A course for the "Choix Goncourt de la Suisse"


Institutional Communication Service

28 July 2023

A dedicated course is now available for "Choix Goncourt de la Suisse", the Swiss spin-off of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, instead of just an option for "French for special purposes." USI is offering the new format for the autumn semester, which focuses on the literary project organised by the Académie Goncourt and the French Embassy in Switzerland. The course is designed for students who have attained a B2 level in French and want to further their knowledge and understanding of French culture and literature.

This course centres around reading novels from the first Prix Goncourt selection. These novels will serve as the foundation for various individual and interactive activities such as abstracts, arguments, and oral presentations.

The students will have the opportunity to represent the Italian-speaking region of the country in the next "Choix Goncourt de la Suisse", organised in collaboration with other Swiss universities. The participants will have the opportunity to read the works of the 15 nominated authors, engage in discussions, and ultimately select their top choice. A delegation from USI will convene with representatives from other Swiss universities to collectively vote for the recipient of the "Swiss Goncourt". The announcement ceremony will be held at the French Residence in Bern, as is customary each year, with the attendance of the French Ambassador to Switzerland.

Participants will be able to explore the history and challenges of the Goncourt Prize in addition to the selection process. This course is especially beneficial for Bachelor's and Master's students in Italian language, literature, and civilisation, with a focus on comparative literature. Its multilingual and multicultural context makes it particularly engaging.

For more information and registration, please consult the dedicated page.


Choix Goncourt de la Suisse

The "Choix Goncourt de la Suisse" literary prize is promoted by the French Embassy in Berne and in partnership with various universities, including Università della Svizzera italiana, Basel, Berne, Fribourg, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, St. Gallen, and Zurich. Additionally, it is supported by the ETH Zürich. This prize promotes French-language literature and encourages critical and unbiased readings of contemporary works. It is the Swiss spin-off of the distinguished French literary prize awarded by the Académie Goncourt: the "société littéraire" initiated by writer Edmond de Goncourt,  who was among the prominent figures, together with his brother Jules, in the French cultural scene in the second half of the 19th century. He was a friend of authors such as Émile Zola, Gustave Flaubert, and Guy de Maupassant.

Partners of the event are also the Académie Goncourt, the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie en Europe de l'Ouest (AUF), Payot Librarie, the Association des Membres de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques (AMOPA) and the Fondation Catherine Gide.