The century of the French Moderns brought in  turbulent change and innovation, not only in the art world, but also in society, literature, and politics.
The 2018 Frieze Lecture series, presented by the Rock Island Public Library and Augustana College, will ponder some of those changes with a look at other “Modern Lives” in France and beyond. The 21st annual lecture partnership takes its thematic cue from an community wide celebration of all things French as part of the Figge Museum exhibition, French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950.
The series of four lectures by Augustana College professors are from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, on Tuesdays from October 23 through November 13, in the Community Room of the Rock Island Downtown Library, 401 19th Street. Topics and presenters include:
October 23: DrEmily Cranford, visiting assistant professor of French, discussing Ourika, a novella by Claire de Duras. As the first French text to depict a black female character with complex feelings, Ourika was ahead of its time, and the talk of Paris at the time of its anonymous publication in 1823.
 
October. 30:  Dr. Kiki Kosnick, assistant professor of French, speaking on the modern Guy de Maupassant. The French writer is considered by general agreement to be the greatest French short-story writer.  Maupassant set many of his naturalist stories during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s.
 
November 6: Dr. Taddy R. Kalas, professor of French, speaking on another cultural lion in the world of the French Moderns, Émile Zola. The French novelist, playwright, critic, and political activist played a major role in overturning the false conviction of army officer Alfred Dreyfus. His articles on Dreyfus, a victim of anti-semitism, are often credited as an influence on new journalism.
 
November 13: Dr. Claire Kovacs, director of the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art, turns the focus closer to home by highlighting works in the college collection by Swedish and Swedish-American artists whose practice brought them into conversation with Parisian Modernism. Her talk relates to their companion exhibition, Världen är litenThe World is Small, Modern Swedish & American Works from the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art.
Free coffee, cookies. and conversation follow each lecture. All lectures are free and open to the public, and do not require registration.
For more information about Rock Island Library events and services, call 309-732-READ (7323),visit www.rockislandlibrary.org, or follow Rock Island Library on social media.
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.