Sylvie Housiel

Sylvie Housiel, Ph.D, Cultural Studies and Humanities, is a Lecturer of French Language, Culture and Literature at Tel-Aviv University. She wrote her thesis under the supervision of the Prof. Ruth Amossy at Tel-Aviv University. She has published several essays on the epistolary discourse of the French soldiers from WW1 and on the testimony of war. Specialist of the Discours Analysis, Rhetoric and Cultural History, she is a member of the Research Group ADARR (Analyse du Discours Argumentation et Rhétorique) of Tel-Aviv University, a member of the Researchers of AUF (Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, Canada) in Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, and a member of the RSE (Rhetoric Scoiety of Europe). In 2008 and 2009, she was in charge of the Elaboration of three Bibliographies on the Polemic Discourse in an ISF (Israeli Scientific Foundation) Project under the Supervision of Prof. R. Amossy, named « The Polemic Discourse and Democratic Sphere, the case of France ».
Currently, she is preparing a book on the correspondences of French soldiers from WW1. And, in parallel, she is preparing a Research Project on « The voices of women in conflict situation ».


Rhetoric, Argumentation and Discourse Analysis (A.D : Analyse du Discours).
The epistolary discourse of French soldiers from World War1.
The Cultural and Social History of WW1.
The Social, Political and Propaganda Discourse in conflict situations and war-time.
French Language and Civilization, Cultural and Linguistic diversities.
Literary Studies of the 19th and 20th century. 


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The epistolary discourse of French combatants from the Great War: attitudes and opinions through their correspondence

Sylvie Housiel's ongoing research in the framework of a thesis entitled "Le discours épistolaire des combattants français de la Grande guerre : attitudes et opinions à travers leurs correspondences [The epistolary discourse of French combatants from the Great War: attitudes and opinions through their correspondence]" has as its principal objective an exploration of the way in which the authentic documents represented by the letters of the French combatants composed during the 1914-1918 conflict are instrumental in shedding light on human behavior in a war situation. 

The research draws on the tools of discourse analysis, and more particularly, of argumentation, allowing us to examine what is reflected in the writings but above all what is constructed in the epistolary interaction. A close scrutiny of the texts going beyond their literal meaning thus granted, this approach allows us to isolate the modes of thinking, the convictions and the underlying motivations of the writing subject, restored to his historical, social and cultural context. Attempting to reconstruct the principal attitudes adopted by the combatants in the face of war is the challenge to be met. 

The analyses carried out take account of the discursive and argumentative procedures put in place to enable the addressee to share a view of the war situation as it was experienced. The study of these diverse discursive developments formulated in terms of the cultural and social baggage of the combatants allows us to comprehend facts inherent in its connection to the conflict, together with the reasons for this connection.

The corpus is entirely constituted by war correspondence. The selection criteria have a bearing on the diversity of the combatants' status: all ages, all religions, all social and familial situations, they have served in different units covering dissimilar French geographical areas. The material collected explores the full span of the war and represents a corpus of around 12,000 letters.