3 just the day before.
The conference theme this year was “Contemporary French Comedies: New Trends, New Issues, New Approaches.” Weber-Fève presented a paper titled “Benoït Poelvoorde’s Star Persona: Do Comedy and Romance Intersect?” in which she took up the question of performing and constructing masculinity in contemporary French cinematic comedy and discussed its implications for hugely popular Belgian comic actor Benoït Poelvoorde’s construction as star of comedy films. She addressed whether his work recuperates formulaic rom-com constructions of masculinity or rather appropriates new or revised discourses on “being male” in contemporary French cinema. She also defined the multi-dimensional aspects of his comic star construction by challenging the seemingly rather one-dimensional construction of “grand cynique bête et méchant” for which he is best known. This scholarship on Contemporary French Comedy marks a new trajectory in Weber-Fève’s research program moving forward.
Following the conference, Weber-Fève and Melville met up at the Panthéon in the Quartier Latin and walked down to the Jardin du Luxembourg where, in typical style parisien, they spent an afternoon enjoying the beautiful weather and catching up while seated near the Fontaine de Medicis (pictured here). Melville, an Ankeny, Iowa native, has been living and working in Paris this past year and will be beginning a Masters graduate program at the Université Sorbonne in Fall 2015.