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French Course Descriptions

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FR120f    Critical Thinking Across Cultures      The ability to communicate the complexity of one's critical thoughts in writing is crucial to academic debates. While exploring questions of interculturality, students will practice their written English through weekly assignments and the completion of three critical writing projects. They will also engage in discussion about topics such as how to arbitrate cultural viewpoints, the different purposes and functions of writing, and the intercultural variations in producing an argument.     Four credit hours.  W1, I.    MROZ
FR125fs    French I      First in a sequence that develops communication skills in a careful progression over three semesters. In addition to working on the four traditional skills of language acquisition—speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing—students will be introduced to the cultural contexts of the Francophone world. Use of audio and videotaped material is an integral and required part of classwork. Students are placed in the appropriate level by their score on the College Board French SAT Subject test, a placement test during fall orientation, or through consultation with a member of the faculty in French.     Four credit hours.    MROZ
FR126fs    French II      Strengthens and expands the four language skills introduced and practiced in French 125 by offering a learning environment conducive to the practice and development of writing, reading, listening, and oral performance. As language practice is closely tied to cultural understanding, features a number of authentic texts and contexts that foster linguistic competence while highlighting the diversified cultural contribution of the French and Francophone world. Develops critical thinking vis-a-vis language and culture through listening, reading, speaking, and writing, while attaining an appropriate level of fluency in all four skills and improving cultural literacy.     Four credit hours.    BRUNETAUX, DIONNE
FR127fs    French III      The last of the required language sequence (French 125-127) that develops communication skills in a careful progression over three semesters. In addition to working on the four traditional skills of speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing, students are encouraged to build their personal and cultural knowledge and to develop their critical-thinking skills through language learning. Students are placed in the appropriate level by their score on the College Board French SAT Subject test, a placement test during fall orientation, or through consultation with a member of the French faculty.     Four credit hours.    GREENSPAN, GUILLOIS, NIANG
FR127Jj    French III (Paris)      The last of the required language sequence (French 125-127) that develops communication skills in a careful progression over three semesters. In addition to working on the four traditional skills of speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing, students are encouraged to build their personal and cultural knowledge and to develop their critical-thinking skills through language learning. As students move towards greater fluency in French, they begin to do analytical work in the language. Students are also expected to adapt to an immersion environment. Estimated cost: $3,030. Prerequisite:  French 126 or equivalent.     Three credit hours.    DAVIES
FR128fs    French IV: Reading in Cultural Contexts      Builds reading skills and broadens cultural background through a wide variety of readings in French. Emphasis is on the texts and contexts of culture, whether in France, Quebec, or other Francophone areas such as Africa and the Caribbean. Continuing work in improving oral and written skills. Prerequisite:  French 127.     Four credit hours.  L.    DIONNE, MAUGUIERE
FR131s    Conversation and Composition      Designed specifically for students wishing to develop oral skills and to acquire an extensive modern vocabulary, with additional practice in writing short compositions. Preparation for further study of French. It will also improve students' reading skills while fostering their understanding of French culture and society. Through the exploration of a French contemporary novel and of French films, students acquire the skills to critique and interpret while engaging in active thinking. Prerequisite:  French 127 or a score of 60 on the College Board French SAT Subject Test or its equivalent on the placement test.     Four credit hours.    MAUGUIERE
[FR223]    French Theater Workshop      Designed to develop oral skills and in-depth knowledge of a French play that will be interpreted and performed as a final project. In addition to working on traditional language skills—speaking, comprehension, and reading—students will be introduced to French theater. Weekly sessions include drama performance, pronunciation, and oral practice. Conducted entirely in French. Prerequisite:  French 128 or French 131.     Two credit hours.  
FR231fs    Advanced Grammar and Composition      Provides a comprehensive overview of French grammar through presentations of the overall structure and frequent practice in writing. Required of majors and open to others wishing to improve their written expression in French. Prerequisite:  French 128, 131, or 211D.     Four credit hours.    BRUNETAUX, GREENSPAN
FR232f    Cultural History of France      Examination of the major historical figures, events, and movements in the cultural history of France from its origins in prehistory to the Dreyfus Affair, with emphasis on written documents such as laws, manifestos, letters, and literary texts, and on such visual documents as maps, monuments, paintings, symbols, film, and photography. Continued development of the ability to read, speak, and write in French, while also enhancing analytical skills. Prerequisite:  French 128 or 131.     Four credit hours.  H.    DIONNE
FR233s    Contemporary France      Explores different aspects of contemporary French culture through film, pop culture, and the media. Provides grounding in social, political, cultural, and economic aspects of today's France. Focuses on themes such as immigration, politics, religion, education, family, international relations, and daily life. Engages students in active thinking through debates and discussions, developing both their critical and analytical skills. Prerequisite:  French 128, 131, 211D, or 232.     Four credit hours.    BRUNETAUX
FR234fs    Intensive Spoken French      Exclusively for French majors or students preparing for study in a French-speaking country. Weekly practice in oral French conducted by the French language assistant under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated once for credit. Nongraded. Prerequisite:  Acceptance in a study-abroad program in a French-speaking country.     One credit hour.    BIZET
FR236s    Introduction to the Francophone World: The Americas      The colonial and postcolonial French cultural legacy as it spread across North America among ethno-cultural groups in Quebec, Acadia, Maine, Manitoba, Ontario, and Louisiana. The cultural connection between Louisiana, Haïti, French Guiana and contemporary Francophone migrant literature is also examined. The course focuses on issues of cultural encounter, the concept of emerging literature, oral culture, linguistic identity and cultural survival, nationalism, history and mythology, race, gender, and diasporic cultural development. Prerequisite:  French 128, 131, 211D, or 231.     Four credit hours.  I.    MAUGUIERE
[FR237]    Francophone African Cinema      An introduction to major sub-Saharan Francophone filmmakers and their engagement with certain aspects of African history and cultural practices. Students will discuss and write about the films and the issues they deal with. Supplemental readings will be provided to contextualize the films. Prerequisite:  French 128 or 131.     Four credit hours.  I.  
FR238f    Introduction to the Francophone World: Africa      What does the term "Francophone" mean? Is it free from polemics? What is its history? Introduction to Africa from the 19th to the 21st century surveys many of the multifaceted cultural identities and histories of the former French-speaking colonies on the continent. Topics include colonization, politics, gender, language, the fight for independence, modernity and tradition, and the major literary movements in Francophone Africa. Course materials will include film, music, art, folktales, poetry, maps, newspaper articles, literary works, excerpts from scholarly texts, and films. Prerequisite:  French 128 or 131.     Four credit hours.  I.    NIANG
[FR243]    French Phonetics and Pronunciation      One of the main objectives of the French studies major is mastery of near-native pronunciation. Students are given the opportunity to perfect their pronunciation of French vowels and consonants. Through the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet and the study of correlations between written and spoken language, students also learn correct syllabification, rhythm, and intonation in French. Prerequisite:  French 128 or 131.     Four credit hours.  
[FR245]    Translation Workshop      Introduction to translation from French into English (version) and from English into French (thème) using literary texts selected from 20th-century and contemporary Francophone authors. Students will discover new writers and will improve their reading, speaking, and writing skills through close examination of the differences between English and French. Nongraded. Prerequisite:  French 231.     One credit hour.  
[FR252]    Provocative Texts: Engaging the World      Centering on major themes in culture, an analysis of the ways in which different kinds of texts endeavor to set into play important issues and conflicting values. Significant writing and analysis of the means by which written and visual texts—including short stories and novels, theater, poetry, essays, and film—"speak." Prerequisite:  French 128 or 131.     Four credit hours.  L, I.  
[FR332]    Voices of Dissent in Early Modern France      An introduction to free-thinkers, libertines, and also the "Querelle des femmes." We shall consider great thinkers and provocative writers like Montaigne, Molière, Diderot, and Sade, who challenged religious and social norms in search of a more just society. Through close reading of texts, and discussion of their historical and cultural context, from the wars of religion to the French revolution, we will study how the writers dissimulate their controversial opinions, while advocating liberté de pensée in the face of fanaticism and dogmatic thinking. Concludes with Laclos's great book Dangerous Liaisons. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  L.  
[FR343]    Decoding French and Francophone News      Further develops students' cultural awareness of the French and Francophone world via the study of contemporary news events that are representative of different cultural perspectives. Students will acquire the specific vocabulary, linguistic registers, and discursive structures of news and media in French and will thus be able to discuss key cultural issues. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  
FR345s    French Translation      This hands-on, project-based, and reflective course is intended to provide advanced students of French with translation method and practice for a variety of English to French (thèmes) and French to English (versions) texts; to sensitize them to the various styles, intricacies, and nuances particular to both languages; and to develop an awareness of the issues arising in passing from one language to the other accurately and idiomatically, as well as strategies for overcoming these issues, including an exploration of computer-mediated translation techniques. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.    MROZ
[FR351]    Minority Issues and Social Change in Francophone North America      Analysis of cultural productions from Quebec and Francophone America, focusing on issues of identity, language, immigration and nationalism as seen in contemporary fiction, poetry, theater, and film. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  L, I.  
[FR354]    Parisian Encounters: Great Loves, Grand Passions      An examination of the legacies of famous couples in 19th-century French history, privileging male genius in a fashion that reveals the sexual and racial selection of genius and exposes the weight of prejudice against creative women in French cultural history. We shall consider the impact of "great" couples during the long 19th century (1789-1914) and in our day, mapping and interrogating their legacies across a broad sweep of (colonial) history, the arts, letters, and science. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  H, I.  
[FR356]    Public and Private Life in 19th-Century France      Competing artistic and literary representations of public and private life in 19th-century France provide the framework for a retrospective exploration of the century as it was portrayed, and at the same time challenged, by the creative minds it produced. Through interdisciplinary works on collective memory, students study in depth the richly textured 19th century and gain skills in cultural analysis. Topics range from the mal du siècle to the fin-de-siècle, the sacred to the profane, the domestic to the commercial, the personal to the political, and the native to the foreign. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  L, I.  
[FR358]    Passionate Discontent: The 19th-Century Epidemic      Troubled by epidemic revolution and social instability, the 19th century in France generated a culture of malaise and a fascinating exchange of ideas among medicine, art, and literature. Our study of celebrated figures of disease—the anxious René, deluded Emma Bovary, and degenerate Thérèse Raquin among them—reveals how passionate discontent, which was traditionally associated with the genius of male Romantics, became a "female" malady and in turn a sign of racial degeneration. Topics include the gendering of diseases (such as neurasthenia and hysteria), class differences, and the "disease" of race. Non-French majors may write papers and examinations in English. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  L.  
FR361f    Creolization, Culture, and Society in the Indian Ocean Islands      Explores issues of race, gender, identity, diversity, cultural contact, and conflict in Indian Ocean island cultures and literatures written in French through selected writings from Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion, the Seychelles, and the Comoros. We will examine the complex social, cultural and historical context of the region with an interdisciplinary perspective. Topics include slavery, "marronage", cultural hybridity, "métissage," "coolitude," and the development of colonial and postcolonial identities and subjectivities. Students will develop their presentation and writing skills through the production of critical essays and research projects. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  I.    MAUGUIERE
[FR370]    Gender, Body, Space: Postcolonial Space in Francophone Africa      The transition from the colonial to the postcolonial in Francophone Africa changed how post-independence writers and filmmakers engage with space. These writers and filmmakers treat family and collective anthropological spaces in conjunction with the body and/or self. Through analysis of novels, short stories, essays, and films from the 20th and 21st centuries, along with postcolonial concepts of hybridity, resistance, and the subaltern, we examine the politics and praxis of the body in space as it relates to gender, age, identity, ritualized performance, and belief systems. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  I.  
[FR373]    Writing of Place: Migration, Nationalism, and Memory      An exploration of themes of migration, nationalism, and memory through fictional works by authors from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Francophone Africa living on the continent or in France. Focus is on the migrant experience and its impact on the writing and perception of place, as well as the advent of the nation in the 1960s and the nationalist discourse that serves as its backbone. The narrative of place will be emphasized along with the recent memorializing of the Rwandan genocide. Readings supplemented by theoretical works and films. Students will expand their knowledge and practice of French as it relates to postcolonial Francophone Africa. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  H, I.  
[FR376]    Shadows of the Past: Remembering Vichy France and the Holocaust      The Holocaust and the Nazi occupation left an indelible mark on the French national psyche. This interdisciplinary course explores how writers, filmmakers, and artists represent the Holocaust. Through discussions, presentations, and written assignments, students acquire the skills to critique and interpret historical documents, Holocaust memoirs, and films. They develop and improve their language skills while deepening their understanding of French history and culture. Meetings with Holocaust survivors and visits to Holocaust memorials complement the course material and engage students in active thinking. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  L, I.  
[FR378]    French Revolution: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death      The French Revolution ushered in the modern world through the concepts of freedom, equality, and fraternity. We will hone critical skills by analyzing the development of those concepts during the Enlightenment, focusing especially on the questions of natural (human) rights and tolerance in Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Beaumarchais, and Condorcet. We will hone communication skills while examining the consequences of those concepts, interrogating the justification for revolutionary terror, discussing whether the French Revolution was a success or a failure, and considering controversial figures like Marie-Antoinette, Robespierre, and Marat. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  H.  
FR398As    Love, Sex, Metamorphosis      From troubadours in the Middle Ages to today's writers, popular hip-hop artists and performers often have sung the joys and pains of love and sex. Through a close analysis of literary texts, films, and pop-culture productions, we will explore the transformative power of love and sex. Discussions and debates will be informed by theoretical readings and supplementary material through which students will develop their critical and analytical skills. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two.     Four credit hours.  L.    BRUNETAUX
FR398Bs    World War II in Film and Fiction      A study of the key episodes of World War II in France—the Occupation, French collaboration, the Resistance, the Holocaust, the aftermath—and the moral issues they generated. All works in French; films with English subtitles. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course.     Four credit hours.  L.    GREENSPAN
FR483f, 484s    Senior Honors Thesis      The senior honors thesis counts as one of the 10 courses required for the major. The thesis, written in French, is to be a substantial study of a carefully defined topic, supported by critical sources. Prerequisite:  A 3.5 or higher major average at the end of the junior year and permission of the department.     Three credit hours.    FACULTY
FR491f, 492s    Independent Study      Individual projects in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Prerequisite:  Permission of the instructor.     Two to four credit hours.    FACULTY
FR493Af    Satire, Sedition, and Censorship in Early Modern France      Satire and caricature use words and images to unmask and reveal sensitive problems in society. This class will focus on mockery and censorship in the literature and prints of early modern France. We will investigate how words and images alike manifest implicit and explicit responses to the threat of censorship. As a central feature of the course, students will conduct a semester-long research project creating a website that either draws on banned books and plays from Rabelais, Moliere, La Fontaine, and Voltaire, or analyzes caricatural prints of the period. Prerequisite:  Senior standing as a French studies major and permission of the instructor.     Four credit hours.  H.    DIONNE
FR493Bf    Francophone African Voices      Focused on the work of contemporary women's writers, this seminar engages with the female and subaltern experience of space and/or immigration as a medium for intercultural encounters between the West and the postcolony in the 20th and 21st centuries. The female perspective heralds a new shift in the post-colonial representation of border-crossing, cosmopolitanism and sociocultural violence, which we will also deal with in relation to religious intolerance, prejudice, modernization, and patriarchy. Our engagement with these issues will be based on a reading of fictional, historical and theoretical works that will help frame the discussions. Films and documentaries will be used to supplement the fictional texts. Prerequisite:  Senior standing as a French studies major and permission of the instructor.     Four credit hours.    NIANG